Do atheists worship Satan? Short answer: No, we don’t.
First of all, SATAN is part of the Christian belief system. He, supposedly, is a supernatural being with super-powers. He is also supposedly the incarnation of evil. Since atheists generally don’t believe in any supernatural beings, especially those with super powers who can interact with us here in the real world, we don’t believe in him, and therefore we don’t worship him.
That’s like somebody asking you … “You don’t believe in Santa? You mean you worship the Grinch?”
Try to think outside of the Christian-box here for a minute. You, and others who practice the Abrahamic faiths, have your panorama of Gods and demons. But that’s YOUR beliefs. Hindus have their multitude of gods and asuras, but they don’t have a Satan. Do you think that Hindu atheists worship your “evil one”? It’s not that we’re aligned against the good forces of religious belief, we are aligned against supernatural belief in general, all of it. We’re realists and naturalists.
There are eastern atheists, Buddhists for example, who don’t believe in gods and therefore are technically atheists, but who still believe in souls that come back to earth in another life. However, generally speaking, atheists don’t believe in ANY gods, devils, demons, angels, souls, spirits, ghosts, witches, miracles, fairies or just about anything supernatural..
Socrates said in Protagoras “No one goes willingly toward the bad.” It’s no different with atheists. We believe in doing good, just as most people do, no matter what the religion, or lack of it. We’re human and we live in societies. Successful societies rely on cooperation, mutual good works, human compassion and understanding.
You may have noticed that you don’t open the paper every day to see headlines that say: “Atheists still murdering their neighbors! Millions dead!”, or “Atheist continue raping women across the country!”, or “Atheist corporations are cheating millions of customers!” Did you ever wonder why not? I mean, aren’t you taught by your religious leaders that you can’t have lead moral lives if you don’t believe in god? Then how do you explain this? Really, think about it.
Most atheists, are also Humanists. The American Humanist Association defines humanism thus:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Wikipedia defines it as:
Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism).
Humanism is in essence saying that we humans need to take ultimate responsibility for our actions. We can’t fob off our guilt and responsibility onto some “savior”, or indeed rely on any supernatural force to intervene to make things better for us. We have to come to terms with the fact that our future depends on us, and the actions we take today.
Consider this attitude as opposed to the general teachings of Christianity. When we do wrong, we just ask Jesus to forgive us, or confess to some Priest. Ding, clean slate. We can go out and do whatever we want to knowing that forgiveness is just a bent-knee away. Not only that, but every Christian church in the world tells us that we’re living in the end-times, and that Jesus will be returning next week and that God will destroy the earth shortly thereafter. What kind of message is that? What incentive do we have to take care of our planet, or anything for that matter, when God is just going to destroy it all in a fortnight?
Secular Humanism makes two statements: 1) this world is real and it’s the only world that we know we have, or are ever going to have. It behooves us to respect and care for it. 2) We know that this life is real, and our best chance for a bright future is in our own hands. If we don’t work toward a better future, we won’t have one. Kneeling and praying won’t get us there, it never has.
Probably the most religious time the Western world has ever known was the Dark and Middle Ages in Europe. The church ruled everything. It crowned kings, influenced public policy and every person was required to be part of that religion. The result? The Inquisition, pogroms, the confiscation of property, and the burning of witches, non-believers and the mentally ill.
Was there prayer going on? You bet. Was it effective in making a better world? Hardly. Was it the same God that you’re praying to today? So you tell me. Who ended this insanity? People did. People acting in defiance of the strict letter of the Biblical Texts.
Reference.com provides us with a concise overview of that:
During the Dark ages, all scientific and empirical pursuits ceased and the Church had an enormous magnitude of power, even over kings. The Great Schism also occurred during this time period. The western and eastern branches of the Church split into the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church. The division propagated for a number of different reasons and stands even today. The Dark Ages ended with the Renaissance, which means “rebirth.” It is during this period that classical knowledge re-emerged and people embarked upon new scientific endeavors. The Renaissance left a lasting mark upon the world, and there was incredible progress in a number of fields, such as philosophy, art, science and politics.
It is people working together, using science and reason which ensures a brighter, more humane future.
Religion, however, is the great divider. If history has told us anything, it’s that even if the world were united under a single religion, it would soon schism into warring factions which would then degenerate into new religions. Judaism split into Islam and Christianity, Catholics into protestants, and then into Mormonism, for example.
Science and reason, on the other hand, tend to find that their experiments and results, the world over, coalesce to common beliefs, beliefs based on evidence. Rather than finding that more activity leads to greater division, science brings humanity together around demonstrable and verifiable facts.
Let’s get up off our knees and work with what we know we have; people, taking action to give this planet a workable, viable future.