I am an “a-tooth-fairyist.” That is to say that I do not believe in the Tooth Fairy. I have been an atoothfairyist for almost my entire life. As an atoothfairyist, I hardly give the tooth fairy a second thought. As a matter of fact, until I decided to write this article, I can’t even remember the last time that I thought about the TF. After all, why would I spend my time thinking about something that I do not believe exists? There may be rare moments when the TF comes up in conversation, or when Hollywood decides to make a movie about the TF, but for the most part, the TF doesn’t affect me or have any impact on my life, my worldview, or my daily thoughts and activities.
Having this type of attitude as a non-believer makes it very difficult to understand the behavior of another group of non-believers, the atheists. They behave in a totally different way from other groups of non-believers, such as the a-leprechaunists, the a-unicornists, or the a-little-green-man-on-the-moonists. Let me give you some examples.
Although there are probably millions of people across the globe (most of them under the age of five) that hold to toothfairyism, my guess would be that the vast majority of the world’s population are atoothfairyists. There are no reliable figures for the number of atoothfairyists in the world because we just don’t care. It would be an irrational waste of time to number ourselves over a non-belief.
Atheists, on the other hand, take great pains and great pride in keeping track of their numbers, as evidenced by this Wikipedia article entitled, The Demographics of Atheism. They have even taken the time to extrapolate the numbers in order to determine when they can expect to surpass the world’s population of theists. Psychology Today reports in an April 25, 2012 article, how atheists are waiting with eager anticipation for the year 2038, so that they can finally spike the ball and dance in the end zone (Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038.)
Another way in which atheists differ from other groups of non-believers is in their impressive number of vocal and energetic “professional” atheists – people like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. These are men whose whole professional identities are wrapped up in their non-belief, and they work tirelessly to spread the gospel of atheism wherever they go. Professional atheists hold seminars and conferences. They debate theists and are in high demand on the lecture circuit. They do pod casts and radio and television programs. About the only thing that they don’t do in their evangelistic zeal is go door to door.
One compilation of the 50 top atheists in the world today makes the following statement about the men and women that they included on their list, “To make the cut, one has to do more than merely question God’s existence or even deny that knowledge of God’s existence is possible.” They list several important requirements for inclusion on the list:
- Celebrity – “To make our list, the atheist must have a public identification with atheism and must have made some public impact by challenging religion and/or promoting atheism, either in print or on the Internet. In other words, our ranking is a list of people who are well known because they are atheists.”
- Energy – “To make our ranking, the atheist must be an activist. He or she must exhibit some desire to win others over to atheism.”
- Seriousness – “…we put a premium on the depth and seriousness of the man or woman’s case for atheism. We ask ourselves this question: How many rounds could this person go in the ring (so to speak) with a top-notch defender of religious belief?”
In comparison, to my knowledge, there is not one single atoothfairyist missionary. Not one! After all, it would be rather silly to put that much effort into a non-belief.
Atheists are also prolific writers. Besides magazines, journals, blogs and a plethora of websites, the last forty years or so have seen the publication of numerous books by the “professionals.” Richard Dawkin’s book, The God Delusion, has sold over two million copies in English, and has been translated into thirty-four other languages worldwide. In March of 2007, The God Delusion, by Dawkins; Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris; and God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist, by Victor J. Stenger, all appeared on the New York Times best seller list. It was the first time in history that three books on atheism appeared on the list at the same time.
Of the nearly 2,700 titles at Amazon that had the words “Tooth Fairy” in them, not one of them was written by an atoothfairyist trying to debunk the existence of the tooth fairy, or ridiculing believers. The reason that you will never find a copy of The Tooth fairy Delusion, or The Tooth Fairy Is Not Great, is because we don’t care if anyone wants to believe in the tooth fairy. We don’t demand that everyone thinks the same way that we do.
That brings me to another way in which atheists are different from other types of non-believers. If an atoothfairyist meets someone who believes in the tooth fairy, we might think that they are a little silly, but I doubt that there would be any name calling or fist fights breaking out. I don’t believe that there is any evidence for the existence of the tooth fairy, but if someone could present such evidence to me, I would be eager to hear it. I mean, could you imagine it? A supernatural being that visits you when you are asleep and pays you for your lost teeth! That would be awesome if it were real.
Atheists, on the other hand, don’t want to hear the other side of the argument. As a matter of fact, at the 2012 Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., atheist poster boy, Richard Dawkins, instructed the crowd of cheering rally-goers that when they meet someone who says that they are religious that they should be “mocked and scorned.” Forget using civility and logic to confront a theist’s arguments or beliefs. Just show your contempt by ridiculing them. Did anyone there see the hypocrisy of Dawkins saying this at the end of a rally for “REASON?”
Atheists are also pretty good at social networking. They form societies, like the American Atheists. You can join the American Atheists with an individual membership for $35.00 a year. Or if you are a true, died in the wool (non) believer, you can get a lifetime platinum membership for a mere $12,000.00. If that is a little steep for you, you can settle for a subscription to American Atheists magazine. As an atoothfairyist, I would have better use for $12,000.00 than to support the promotion of my non-belief in the TF.
Atheists have their own political lobby groups like The Secular Coalition for America, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization whose purpose is to “amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.” They are headquartered in Washington, D.C. where they can have “ready access to government, activist partners and the media.”
We atoothfairyists don’t feel the need to lobby congress. We feel pretty secure in our right not to believe in the TF, and our rights aren’t even covered by the first amendment, like the atheist’s right not to believe.
If you are looking for deity free romance, there are even dating sites for atheists, like Atheists Dating Service, Dating for Atheists, and Atheist Passion to name just a few. No dating sites for atoothfairyists. I checked.
Atheists claim that atheism is not a belief system, but merely a state of being. This works out to their advantage because holding a belief might require an atheist to offer evidence for his beliefs, just like a theist should be able to offer evidence for what he believes. But anyone would be hard pressed to explain their behavior – all of the books and seminars and lectures and debates and attitude and in-your-face-ness – if atheists are not trying to promote something; some kind of belief or agenda. I see several possible explanations for all of their zealousness:
- Atheism truly is not a belief and atheists truly do not believe in God. However, they don’t want anyone else to believe in God either. It’s their way or the highway. This would be an extreme form of intolerance.
- Atheism is actually a belief in one or more “isms” that atheists are not willing to admit to, such as naturalism, empiricism, scientism, or materialism. This way they do not have to defend their beliefs. They can just go about the business of attacking the beliefs of others. This would make atheists extremely disingenuous.
- A third possibility for their fervent efforts to propagate atheism and eradicate theism is that atheists hate God. However, to hate something that they do not even believe exists would make atheists extremely irrational.
- I think that the most likely explanation is that atheist hate religion and religious people because we remind them of their ultimate responsibility towards God, and that is a responsibility that they are desperately trying to ignore. Romans 1:18-24 describes this effort of sinful man to suppress the knowledge of God. Denying God, in the face of what the Bible declares as the evident truth of his existence, would make atheists extremely delusional.
I am an atoothfairyist. If I am ever presented with evidence to the contrary, I will thoughtfully consider whether the evidence is logical and compelling – like any rational person. In the mean time, I will not get excited. I will not get provoked. I will not get worked up or get emotional about the subject. I will not attack those who choose to believe in the TF. I will not be writing any books about atoothfairyism. I will not be networking with other atoothfairyists, attending conferences or seminars or debates. When I am done writing this article I doubt that I will give the TF a second thought. After all…that is what it means to not believe in something.
Soli Deo Gloria