An Atoothfairyist’s Tale: How To “Not Believe” In Something

tooth-fairy

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 fifty years.  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:

  1. 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.”
  2. Energy – “To make our ranking, the atheist must be an activist. He or she must exhibit some desire to win others over to atheism.”
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

About Mike Ritt

I am a 53 year old writer trapped in the body of a Consumer Safety Inspector for the USDA. I love to spend my free time (ha-ha) reading and writing, and I write everything – stories, poems, essays, and shopping lists – it doesn't matter. I have been married to my redhead (Tami) for over twenty-three years now. Although we live out on the eastern plains of Colorado, we are still die-hard Packer fans! I have been a Christian for over thirty years now, and each day seems like a brand new day, with more to learn about God and his word. What a wonderful journey this has become! Click the “Contact” button on the menu bar if you want to write me for any reason, whether it’s to know more about me or the glorious gospel of grace.
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21 Responses to An Atoothfairyist’s Tale: How To “Not Believe” In Something

  1. “In the mean time, I will not get excited. I will not get provoked.”

    Okay. Well, I’m a toothfairyist, and I’m going to legislate that toothfairyism is taught in science classes in public schools.

    Totally not provocative, right?

    • Mike Ritt says:

      I believe that ALL scientific theories should be taught in science classes, whether it is toothfairyism, evolution or intelligent design. What’s wrong with that?

      • The problem is that neither toothfairyism or intelligent design are scientific theories. They are barely hypotheses.

      • Dillon says:

        Considering that most non-religious people believe that truth is relative, what is your roadblock to teaching things you don’t believe?

      • Considering that you made a sweeping generalization about people that I view to be both generally and specifically incorrect, why should I feel that compelled to answer your question?

        It is my desire to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible. Believing false things can lead to harm. Why would I want to teach children false things?

  2. Daz says:

    I know! How’s about we legislate into law, the tooth fairy’s idea of who should be allowed to marry. How about we make dentists’ offices exempt from taxes?

    • Mike Ritt says:

      You seem to be implying that theists should not be allowed to make legislation. Every bill and every law ever passed were someone’s idea of what is right and what is wrong. Should atheists be the only ones that can make the laws? Are you really endorsing religious discrimination?

      • No. Theists can make laws. Theists cannot make laws based only on their religion. If they could, we’d be living in a theocracy.

      • Daz says:

        What I’m saying is that if I were to propose laws which would affect you, even though you’re an atoothfairyist and don’t feel bound by my toothy scripture, based on what the tooth fairy wanted human beings to do or not to do, then you would be justified in trying to get me to provide evidence in support of my contentions that she exists, that she does want those things, and that she is worthy of obedience in such matters. After all, if any of those three contentions turn out to be untrue, there would be no need for my proposed law.

    • Mike Ritt says:

      “Theists can make laws. Theists cannot make laws based only on their religion.” So we should throw out all laws that are based on religious principles? Seriously? Like laws based on “Thou shalt not kill,” and “Thou shalt not steal?” You start doing that and you wouldn’t have any laws left. I prefer a theocracy over anarchy any day.

      • “So we should throw out all laws that are based on religious principles? ”

        Did you purposely leave out the word ‘only’ when you read my response?

        Can you think of no reason OTHER than your religion to not kill and not steal? Seriously? I can think of many reasons not to kill or steal that have nothing to do with religion.

        If you can’t, that’s sad, and a tiny bit scary.

    • Mike Ritt says:

      “What I’m saying is that if I were to propose laws which would affect you, even though you’re an atoothfairyist and don’t feel bound by my toothy scripture, based on what the tooth fairy wanted human beings to do or not to do, then you would be justified in trying to get me to provide evidence in support of my contentions that she exists, that she does want those things, and that she is worthy of obedience in such matters. After all, if any of those three contentions turn out to be untrue, there would be no need for my proposed law.”

      With this, we agree. As I stated in the article, theists should be able to offer proofs for their claims as well, and I believe that there are many wonderful sites on the web that can provide compelling arguments for the existence of God. If you are interested, let me know and I will provide you with a list of them.

      • Daz says:

        I believe that there are many wonderful sites on the web that can provide compelling arguments for the existence of God. If you are interested, let me know and I will provide you with a list of them.

        Believe me, as an outspoken atheist/secularist, I’ve quite probably seen more of such than most theists. None so far have offered anything in the way of reliable, testable, evidence. Still an’ all, feel free to try where many have failed.

        Mostly, though, I was addressing this paragraph in your OP:

        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 theists didn’t try to legislate the purported wishes of their alleged gods into secular law, I would have very little to say about either theists or their alleged gods.

  3. Mike Ritt says:

    NotAScientist – It might be an eye opener for you to do a little research into Intelligent Design. I would recommend http://www.reasons.org/. They show how scientific research, including the most recent scientific discoveries, support Intelligent Design and a theistic theory of cosmology.

    • Sorry, but they don’t. I know you want to believe it is, but it isn’t. And 99% of biologists, many of whom are Christians, will tell you the same.

      • Mike Ritt says:

        All I am hearing from you is opinion. Could you provide your sources, especially for the 99% comment, because I am pretty sure you just made that up.

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution That page comes in handy.

    Also, you have yet to address the fact that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory. And I do agree that scientific theories should be taught in public schools.

    Evolution is one. ID is not.

    • Mike Ritt says:

      As I stated earlier, I have no problem with evolution being taught as a theory, along with other theories as well. There is more information about ID on the website I gave you than you will ever be able to digest – and that is only one source. If you choose not to check it out so that you can have informed consent for your beliefs, well, that’s up to you.

      • “As I stated earlier, I have no problem with evolution being taught as a theory, along with other theories as well.”

        You keep using that word. I don’t not think it means what you think it means.

        A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.

        Evolution is a theory. ID is not. Which is why evolution should be taught in science classes and ID should stick to Sunday schools.

  5. Mike Ritt says:

    NotAScientist – Unless you are speaking only about micro-evolution, which is nothing more than variation or adaptation within a given type of animal – and which I have no problem with, than you must see that using your own definition of “scientific theory” would rule out (macro) evolution as a legitimate theory because it cannot be confirmed through observation and experimentation; unless you know of some method of conducting experiments over millions of years.

    ID runs into the same problem. None of us where there when the universe began, or when life on earth first developed – and the process cannot be repeated. All we can do is keep looking at the available evidence and try to determine which theory best fits what we know. But ALL theories with any merit at all should be afforded the same respect. We should never be afraid to have our ideas challenged. They will either be proved correct and we will be stronger for it, or they will be proved false and we will gain understanding and wisdom by it. Either way it is a win-win.

    • “Unless you are speaking only about micro-evolution”

      Micro-evolution isn’t a thing. It’s a term made up by creationists. There is only evolution.

      Evolution is a fact, and the theory of evolution explains it accurately. You are free to think differently, but the science disagree with you.

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