Most people do not know what or who Atheists are. Many preachers, both Christian and otherwise, say things about atheists that are simply not true. Perhaps it is from ignorance but I think, in most cases, it is from a desire to denigrate and demonize a group that represents the antithesis of what they believe and want their congregations to believe. Preachers have a vested interest in keeping their “flock” close and convincing them that groups outside theirs are somehow unsavory.
Atheism is simply a lack of belief in deities. Atheist is the opposite of theist. That’s it. Nothing else.
In general, Atheists are usually rationalists as well. This means that they seek rational explanations for the world and the phenomena found in it. When a rationalist asks a question, like “How did the universe get to be the way it is?”, they look for rational explanations. The word “rational” is not used here in the emotional sense. In other words, I am not referring to emotional vs. dispassionate responses. I am referring to explanations that use reason and are based on evidence that can be gathered from the world around us. So when I say that theism is not a rational worldview, I am not implying that those who hold it are emotionally irrational just that their world view is not based on reason and evidence.
That being said, not all atheists are rational. One famous irrational atheist is Stalin. He murdered millions of people for the purpose of consolidating the power of his Bolshevik Party. That is insane and irrational. He had an irrational fear of people who opposed him. None of these traits were caused by or the result of his Atheism.
As rationalists, atheists usually seek naturalistic answers to questions about nature and humanistic solutions to problems in society and everyday life. Many of the answers and solutions that are arrived at are the same as those that theists arrive at. E.g. democracy is better than despotism, kindness is good. The differences lie only in the source or cause of the conclusions we arrive at. Theists attribute to their God the morals that they keep and Atheists attribute them to reason.
Take some time to explore this website and some of the videos I have posted on my YouTube channel. Check out the videos I have favorited there for more information on what atheists believe or don’t believe, why they come to those conclusions, and how you can find out more about rationalism, atheism, and science.