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 *

Change.org Military Atheists petition!

Holy Crud!  You know that little baby petition I thought no one would read back in April?  It’s now over 500 signatures! And reading through the comments, I feel so much less alone in this world.  ❤  I am so happy right now.  I wish I could express in words.  Just, thank you.  To each and every person who continues to speak out. Thank you.

http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-that-the-us-military-start-protecting-atheist-soldiers-from-hate-crimes

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.

An Atheist Survey (with loaded questions)

1. If there is NO God, then their is no Measurement or Standard for morality?  Then what will define morality?

1. The morals of religion have always been based on the morals of humanity. NOT the other way around. We choose to live in communities and as such we have all over time constructed very similar laws for that society so that we can survive as a species and make progress. If you look into every religion, philosophy etc you will find there are certain “inalienable rights” that we all tend to agree upon without the need for any supernatural guidance. Even animals figured out how to survive as communities without worshiping anyone.

2. If there is NO God, then there is NO meaning or purpose to Life;  So not everything meaningless since there is no God?  So what will the purpose of living?  Without God, does the Atheist have purpose?

2. Looking for purpose is pointless. You may as well ask “why” art exists. There doesn’t have to be a why. I’m am okay with this. It means bad things actually happen to good people. It means you can mourne a loss because it is permanent. It means we can learn from our mistakes as not to repeat them because all the blame (AND all the praise) belongs on our shoulders. That is a great thing and I am welcome to embracing the responsibility.

3. Are you an advocate of New Atheism and Darwinism?  If so then the most extreme and logical form of Darwinism is Eugenics, Survival of the fittest.  Would you support this?  Why or Why Not?

3. I have no idea what you are talking about as I’m not some label fanatic who likes being part of a group. As for “survival of the fittest” that wasn’t Darwin. All he did was point out a pattern. OTHER people have built on and created their own theories since then. Unlike you religious folk, I don’t “follow” some outdated information from over a century ago. I follow modern science and my “beliefs” are constantly changing. What I hold true is that there is more we DON’T understand than what we do. But I am confident that without the shackles of religion, we will understand much more about ourselves and those things that surround us. As far as your loaded question goes, no I don’t think genocide is a good thing. But I also don’t think we should coddle the ignorant or the weak. Everyone can be encouraged to do their best without telling them they are limited and useless and “need” help.

4. If we are ancesoters/descentdents of Apes, then why are there no transitional fossils or species to support this theory?

4. First off, you are wrong. We are not “descended from apes”. We share a common ancestor. Like a Protestant and Catholic both “evolved” from original Christians. And yet they both exist today. And there are plenty of “filler” fossils, all one needs to do is spend 5 minutes in any natural history museum and see them for yourself.. However every time one is found, creationists tend to ignore the new evidence and instead say there are two new holes. -_-

5. Do you believe in Human Nature?  It is Human Nature to believe in God, if so, why do you go against human nature and not believe in God?

5. Lol.. it is not “human nature” to do any ONE thing. It is common for SOME people to have imaginary friends or look for stories and purpose in life. Thus it makes it easier for those people to believe in things like fairy tales, Santa Claus and yes, god. The fact remains that those of us who are now atheists as adults were always inquisitive, curious children who never truly believed all the fairy tales fed to us by adults. We weren’t fighting “human nature” we were embracing our OWN personalities.

6. Can Nothing come from Something?  Doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?

6. No it doesn’t. And you are forgetting the second and third laws of thermodynamics. It is about balance, not “nothingness”. There is hardly enough time to try and explain the big bang theory here, but suffice to say that no it does not violate thermodynamics. Whereas supernatural intervention DOES violate thermodynamics.

7. It seems that a society of Atheist are immoral and self-destructing.  Why would anyone want a Godless Society, just look at our examples, North Korea, Maoist China, Stalin, & Pot Pol?

7. First off, you are extremely wrong and biased in who you choose to label as “atheist”. China and North Korea are hardly atheist. They are actually very religious people with a devout fear of supernatural demons, gods and karma. As for Stalin, he is one man, not a “society”. There are few historical records of “atheist societies” as they have been small and quickly persecuted by theists. If you’d like to see a more modern Atheist society then look at Denmark where last census recorded over 90% of the citizens claimed “Atheist or Agnostic”. The simple fact remains, most of the atrocities committed throughout humanity were committed in the name of religious belief, not belief in science. Galileo never burned down a church for disagreeing with him. Newton did not bomb embassies. However, it is Jews versus Muslims in the mideast and has been for thousands of years. It was prophets who enslaved other humans and force-converted them. Even the KKK and Mormons both hold only racist beliefs because their interpretation of the Bible tells them white is the original color and others are “abominations”. You won’t find many modern day atheists holding outdated, biased ideals about other humans.

8. If you were to die, and you were before God.  And he was getting ready to pass judgement on you,  What would be your reaction or thoughts?  What plea would you give him so he does not judge you harshly?

8. Lol.. this won’t happen. I will assume I am dreaming and just laugh and wait to wake up. I love how people ask this as if it matters beyond some random parlour game of fantastic “What if” questions. You may as well say “What if you won the lottery tomorrow from some country you never visited?!”

9. What would convince you atheism is wrong?  And that Christianity is Right?

9. You would have to find real proof (NOT anecdotal hearsay) of the supernatural and then prove that said violation of physics created the world and is still controlling the universe. But I haven’t seen anything even close to that outside of comic books and movies. Even “god” speaking to me himself would have to PROVE he’s not just some whack job branch dividian or Tom Cruise. lol

10. Why are you an Atheist?  Why do you NOT believe in God?  Why do you reject God?  (You can be as detailed as you want.)

10. I am an atheist because I find no need or proof of god in my life. Everything that happens to me is in my control and all the bad that has happened can be easily held accountable to humans and myself included. Therefore, once I realized WE have control, it gave me hope. That if more people would stop “letting go and letting god” then we could actually advance in science and human rights. I am an Atheist because that is the label society gave me for letting go of a fairy tale. But to me, god is just like Santa Clause or Tinkerbell. They served no real purpose in my life other than a tool used by adults to tell me stories. But I am an adult now. I have no need for the supernatural.

Finer Points of Debate

So I saw this nice little post floating around the web which basically compares many past religious figures to the stories of Jesus.  Now of course the xian army decided to point out that Osiris wasn’t born from a virgin, he was born from the gods (still made him half god) or complain that the exact date of Dionysis’ birth is unknown (and Jesus’ isn’t?)

But why bother?  Debating the minor changes between theist beliefs is missing the bigger picture. Imagine religion as a fanfiction about the universe.  Everyone based their own versions on the same human instincts and greed for property and manipulation.  Every story features a single male protagonist who is otherworldly and come to save us poor. meek humans from ourselves by leading us into glory.  And all you have to do is swear complete allegiance to God X and remove anyone who says otherwise.

The celebrations often associated with religious practices follow the natural changes in the stars, planets and weather.  Whether is a huge Spring reawakening celebration or a Winter solstice party.

So please, dear theists of the world, stop prattering on about why your fan fiction is better than the other guy’s.  You’re all writing from the same source material and claiming your OC is the best thing ever.  That original creation you’re touting isn’t Original.  But he is a Creation.

“Born Religious” No Longer in My Head

So you remember that post I made back on the 3rd?   Apparently I’m not the only person wondering whether religious inclination is genetic.  Picked up a May issue of MIND and saw this:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-we-born-to-be-religious

It was interesting except for a few points.  But those are more nitpicking about semantics than the overall topic.  It did reconfirm some of my ideas though.  For example, studies HAVE shown that certain personality traits find it easier to shuck the religion of their youth while others are more easily swayed to stay faithful.

My semantics complaints were more terms like “agreeableness” and “self-controlled” etc.  It made it sound like religious people hold monopoly on assisting others and selflessness.  When in reality the definitions were more detailed than the negative feelings we attach to these terms.  “Agreeableness” just means one who is less likely to disagree with others.  But that is not always a good thing.  Nazi Germany would be a quick example of how speaking out and fighting the norm can be a noble action even if it gets you labeled as “disagreeable”.

In short, people who are inherently questioning, pushing against norms and curious about science and facts tend to find it much easier to embrace atheism.  Common sense sounding, but it should help you in any future debates.  That fanatic you are trying to sway may not be receptive to any sort of logic, plea or empathy so save your energy and put it somewhere positive instead. 😀

Foxhole Atheists Deserve Equal Rights

reposting this link once more:

http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-that-the-us-military-start-protecting-atheist-soldiers-from-hate-crimes

15 signatures is a nice start, but I would love if more of you could share this petition in your circle.  Every little bit helps! Thank you.

For more info on why this is important and currently an issue for atheists:

http://militaryatheists.org/watchlist.html