I’m not sure quite what you mean by the question but I’m going to take it that you are asking why atheists are so 'inspiring’ or 'inspirational’. The answer to that is relatively simple.
Atheists are thoughtful and reflective; they do not 'shoot from the hip’, instinctively. Those that I know always give carefully considered answers and, if those on this panel are anything to go by, if they do not know the answer to a question, they are big enough to say so. However, if they can find the answer by diligent research, then they’ll spend time finding out.
I know of no atheist who is so certain in his/her atheism that they will not entertain the very, very slight possibility that God exists. In reflecting about such an immanence, though, they will always be careful to describe the possibility in statistical terms. They’ll never claim to 'know’ that God doesn’t exist in the crass way that believers ('hopers’, really) say things like: 'I know Jesus is the son of god, my personal saviour’. Atheists know that 'knowing’ something is not the same as 'feeling’ it.
Basically, atheists are people who use reason to come to conclusions. They are not devoid of feeling or emotion but they recognise the limitations of 'gut feeling’ and, ultimately, that knowledge is empowering.
Finally, you will not find atheists perpetually preaching atheism, but you’ll hear them or read them talking about the wonders of the World. They’ll talk about academic subjects like philosophy, ethics in particular, and of how Science gives us evidence which has helped human civilisation to throw off the shackles of its superstitious past. All the atheists I know personally are actually interesting and fun to be with.
Posted: May 11th 2008
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