Contrary to popular opinion which seems to club all kinds of atheists into one type, there are different kinds of ‘atheists’. ‘Non-belief in an organized faith’ is usually considered a ticket to atheism. However there are different kinds of people who profess such non-belief. I could think of four types here:
These are idol-breakers. They would like to break the existing notion of belief in the God as preached by a certain religion or cult they are familiar with. They see a certain religion and its practices to be detrimental and hence they go about shattering those icons, those symbols, those houses of worship. Sometimes these iconoclasts tend to establish a different kind of ideology in the place of the idols they have fought. Certain Communists fall into this category. Karunanidhi and Periyar fall into this category to an extent. Adolf Hitler and Stalin could be grouped into this.
Their non-belief is not scientific in origin and it may not have a rational outlook either. The rejection of God could be out of anger, frustration with the way the world is working, or with a hidden agenda to replace existing faiths with a different ideology. Some iconoclasts who broke up paganism settled down to embrace Abrahamic religion. Some iconoclasts who broke up Christianity embraced Nazism or Communism.
They are practical people who rationalize and see that most things in life can be explained away without involving God or his divine intervention. They see no need for God to run things. They see rituals as an encumbrance to leading a practical life. They see organized religion serving certain vested interests. For them miracles are just coincidences. These people may not have known the deeper topics of science or inner understandings of nature. But they have enough logical and reasoning power to conclude that running of things does not need intervention of a supernatural being and hence there is a good enough reason to conclude that God does not exist. ‘Show me the proof, only then will I believe’, is their stand.
Some pragmatists may turn into believers if they are touched by supposed miracle. They may take a U-turn to embrace religion and its all elements to become their champions. Some people in their young age may dabble with atheism, more as a rebellious streak, and they may eventually become strong proponents of religion and belief in God after certain incidents or revelations.
They are complete nonbelievers of a religious God. They are of scientific bent and have asked deeper questions about the forces of nature, and how nature is run. They don’t think a God is running this place. They don’t think God listens to one’s prayers. They do not see God as creator of life. They do not see God intervening into human life. However, they do feel that there could be some supernatural force that has brought this Universe into place. And that supernatural force need not be a conscious being, not someone who is concerned with affairs of men and their petty exams and wars. But they concede that certain supernatural force may be the one that set the universal laws and their properties in motion, only during the first few nanoseconds of the creation of Universe. And thereafter has NOT tampered with Universe ever again. (Example: Albert Einstein)
They are nonbelievers of all kinds of God including a supernatural fo