Like many internet Atheists, I do enjoy debating online. I spread what I know to be true while others attempt to convince me of what they know to be true. It's truly the fastest way I know of to learn anything, and the easiest way to point out exactly what you don't know about your own truths. However, more often than not, there is a shadowy element to each debate, an element of misinformation. And every time I try to correct this misinformation, I get the following question.
"Don't Atheists also follow a dogma?"
You'd be surprised just how often that comes up. And, of course, I need to replay to it with what dogma is and why Atheists don't have one.
Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Atheists don't have any kind of authority, or principles, and they see nothing at all as being incontrovertibly true. Another definition for Dogma replaces principles with beliefs and doctrine (set of beliefs) which is held by a religion.
As I have already stated many times in this blog, and I'm sure it's getting a little old for everyone, including myself, Atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. There are no beliefs, no principles, no doctrines, and no dogmas associated with it. Some Atheists have beliefs, doctrines, and dogmas, and I'm positive most of them have principles, but none of those have anything to do with Atheism.
I am getting rather tired of repeating myself in this fashion, but it seems I have little choice. Every misconception about Atheism seems to stem from the misinformation that Atheism is a belief, generally, the belief that no gods exist, and specifically, the belief that God doesn't exist. Every debate I have on the topic of religion boils down to this, and it does get rather tiresome. However, I will continue to spread the truth as I know it as needed.
I'm sure the rest of you will do the same.