One of the comments I’ve gotten, both in person and on the internet, is that atheism (and it’s moral equivalent: Secular Humanism) is an inherently egotistical position. I went here, to some sort of Christian Publication, looking for the basis of that belief — only to find the complete lack of an argument (just a series of claims that atheists are arrogant and angry without any real backing and hold Christianity up as the humble opposite). From what I can gather, here is the basic argument for atheists being arrogant:
- Christians (and other theists) believe that their achievements and positive qualities come from Jesus and God (or their theological equivalent for other faiths).
- Believing that their achievements and positive qualities come from a higher power makes Christians (or other theists) humble.
- Atheists believe that their achievements and positive qualities come from their own hard work and introspection.
- Not believing that their achievements come from a higher power makes atheists not humble.
- The opposite of humility is arrogance.
- Therefore, atheists are arrogant.
There are, of course, other arguments as to whether or not atheists are arrogant (including the one that we are audacious enough to say that the majority of the world is wrong, which is absolutely laughable–Who would speak out about something if they didn’t think they were right and others are wrong?), but this is the one that I’ll focus on because it so clearly exposes the arrogance of the belief in a personal god. Continue reading
Now, I tend not to be an angry guy. However, I assume like most people, there are certain things that, well, kind of piss me off. Sentiments like this rank high among those things that get under my skin.
Simply, this guy named Cal Thomas (who apparently gets paid to write his silly beliefs on paper) calls me, and everyone who doesn’t share his belief of the logically impossible benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, a fool, and then wonders why we’re “so angry.” Well, it could be the fact that we’re routinely called fools or that religious people view that atheists are only “about as trustworthy as rapists” because we tend not to believe that the God of the Gaps actually exists.
We have a reason to be angry, and it is, in a word, bigotry.
Regrettably, I must say that it seems that Christians have a persecution complex. Now, how a group that comprises nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States, has places of worship almost everywhere you look, and often controls the public discourse on several key issues somehow sees itself as a persecuted minority is beyond my comprehension, but I’m going to take a stab explaining it simply: If you’re used to being given special treatment, then being treated like everyone else feels like an insult.
That’s it. Christianity has had such a prominent place in our national zeitgeist that, with the increasing pluralism in America (and the western world), it had no place to go but down when it comes to cultural influence, and it hurts to be dumped. So, like a heartbroken preteen who just got dumped by their first crush, that insular, contemptuous strain of Christianity that colors the “Christian Right” has been lashing out, sometimes violently, at anything that does not fit in to its narrow, uninformed, and bigoted worldview (repeat, this is only an excoriation of some, not all Christians).
Sure, they are just trying to restore the “rights” that they had before the Civil and Gay Rights Movements and the Sexual Revolution, but, as I’ll demonstrate, these invented rights are only coming at the expense of the real rights and freedoms of others.
What if someone was to walk up to you on the street and boldly proclaim that Ron Paul was an illegal immigrant who puts spicy pulled baby meat in his tacos? Well, if you responded at all (would probably just ignore them and keep walking) you would probably ask something like, “What’s your proof?” or, “Why am I supposed to believe you?” If I, for one, was expected to believe the extraordinary claim that Ron Paul eats pulled baby meat as we would eat pulled pork, then I would need some sort of extraordinary proof–say, stumbling upon the Congressman harvesting his tasty, tasty baby meat.
Of course, that was an absolutely ridiculous example (so the Paul supporters don’t mob me–I know that Ron Paul probably doesn’t eat babies), but the concept applies to pretty much anything that people talk about. If you make a claim, then you are expected to back that claim up with evidence or, for moral questions that are do not lend themselves to evidence , a sound argument–the more extraordinary the claim; the more extraordinary and definitive the evidence or argument given must be for me to believe it.
Well, it should apply to everything we talk about, but one of the most important claims people make–their religious beliefs–are oddly exempted from this rule. Even our opinions on politics, the other subject we supposedly shouldn’t bring up at the dinner table, are scrutinized (and rightfully so) by those who disagree with, or would merely want to learn more about, our opinions. There is no reason why religious beliefs, the beliefs that arguable have the greatest impact on our daily behavior, views on morality, and views on politics, are somehow immune to any sort of inspection.
Well, this has to change. Continue reading
I consider myself an atheist; that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone here, considering how the word “Godless” is in the name of my blog. However, there is another group out there that, despite the fact that they mostly believe the same things as I do, who believe that I am not only unreasonable–they believe that I am just as much of a fundamentalist as the religious types I tend to criticize. These people call themselves agnostics, and they’re making a meaningless distinction.
A few days ago, this post graced the pages of the Reason Foundation’s “Hit-and-Run” blog. In short, it is completely ridiculous. In it, Kennedy (I think her first name is Lisa, but I don’t remember) complains that the internets were mean to her after she smugly claimed that atheism was a religion on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Then, with the same smug shrillness that I find in her television appearances, she lays out why she believes that Atheism is a religion. She touches on neuroscience, how the concept of “God” is necessary for atheism’s existence, and how atheists attack theists with “religious fervor.”
Though the post is a few days old (practically ancient history by internet standards), I figured that a refutation of the inane idea that atheism is a religion would be a good first post for this blog.