Atheist v Anti-theist


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 *

On Agnostics and Apologists

Let me preface this by stating the fact that I once called myself “Agnostic”.  In fact, it was less than a year ago in which I dropped the label and fessed up to being full on Atheist.

The reason agnosticism and apologist mentalities are dangerous is that it’s leading us down a path of self righteous self absorbed douchbaggery.  This mentality that anyone with a negative comment is instantly the bad guy.  Sure, people like Howard Stern and FOX News make a habit out of attacking fake baddies with their fake exposes on imaginary problems.  But where are the hardass reporters?  Where are the Woodward and Bernstein of today?  The closest thing we even have to investigative reporting are celebrity gossip sites and fanatic Tea Party Birthers.

I am personally sick of fluff news interviews.  I am personally sick of being called a “hipster” for disagreeing with a popular book or film.  I am sick of being called “judgmental” and “elite” as if they are bad things.

Hurting someone’s feelings is not a crime. Telling the truth, is not a crime.  It shouldn’t even be pretended as a crime.  Rape is a crime.  Murder is a crime. Theft, assault, slavery, THOSE are crimes.  But living in a society full of other individuals exposes you to their opinions.  Just as I will defend Howie’s right to be a live air jockey tool, I will also defend my right to be an unapologetic Atheist.  Just to be clear, I had issue with his LYING, not his opinion on bronies.

So back to Agnostics.  Why are you wavering?  What reason do you have to believe the word of mouth of someone? I mean, if a stranger told me I won a new car, I would have no reason to believe them.  Now if I had previous evidence to show that I had entered a contest in which a car was one of the prizes, I would not waver on that.  But asking me to just believe the word of every random stranger at face value until proven otherwise, now that’s insanity.

If you want to know why I am no longer Agnostic, it is simple.  I do not believe those who said Ra was a god.  Or Zeus, or Thor or Vishnu.  Why should I believe anyone else who has just as little proof?  If I allowed myself to be taken in so easily by a good story, I may as well believe them all.  For they all have the same, exact, amount of evidence.  I am atheist because that is the label stapled to me by believers to whom I have said “no thank you”.  That’s it.  If you came to my door selling knives or Christ, I would turn down both as unnecessary and unwanted.

So why are apologists dangerous?  Because they have convinced the madmen, these people who believe in word-of-mouth stories as “facts,” that they stand on equal footing in reality.  They don’t.  You can choose what fantasy to believe in, but our reality is shared.  And in this reality, the man who says arsenic isn’t poison, does not get to redesign the entire healthcare system based on his “beliefs”, so why should the man who says “the Earth is only 6000 years old” get to revamp the education system?

Religion isn’t special.  It’s just another belief in something unproven.  believe it all you want, but you still live in this shared, public space with the rest of us sane people.  And I will call crazy out, unapologetic and without guilt.