Tag Archives: atheists

Common Misconceptions About Atheists and Atheism

Atheism has been garnering plenty of attention lately, mainly negative attention due to its position that disparages the beliefs of more than 80% of the world population. There are many outspoken Atheists – Dawkins, Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens to name a few – but Atheism remains very much an anathema within society. Spirituality, along with superstitions, is revered above all else, and to deny it is to declare war on personal beliefs. In this “war”, many absurd claims have been made about Atheists and Atheism. It is important that we confute these claims, filtering out the stupidity and foolishness just so we can move on to issues of actual significance.

Atheists eat babies
Probably the most ridiculous of all claims, but nonetheless, as an Atheist, I’ve learnt to turn every baffling statement into humour. This myth has its origins in blood libel, which is the (Christian/Catholic) false accusation that enemies of Christ murder children for ritualistic purposes. Christianity has a strong vampire-blood-flesh fetish, so it’s no surprise that the negative antipode of their claims would revolve around the exact same fetish.

A little note to theists, if you are inviting me over for dinner, I like my babies medium-rare, preferably with a side of steamed carrots and cauliflower, lightly salted. Thank you.

Yummy!

Atheists are satanist, devil worshippers
From an Atheist’s perspective, god – especially the Abrahimaic versions of god – is the bigger devil than the devil himself. He is misogynistic, homophobic, murderous, and cruel; all round not a very nice bloke. Not to burst the religious bubble or anything, but Atheism assumes the convincing position that there are no deities or any supernatural beings, which would include Satan or the devil. However, if I tried extremely hard to be stupid, I could understand the logic of this claim:  it originates from the religious arrogance that concludes if you deny god, you are on the devil’s side.

Atheists hate god
I’ll keep this sweet and short: We can’t hate an entity that does not exist; but the idea of god, along with the various fictionalized doctrines, will receive universal criticism from Atheists because of its detrimental effect on the human race.

Atheists are immoral
Morality (and its origins) is probably the most heavily-debated topic between the religious and the non-religious. I’ll shamelessly allow the words of Sam Harris to make this point for me, because he speaks my mind on this matter, a little more eloquently.

If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness.

We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn’t make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

On a more personal note, my experience with charity has shown me that Agnostics and Atheists tend to be more helpful than religious people. The religious herd tend to have conditions attached to their morality, riddled with hypocritical questions such as, “Are the orphans Christians/Muslims?”

Atheism is a religion
I wrote about this a while back (link). To reiterate my view on this:

I am sure there are long, drawn out arguments regarding the issue, often with the semantics being manipulated to suit the case. 

I am a staunch believer in Occam’s razor, which states from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false. My stance on religion is rather simple and straightforward: Religion refers to the belief in a supernatural being, which in and of itself has some form of afterlife, may it be the Abrahamic heaven and hell concept, or Hinduism-Buddhism reincarnation cycle. These are all elements I reject, without having the need to dwell on the semantics and the complexities of the definitions.

Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Atheism: The belief that God does not exist.

As the famous line goes,”Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.”

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Rape, Christianity, and Morality

Rape is evil, it doesn’t matter who you are or what the circumstances are. By no means, should rape, as a action or a punishment, be considered. It would take a morally-corrupt or a mentally-displaced human being to suggest and/or commit such an act. Theists often utilize the argument from morality as the basis of god’s existence.

In its most general form, the moral argument is that:

  1. Some aspect of Morality is observed.
  2. Existence of God provides a better explanation of this feature than various alternatives.
  3. Therefore, to the extent that (1) is accepted, belief in God is preferable to these alternatives.

As an Anti-theist, it’s rather obvious that every fibre in my body revolts an idea of such absurdity. If morality did originate from god, and we have all accepted that the act of rape is immoral – if you haven’t done so, this commentary will prove to be too feeble for the problem that you are facing as an individual – then let’s put the Holy Bible, the one and only book for Christians, under the microscope.

Judges 21:10-24: Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead 

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children.  “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

    The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

    Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'”  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.”

Exodus 21:7-11: Sex Slaves 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.” 

Numbers 31:7-18: Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites  

“They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men.  All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle.  They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.  Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder.  They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived.  After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

     Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.  “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”

There are many more examples of rape in the bible, which can be found here. I am sorry, but for god, this so-called “almighty” to advocate rape in such meretricious manner is rather disturbing. And this is the source of your morality? Christians? In which part of a rational mind decided to ignore rape, a sickening crime, and concluded that you will worship this evil being? Or is rationality something that eludes all religious people? It doesn’t take more than one reading to realize the androcentrism, the misogyny, and the hatred of this god. Which leads me to my next suspicion – doesn’t it sound like a man, or a group of men, conspired to write this book? Put aside your brazen ego about Christianity, and religion for that matter, and ask yourself this simple question: Would god advocate rape?

I refuse to worship a hateful god, I refuse to subscribe to a religion that has no respect for my mother or my sister, I refuse to be part of the problem of oppression and infringement of human rights.

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Atheism, is it a religion?

A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate’s rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion.

“Atheism is [the inmate’s] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said.

The court decided the inmate’s First Amendment rights were violated because the prison refused to allow him to create a study group for atheists.

Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy, called the court’s ruling “a sort of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence.”

“Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion,” said Fahling.

The Supreme Court has said a religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins, the court described “secular humanism” as a religion.

Fahling said today’s ruling was “further evidence of the incoherence of Establishment Clause jurisprudence.”

“It is difficult not to be somewhat jaundiced about our courts when they take clauses especially designed to protect religion from the state and turn them on their head by giving protective cover to a belief system, that, by every known definition other than the courts’ is not a religion, while simultaneously declaring public expressions of true religious faith to be prohibited,” Fahling said.

Taken from WND.com.

Is atheism a religion?

According to Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive disbelief rather than mere suspension of belief.”

I am sure there are long, drawn out arguments regarding the issue, often with the semantics being manipulated to suit the case.

I am a staunch believer in Occam’s razor, which states from among competing hypotheses, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions usually provides the correct one, and that the simplest explanation will be the most plausible until evidence is presented to prove it false. My stance on religion is rather simple and straightforward: Religion refers to the belief in a supernatural being, which in and of itself has some form of afterlife may it be the Abrahamic heaven and hell concept, or Hinduism-Buddhism reincarnation cycle. These are all elements I reject, without having the need to dwell on the semantics and the complexities of the definitions.

Religion: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Atheism: The belief that God does not exist.

As an anti-theist, I follow no specific philosophical creed or code, and almost every aspect of my life principle stems from my humanistic journey in life thus far. Granted, there are plenty more out there for me to experience – it’s a work-in-progress.

Therefore, I reject any notion that atheism is a religion, or remotely close to anything resembling it.

As the famous line goes,”Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour.”

What do you think? Atheism, is it a religion?

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Notable Atheist: Roger Ebert

“I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.” 

“My opinions have been challenged. I had to defend what I believed. I did some more reading. I discovered fractals and Strange Attractors. I wrote an entry about the way I believe in God, which is to say that I do not. Not, at least, in the God that most people mean when they say God. I grant you that if the universe was Caused, there might have been a Causer. But that entity, or force, must by definition be outside space and time; beyond all categories of thought, or non-thought; transcending existence, or non-existence. What is the utility of arguing our “beliefs” about it? What about the awesome possibility that there was no Cause? What if everything…just happened?”

 

“The truth hidden below the surface of the story is a hard one: Nothing makes any sense. We do not get what we deserve. If we are lucky, we get more. If we are unlucky, we get less. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. That’s the system. All of our philosophies are a futile attempt to explain it. Let me tell you a story. Not long ago, I was in the middle of a cheerful conversation when I slipped on wet wax, landed hard, and broke bones in my left shoulder. I was in a fool’s paradise of happiness, you see, not realizing that I was working without a net–that in a second my happiness would be rudely interrupted.

I could have hit my head and been killed. Or landed better and not been injured. At best, what we can hope for is a daily reprieve from all of the things that can go wrong. And yet, even so, there is a way to find happiness. That is to be curious about all of the interlocking events that add up to our lives. To notice connections. To be amused or perhaps frightened by the ways things work out. If the universe is indifferent, what a consolation that we are not.”

 

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Notable Atheist: Björk

Question: “Given the chance, how would you change the world?”

“It’s a big question. Getting rid of religion would be a good start, wouldn’t it? It seems to be causing a lot of havoc.”

 

“I’ve got my own religion, Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, ‘ourselves’. I think I’m in that group. If I get into trouble, there’s no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.”

“I’ve been reading about reincarnation, and the Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

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“Only the very ignorant are perfectly satisfied that they know. To the common man the great problems are easy. He has no trouble in accounting for the universe. He can tell you the origin and destiny of man and the why and wherefore of things. As a rule, he is a believer in special providence, and is egotistic enough to suppose that everything that happens in the universe happens in reference to him.”

Robert Green Ingersoll

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Christians, Coconuts, and Cuckoos

The following tweet was from a Christian nut-job, sent to @GODisNOTrealBRO – who by the way is a solid bloke; follow him on twitter if you fancy seeing a smart person trample all over stupid people.

Christian nut-job tweeted, “Stop wasting your time refuting god when the evidence for his existence sits right there inside a coconut.

The statement above invoked both humour and frustration in me. Humour, because this Christian came to the absurd conclusion that his god must be real since there’s a little bit of tasty liquid inside a coconut. However, once the laughter and comicality settled, frustration seeped in. This is exactly the kind of buffoonery religious people spew to justify this almighty being they want to worship.

Look at all the beauty in the world around you, how can there be no god?

All the wonderful species in the animal kingdom is absolute proof that god exists.

Religious heads such as pastors, priests, imams, swamis, and monks, constantly use nonsensical rhetorical statements to peddle their laughable beliefs. They get away with pseudo-philosophical bullshit simply because they tap into this supernatural realm that people dare not question, no one wants to be blasphemous. It’s the catch-22 of religion’s control mechanism – we can say whatever we want, whenever we want, but question its validity, and god will be angered.

Before we proceed, allow me the words to clarify why in fact the sweet nectar within a coconut has nothing to do with God, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy; with a little help from wiki.answers.com: –

“Why do you think coconut trees live near a beach, a sea, or a ocean? When the dirt is wet the roots absorb the water. Then the water goes through the roots and the tree cleans the water from the salt, which causes the water to enter the coconut. 

But still you are thinking how does the water get in? The stem has a hole. Before you take the coconut off the tree, the coconut has a hole too, so the water goes through the hole and reaches the coconut. 

Finally, one more interesting point to note: younger coconuts have a lot of water and only a little of the white pulp and older coconuts have only a little water and a lot of white pulp. 

The whole process may be termed as osmosis or we can also say this is capillarity.”

What makes this whole Christian-coconut debacle worst is that instead of spending 2.5 seconds on Google searching for the scientific answer of coconut water/juice, this Christian decided to attack an atheist on Twitter with a statement that only proves himself an idiot. He could have utilized the technology Science has blessed him with to seek out the answers in life, but the nut-job decided that that’s a little too difficult, instead focused his time and energy on shouting at those who do not believe the same fairy-tale that he does.

I do not need the bible or Jesus to answer the questions of the world around me, I have Google.

It is frustrating and infuriating; simply because religious people stem from all walks of life. And on the surface, not all of them are utter fools. But then, through this faith system they have established over their lifetime, they have become blinded and narrow-minded. Yes, it is undoubtedly a form of stupidity, but the assumption is that after years of being brainwashed with religious mantra, instead of applying their intelligence to seek out scientific evidence, they fall back on the safety net of “god” and his “wonders”. My personal experiences with religious people whom I call friends have been such, where in most aspects they are quite apt and smart. However, once in a while, they will have a Jesus-slip or an Allah-slip – stolen blatantly from Freudian-slip – which reminds me that they aren’t that smart after all.

Carbon dating is based on a man-made Science, then maybe the Bible is right about the age of the Earth, and the Science is wrong.” I cringed when a close friend muttered those words. Friendship prevented me from slapping him with my leather gloves across his face.

As a child attending Sunday school, I remember my teachers telling me how God created the world and the universe, and he has a purpose for every single thing he created. They make you sing propaganda songs: “he’s got the whole world/in his hands/he’s got the whole world/in his hands”. That can’t be true right? Because if God does have the whole world in his hands, he’s either an irresponsible drunk who cares little for his creations, or an evil comedian with a fetish for hate and destruction.

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Notable Atheist: Rafael Nadal

Almost every bad thing that happens in life comes from some form of radicalism, it only unleashes problems that should be fixed. You are entitled to have your likings, sympathies, beliefs, but you should always respect the opinions of others, never insult them. The same happens with religion. You can be religious, or atheist, christian, muslim… whatever, but I think the atrocities that people committed in the name of religion are too much. For me, religion is the main cause of mortality in history.

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De-Baptism in France

‘Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France’ by Eleanor Beardsley 

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.

LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized.

“They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church,” he says.

That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls “criminal.” Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn’t possible, he took the church to court.

Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending.

“One can’t be de-baptized,” says Rev. Robert Kaslyn, dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

Kaslyn says baptism changes one permanently before the church and God.

“One could refuse the grace offered by God, the grace offered by the sacrament, refuse to participate,” he says, “but we would believe the individual has still been marked for God through the sacrament, and that individual at any point could return to the church.

French law states that citizens have the right to leave organizations if they wish. Loup Desmond, who has followed the case for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, says he thinks it could set a legal precedent and open the way for more demands for de-baptism.

“If the justice confirms that the name Rene LeBouvier has to disappear from the books, if it is confirmed, it can be a kind of jurisprudence in France,” he says.

Back at the church in Fleury, LeBouvier stands by his parents’ grave. When asked if the case has ruined his chances of being buried in the family plot, he says he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s donating his body to science.

Read full article here
Source: www.npr.org 

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Notable Atheist: Brad Pitt

“When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self. I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible.”

 

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Notable Atheist: Seth McFarlane

“I’m an atheist, not to be a dick, but just cause it seems like the most likely scenario. But you’ve kind of got to envy the people who are living in this warm pillow… It’s a blessing, ironically, and a curse to be so pragmatic, because you know, you do miss that cushion that a lot of people seem to have.”

“Religion notoriously claims that they invented morality, they didn’t. Morality exists in animals.”

“Stay away from the church. In the battle over science vs. religion, science offers credible evidence for all the serious claims it makes. The church says, ‘Oh, it’s right here in this book, see? The one written by people who thought the sun was magic?’ I for one would like to see some proof that there is a God. And if you say ‘a baby’s smile’ I’m going to kick you right in the stomach.”

“They’re [Parents Television Council] literally terrible human beings. I’ve read their newsletter, I’ve visited their website, and they’re just rotten to the core. For an organization that prides itself on Christian values—I mean, I’m an atheist, so what do I know?—they spend their entire day hating people. They can all suck my dick as far as I’m concerned.”

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