A Question About Being An Atheist

I had this interesting exchange with a good friend on Facebook that I thought was worth sharing.
Brandon Bellm November 30 at 11:56pm  Report
Jay I was wondering. As an atheist. Do you believe in ghosts?

Jay Walker December 1 at 8:03am  
That’s an interesting question. At the conference I just went to, there was a lot of talk about if being a skeptic automatically means you should be an atheist. The general consensus was that an atheist is someone who is skeptical of one thing; the existence of god. 

So, my answer is that my being an atheist has no bearing on if I believe in ghosts or not because being an atheist is about non-belief in god(s). As a skeptic, on the other hand, I seriously doubt the existence of ghosts because everything I’ve seen tells me that there are far more plausible explanations for what people would call ghosts than disembodies spirits.


One thought on “A Question About Being An Atheist

  1. Funny this topic should come up.

    Even as an atheist, the lack of belief in a *god* (until/unless scientific evidence is irrefutably presented, of course, since we’re also reasonable folks, by and large), I am one to say that I’m *doubtful* — but there are some things that I think…well, is it *possible*? Sure, it’s possible. There are plenty of mysteries in the world, and there are experiences that can’t be readily or easily explained away. There are some mysteries that I’m perfectly content leaving be – such as the possible phenomenon of ghosts or spirits. We *are* walking electricity. The “spark” of life that some call a soul *is* our electricity. We’re here. What happens to that spark after we die? Who knows, really? None of us has crossed that veil, so none of us can speak to it. I’d like to think we just…go to sleep, you know, that we fade. I’m content with that idea. But is it *possible* that our spark might hover after our bodies rot? Sure. Why not? The subject of ghosts is one that I’m extremely skeptical about…but not particularly bothered by. Where with the subject of *god* it’s more a matter of how religion is used to control others, I get more twitchy and snarly with…but that isn’t the issue when we’re talking about the supernatural blahblah. All that said? I think it’s more likely that aliens exist than either god or ghosts and such.

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