It seems that people who are guided by their belief in an imaginary being often get confused over what Atheism means. Atheism is not not “just another form of belief” and it is not a religion. Remember, Dawkins, Harris, Myers (et al) are not the Prophets of Atheism. They are not Ministers of Atheism.
People who follow a religion, and let it guide their lives sometimes have difficulty coming to terms with the concept, but part of being an Atheist is making up your own mind. There is no doctrinal book which says what all Atheists must believe, or how they should behave. Atheism allows the human to make their own choices. While this should be common sense, it seems some people really can not grasp it (for example Debbie Schlussel is convinced all Atheists are Muslims or brainwashed).
It is not just the offensive and idiotic theists who make these mistakes as well. Otherwise normal, decent followers of various religions can, sometimes, get confused over the matter. Take this example:
At the end of the day, we all have faith in something. Even an atheist has a kind of faith; faith in the absence of any god. (The Sleepless Nights Reading File)
Now, sorry to say, but no. Not all Atheists have faith in the absence of any God (see above for why I do not speak for any Atheists other than myself though). My understanding of the word “faith” is it means a belief in something without any evidence. A quick visit to Google and I can’t find any better definition.
Given this, I feel fully confident when I say I do not have faith in the absence of any god.
I have mentioned in the past the problem of debating matters of faith with theists, and this is a good example. I can think of nothing that I “believe” which can not be falsified. Every concept and I idea I hold, I can think of a way in which it could be proven wrong and I would (reluctantly maybe) have to rethink. I suspect the majority of theists are similar to Andrew Sullivan, in that when it comes to their religious faith, not only will they hold it without any supporting evidence, they will hold it in the face of contradictory evidence.
Maybe this is why some people think of religion as a mental illness. If I went about my daily business, believing (for example) that Cars could talk to you and gave you guidance as to how to live your life, I wouldn’t spend long before I started sleeping in a padded cell. Is it a double standard that we allow people to make the same apparently insane commentary simply because they can claim their “religion” has lasted for a few centuries?