Atheist v Anti-theist

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I feel it’s time I clarify something.  There is a very distinct difference between an Atheist and an ANTI-Theist.  An atheist is just someone who does not believe in the supernatural.  In fact, it’s kind of a silly term to begin with.  Like Nonsmoker or Unsweetened tea, it is a term used ONLY because a majority exists in opposition.  Personally, I don’t enjoy identifying myself through someone else’s hobby but since language evolves slowly, I will bear with the term for now.

As for what an anti-theist is, we turn to what MANY fundamentalists think all atheists are.  An anti-theist is someone who opposes religion.  Completely and utterly.  Like an Anti-abortionist, Anti-fur, Anti-gun control person.  They actually DO identify themselves as an opposing force.

For example, everyone who does not smoke is a nonsmoker.  The Truth campaign is ANTI-smoking.  Most Anti-smoking people are nonsmokers but I am sure even a handful of them are hypocrites.  The same goes for anti-theists and atheists.

Now, just like in the smoking example, not all anti-theists are irrational and full of vitrol.  Yes there are PETA level fanatical anti-theists who hate everything even remotely associated with religion.  Usually these people have very deep, personal reasons for hating religion.  Then, of course, there are rational anti-theists who simply enjoy debating the what-ifs of a future without religion.  They see this as a utopia ideal of humanity.

I fall sometimes in the later category but not very often.  What I am most days is just a human being who happens to not believe in the supernatural.  And it’s not really something I chose to do.  Much like many nonsmokers who have just never smoked, I have never really believed anything at face value.  So it’s not like I had to shed some shackles of faith or “quit smoking”.

Still, I am constantly misjudged and mislabeled by Church advocate groups and religious Apologists who believe any criticism of a religion or church is rude and immoral.  If I call a rapist a rapist or a murderer a murderer I am simply stating a fact.  Does it really matter if they are a priest or a rabbi?  Much like some hypersensitive people tend to play the race card or the sex card, I find many apologists use the religious freedom card.

How can someone fail to see that rape is rape, murder is murder and discuss the human rights and legal terms of a case?  It’s simple.  Inject racism, sexism, or religious persecution. Now any commentary is skewed through the bias of the observer.  Because I am atheist, I am accused of “attacking religion” when I say Scientologists should be held accountable for child abuse.

Look, I understand the importance of free speech and I really do believe that IF all religions conducted themselves like any fandom we would have far fewer social problems and could coexist.  But as things stand now, all I can do is debate and try to change minds one at a time.  All I can do is vote for people who support equal rights for ALL citizens.  And if voting for someone with pro humanist, pro science viewpoints makes me “anti religious” then I guess diabetics are really just anti-sugar.

*edit: fixed some typos. grrr *

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6 thoughts on “Atheist v Anti-theist

  1. “Still, I am constantly misjudged and mislabeled by Church advocate groups and religious who believe any criticism of a religion or church is rude and immoral.” The idea you seem to be propagating here is that religions are immoral and cause social problems. So naturally, you must consequently believe that defense of religion and criticism of atheism is as immoral as these religious apologists take your criticism to be.

    • I am not “propagating” any such thing. I never claimed that religion in itself is immoral. My commentary here is based solely on how many people react to finding out I am an Atheist. They assume I am immoral and evil. I am told that to openly debate a religious idea (like praying away an illness instead of getting proper medical help) is “offensive”. I find it odd that trying to prevent harm and save lives is “rude”. I assume you did what many apologists do and read your own opinion between the lines where there was nothing.

      • You do classify yourself in the post as a “rational anti-theist”, meaning that you oppose religion, and you don’t merely not subscribe to a religion ( contrary to what your comment now says). If you oppose it, you believe there is something wrong with it. You are told that to openly debate a religious idea is “offensive”. Of course religious people think it is wrong to challenge religious ideas. If you do not think it is wrong to challenge what you think is true, then perhaps you don’t really think its true. If you really believe that something is true then you believe a challenge to it is deception and wrong. I was only pointing out that your own beliefs about religion don’t differ substantially from those religious apologists’ beliefs about atheism. Personally, I don’t think atheists are generally immoral or evil people, and i think your assumption that this is what religious apologists generally believe is uncharitable. Many atheists may well be better people than I am. But I do think atheism is ultimately corrosive in the same way that you think religion is. You shouldn’t conflate attacks on atheism with attacks on your person. If you do, then religious apologists can do the same.

      • I am being honest in that I do believe religion itself is more harmful than not. But as far as my actions go, I do not seek out to actively take it down as a whole because I do not believe the majority of human beings are ready to live without their security blanket. You can try to infer hypocrisy all you want, the world is not a black and white place and neither are human minds. I can think smoking is harmful without being a truth campaign nutter. I would never make up lies and push propaganda to “end religion”. There is a distinct difference.

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