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Nov 01 2009

I am an Atheist, But am I Anti-Religious?

I’m guessing that any of you who have read my previous posts regarding atheism or religion probably don’t need any clues as to the answer to the posed question. There are those who do ask me, occasionally, whether or not I am anti-religious, in addition to being an atheist.

In order to avoid having to answer the question on my blog any more than a single time, I thought it best that I answer the question very directly.

Am I anti-religious?

Fuck yes!

I hope that doesn’t leave anyone guessing about the finer points.

33 comments

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  1. zdenny

    Since you don’t believe that God exists, then you are also anti-morality. Religion in an atheistic worldview only encapsulates a certain morality. If you are anti-morality, then you are anti-religion meaning that you believe that everyone should be able to do as they please including raping, murdering, stealing, etc..

    You post is very dangerous to humanity. You might want to think through the implications first! The US has already killed 60 million babies and planning to include death panels in its health care plan to get rid of the old people too. Godless thought when loose from morality has been demonstrated to be very dangerous to humanity itself.

    God Bless…

    1. Dan J

      Where do I even begin to discuss the utter stupidity of your comment?

      Since you don’t believe that God exists, then you are also anti-morality.

      Bullshit! I am not anti-morality. Your statement is bullshit! God (your god in particular) has very little to do with ‘being good’. If your belief in your god, and your faith in the literal interpretation of your bible are all that stand between you and a murderous rampage of raping and pillaging, then you, sir, are a dangerous psychopath.

      Our sense of good and evil can be derived from our Darwinian past. Read books such as “The Science of Good and Evil” by Michael Shermer, or “Why Good is Good” by Robert Hinde, or “Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong” by Marc Hauser for an explanation. [Yes, I know it’s futile to ask these creationist idiots to actually read a book that they don’t agree with. I do, however, want to point them out as resources for those of you who aren’t dogmatic, frothing-at-the-mouth evangelical/fundamentalist idiots.]

      If you are anti-morality, then you are anti-religion meaning that you believe that everyone should be able to do as they please including raping, murdering, stealing, etc..

      I think I already said that I was anti-religious, or did you not read the post? I wrote the answer to the question big enough (and with short enough words) even for you to get the message, I think.

      As I already stated, I am not anti-morality. Morality does not equal Religion. Religion does not equal Morality. One does not require the other. I know that it is wrong to rape, murder, or steal. I don’t need the threat of eternal damnation, or the promise of eternal salvation in order to be a moral person.

      You post is very dangerous to humanity. You might want to think through the implications first! [sic]

      My post is dangerous to humanity?!?!!? [cue raucous laughter] What sort of implications are involved in my announcement that I am anti-religious? It’s not like I was attempting to hide that fact from anyone in the first place.

      The US has already killed 60 million babies and planning to include death panels in its health care plan to get rid of the old people too. Godless thought when loose from morality has been demonstrated to be very dangerous to humanity itself.

      What babies? Where were they? Oh, wait; I get it. You should have used the word ‘fetuses’, because that’s what they were. They weren’t ‘babies’. They weren’t murdered either. They were aborted. It’s a medical procedure performed by a physician.

      Death panels?!?!?!!? [cue raucous laughter] Let me guess: If Glenn Beck says it, or WorldNet Daily prints it, then you believe it.

      Like I said before, being a moral person does not require belief in a god. It does not require a religious rule book. Do you know what one of the biggest threats to humanity is? Religion.

    2. Ben Zvan

      Zdenny: If someone doesn’t believe in god they’re a murderer? What a narrow world view you have. You may need a supposedly 5000 year-old book to tell the difference between right and wrong, but civilized people have known the difference since before that book was written.

    3. qaphsiel

      So, zdenny…

      1) Let’s see the evidence that more religious cultures are less crimminal (or some other objective way to measure violations of a societies mores).

      2) Explain what source you use to inform your judgment as to which of the various rules given by God in the Bible you choose to follow. Or, conversely, do you consider yourself a sinner for not stoning rape victims and disobedient children. Or, I suppose there is a 3rd option: do you advocate and engage in such punishments?

      Thanks,
      Q

      1. qaphsiel

        Err, societies –>society’s

  2. Julie

    I’ve got a great idea for an experiment. Zdenny, how about you become an atheist and see if you actually do rape or murder anyone? Personally I’ve only come across two murderers in my life and they were both regular church attendees. I know dozens of atheists and none to my knowledge have ever raped or murdered.

    I know that is just a personal anecdote which means nothing, but I constantly hear theists make this anti-morality claim that it makes me wonder how mentally disturbed they must be. I’ve never once thought about raping or murdering anyone, yet so many theists seem to bring this up in debates that it makes me worry they indeed are potential criminals.

  3. zdenny

    Ben, ” If someone doesn’t believe in god they’re a murderer?”

    I did not say this. I simply said that a person who is anti-religion is also anti-morality which means that all actions including murder would be justified. A lot of atheist will not in fact murder someone due to some subjective reason like it might not feel good; however, some may find a sense of release in killing someone like Jeffrey Domers or even Stalin for that matter.

    Religion is not a word that describes anything if you accept a Darwinian view of reality. Religion is merely a belief system which describes a person’s morality so in being anti-religious you are also logically being anti-morality. Even Freurbach argued that God was merely a projection by which man developed a sense of morality through which was part of our evolutionary development and he was an atheist.

    Dan simply has not read as much as I have so he is not famaliar with all the arguments. He simply has an emotion reaction to the term ‘ religious’ without understanding the implications.

    God Bless.

    1. Dan J

      Religion is not a word that describes anything if you accept a Darwinian view of reality.

      Who the fuck brought up Darwin?!?! You are so hopelessly lost in the confusion of your religious beliefs that it is comical! I am an atheist. I am anti-religious. What the fuck does that have to do with Darwin? Nothing.

      Your lack of comprehension is simply astounding. Your arguments are, quite simply, wrong. On a more complex level, they are the sign of a very confused mind.

    2. Ben Zvan

      Feuerbach was exactly right, and now that the sense of morality is fully developed, religion is no longer necessary to maintain it. In fact, if it is to continue to develop, it must be released from the bindings of religious faith. People need to be able to figure out what is wrong and what is right without consulting a book and that decision needs to be based on morality rather than fear of posthumous torture.

  4. zdenny

    Ben stated, ” morality is fully developed”

    How would you know this Ben? You would have to be God and this is the problem with Freurbach because he has to be God in order to know that God is merely a projection. No one is wiling to say that Freurbach is God.

    If you accept a Darwinian worldview, you have to continue to follow this process even as an Atheist. Atheist all believe that some actions are better than others. In order to do this, they have to project a view of reality by which they receive back a moral system. The process is the same for both Atheist and Christians if Darwinian view of reality is accepted meaning that both are religions.

    There is no apriori reason to say that killing is wrong especially when you benefit personally from the killing. The only way to make killing wrong is to project a benevolent superman from which you then develop your sense of morality.

    LOL 🙂 Even without God, Atheist still need God or at least superman. Isn’t it ironic?

    Atheism as a result is just as religious as any other religion in the world. The thing that separates Christianity out is that we have empirically confirmed evidence that Christianity is true. Christianity is the foundation of science since Christianity rests on empirical observation and verification.

    I personally have never met an atheist because none of them can demonstrate their Darwinian worldview. It is believed by faith and always will be…

    The danger in Dan making such statement is that he is destroying morality at the same time he is trying to destroy religion. If he were in fact successful, he would actually create a hostile environment to his own life because a reality without morality has not structure, rule or protections for freedom.

    God Bless…

    1. Dan J

      If you accept a Darwinian worldview…

      httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

    2. Dan J

      There is no apriori reason to say that killing is wrong especially when you benefit personally from the killing. The only way to make killing wrong is to project a benevolent superman from which you then develop your sense of morality.

      Murder is wrong. Why do I think this, since I have no holy book to guide my morals? I think murder is wrong because it wrongfully deprives another living, breathing human being of their right to life; a right which I enjoy, and wish to continue enjoying.

      Killing may or may not be wrong, depending on the circumstances. I think that killing another living, breathing human being who presents an obvious, unwarranted, imminent danger to my own life, or the lives of others, is justifiable in some circumstances.

      Atheism as a result is just as religious as any other religion in the world. The thing that separates Christianity out is that we have empirically confirmed evidence that Christianity is true. Christianity is the foundation of science since Christianity rests on empirical observation and verification.

      You keep coming up with some of the most ridiculous, unfounded, asinine, idiotic, senseless, absurd, statements I’ve ever heard.

      The danger in Dan making such statement is that he is destroying morality at the same time he is trying to destroy religion. If he were in fact successful, he would actually create a hostile environment to his own life because a reality without morality has not structure, rule or protections for freedom.

      You keep laboring under this unfounded notion that morality is inseparable from religion. That notion is pure and utter bullshit. Because of your religious indoctrination, you refuse to accept the demonstrated facts in the matter.

      You won’t accept that fact that morality does exist without religion because of your dogmatic religious beliefs. To accept that fact would mean that something about your religion was not true in the way you thought it was. [Oh, the shock and horror of that idea!]

  5. Ben Zvan

    You really need to separate Darwin and Atheism for a start. It makes you look like you don’t understand either one of them.

    If we’re talking about the same Feuerbach, his premise was that people created the idea of god and that god was just a reflection of society. The term ‘Fully developed,’ was a hyperbolic overstatement, but I think that most people are starting to be able to figure out what’s wrong and what’s right.

    Killing someone for personal gain is wrong because it’s wrong, not because superman says so. Killing hurts another person, and that is wrong. If you need superman, then superman = society. Killing someone might benefit you, but it probably hurts society at-large. That’s one reason not to do it and it’s one basis for morality.

    If you want a more basic reason, then if people start killing people because it makes them feel good, who’s to say I won’t be one of the people who gets killed? Therefore, I don’t kill someone because I don’t want to be killed. This concept was clearly out of grasp for the time the bible was written.

    Your premise that Christianity rests on empirical evidence is inaccurate. The only evidence for Christianity is a single book that wouldn’t stand up to peer review. For one thing, it describes the ‘four corners’ of the Earth and places the Earth at the center of the Solar system, both of which can be scientifically proven false.

    Christianity is also not the cream of the crop as far as morality regarding killing goes. Most advocates of the death penalty are Christians.

    1. Dan J

      You really need to separate Darwin and Atheism for a start. It makes you look like you don’t understand either one of them.

      Believe me, Ben, zdenny understands neither atheism nor Darwin.

      He will claim otherwise, make claims that the two are inextricably linked, pull some mismatched garbage logical (in his mind) statement out of his ass, try to pass it off as a winning argument (scoring points against us atheists), then fail to even comprehend that we are laughing at him not with humor, but with scorn and derision.

  6. zdenny

    Ben stated, “The only evidence for Christianity is a single book that wouldn’t stand up to peer review”

    Actually, NT scholars by a very large majority accept that the disciples saw the resurrected Christ. The peer review has already been completed by scholars who specialize in that area.

    Ben then stated, “Killing someone might benefit you, but it probably hurts society at-large”

    In a Darwinian world, killing is normal and takes place in the animal world constantly. There is no concept of ‘hurting soceity’ The natural world becomes a paradigm for humanity and humanity obviously has murdered a lot of people too so this should be considered normal and natural from the perspective of an atheist. Christianity is the only one the provides a justified hierachy of values.

    The only way out is for the Atheist to argue that their is a hierachy of values; however, the acknowledgement of a hierachy of values is to admit that God exists who grounds those values. Atheist try to come up with objective values; however, if you have something to gain by killing someone, then why not do it. If you argue that society will be hurt, why would society be hurt by having one less person to deal with? In addition, if the murder was done in your home who has the right to come into your home and tell you want to do?

    Feuerbach was correct when he argued that atheist need a projection in the exact same way that Christians need a projection. The bottom line though which Feuerbach could never demonstrate was that God in fact was a projection. This is where is argument break down… Atheist believe in the illusion of morality; whereas, Christians have a justified morality based on love.

    God Bless!

  7. Ben Zvan

    Love is not limited to Christians. You seem to think that atheists are not human or something.

    You also continue to misunderstand Darwin. Darwin only described the mechanism by which evolution occurs, not the ways in which society functions. Even by your argument, killing happens in nature all the time, but it is almost always a predator killing prey. Leopards, in general, do not kill other leopards. They don’t need a book to tell them how to get along with each other.

    1. Ben Zvan

      For that matter, love is not limited to humans. What you are describing as ‘Darwinism’ is really ‘Social Darwinism’ which doesn’t actually have anything to do with Darwin. If any one group subscribes more to Social Darwinism, it’s libertarians, not atheists.

  8. zdenny

    The term Darwinian refers to a worldview that is godless so it is a valid term. It is used on a popular level and everyone knows what it means including yourself. 🙂

    In atheism, love is only a chemical reaction. It is not a reality that binds all of humanity together as it does no Christianity. Christianity says that mind is greater than matter so love is actually real and this is something that can be known.

    In the same way that we know physical matter exists by faith having to rely on our senses and mind, love is also known by faith in Jesus Christ.

    The fact is that Atheist don’t know love even though they have feeling of attraction. Feelings come and go depending on the chemicals in your environment; however, true love never fails and this is what atheist miss out on.

    Darwinians are simply inconsistent claiming morality while resting it on a philosophy and method that denies morality. In fact, that is what Dan is doing here. He is rejecting morality by rejecting religious viewpoint because all morality is religious in nature and has to be since values are immaterial and atheist deny an immaterial reality.

    God Bless.

    1. Ben Zvan

      Wow…just…wow. I give up. I can’t have a debate when nothing you say makes any sense.

      1. Dan J

        See what I mean, Ben? He totally doesn’t grasp (basically refuses to accept) the fact that he is wrong about so many things. It’s completely beyond his comprehension since he knows that his bible is literally correct about everything (even the order of creation in Genesis: heavens, stars, earth, etc.!). It is the infallible, unerring word of God™ for him, and nothing will ever shake his faith. That would mean that he’s been living a lie, and he would not be able to psychologically cope with that idea. I suggest that if it happened, it would probably drive him to suicide.

        I really think zdenny ought to be a poster-boy for the next Dunning-Kruger Effect fundraiser!

        1. Ben Zvan

          He’s clear proof that some people still need a book to tell them how to think. Or, more accurately, someone who claims to have read the book to tell him what it says he should think.

    2. Ben Zvan

      If atheists don’t feel love because love only comes from god, does that mean god didn’t create atheists?

  9. Dan J

    I moved one of zdenny’s comments to the What is Biological Evolution? (and Why do Creationists Not Understand the Answer?) post, where it should have been in the first place, as it would at least have been relevant. Zdenny refuses to accept the fact that atheism, the subject of this post, has absolutely nothing to do with Charles Darwin. He continues to argue that it’s all the same thing, in his twisted-logic, batshit insane ways, but he fails because he’s just fucking wrong.

    Read zdenny’s comment here.

    1. Jason Thibeault

      Allow me to clarify for the mouth-breathers, Dan. Atheism has nothing intrinsically to do with Darwin, his theories, or the Darwinian SCIENTIFIC worldview, except that learning about science is a potential path out of the muddled confusion that religion depends upon instilling into its victims.

      Read that again, Zdenny. Science is a path out of religion. Religion depends on confusing you about the world in order to convince you that only religion can instill into you any form of clarity. You use the word “Darwinian” when you mean “scientific” in order to help confuse others. And you do it because you recognize science, being the objective study of reality, as a threat to your dogmatic belief in a ridiculous hypothesis.

      As part of your confusion about the world, you are taught that morality derives only from God. So when you are faced with people that have morals, and yet they aren’t religious, this is a form of cognitive dissonance. You can’t understand morals as a concept OUTSIDE of God. Yet, morals came first.

      Morals emerged in humankind when the evolutionary path of our species took us down a road where cooperation with the rest of humanity proved to be beneficial to each individual member. Agreeing not to kill your neighbor also has selfish benefits in that your neighbor probably won’t kill you. Disturbed minds with chemical or physical imbalances are occasionally not capable of making moral distinctions the way the species has generally evolved, so certain traits like psychopathy are sometimes caused by minor mutations in the brain causing them to not think the way we have as a species generally evolved. If somehow psychopathy was an evolutionary advantage, and everyone were to die but for the psychopaths, maybe the human species would speciate under that kind of selection pressure and the human species would change into something different, more independent, more cutthroat, more lone-wolf. But humankind benefits the most when its members cooperate and do not kill or hurt or take advantage of one another.

      Thus, humankind has morals. Because it’s evolutionarily advantageous for us to do so. Not because a designer designed this — but because otherwise we’d be worse off, and evolution does not generally favor species that willingly hurt themselves.

      Morals have nothing to do with religion. It is only the religious mind-virus that makes you think they do.

  10. CurlyEric

    Let me just say I’m another Atheist who feels the same way about religion. It clouds and muddies the water of honest discourse and too many people, including scientists, keep the hard questions at arms reach to appease these fuckers.

    Morals are a social contract, one that no longer needs to be dictated by religious leaders. I don’t even count the religious texts, since none of the religions seem to follow their own texts anyways, they have mostly moved to more relative/moderate morals to keep up membership.

  11. zdenny

    Jason said, “Science is a path out of religion”

    I laughed when I read this because science requires God in order to be valid. Science depends on structure and design. All atheist are mere parasites to science who claim that design is an illusion who then turn around and argue for design which provides a path out of religion.

    Atheism is a religion just like any other religion. You have to create morality in the same way that Christians do (provided you accept that God does not exist). The fact of the matter is that you don’t know the love of God and that really is the bottom line. If you knew the love of God, you would be a Christian too; however, this is only known through faith. It is the same faith that you have in your senses that inform you about the physical world.

    1. Dan J

      You have said a lot of incoherent things before, zdenny, but this has to at least be in the top ten of those things. That load of bullshit is one of the most meaningless piles of drivel I’ve had the misfortune to read. You are so obviously wrong about so many things. You honestly believe that science requires your god in order to be valid. Simply reading that statement from you should let anyone with an iota of critical thinking skills know that you are a fucking loon!

      1. zdenny

        Science is meant to describe the design of nature. The concept of design is not an illusion. The design is real and has made life for us possible.

        Atheist have to argue that design is an illusion and then argue for design. The design is suppose to provide a foundation for atheism.

        It provides great irony as well as comic relief!

        Science belongs to Theist and to Theist alone. Design is real and not an illusion like Dawkins argues.

        I can see Dawkins standing in heaven and God saying, “You studied the design of nature for years and years and then called it an illusion?” It would seem like Dawkins wasted his life trying to understand an illusion.

        God Bless

        1. Dan J

          Silly Christian: Wrong again right from the very start. You’d better stick to your bible because science is quite obviously not one of your strengths.

          Science is not meant to describe the design of nature, as there is no design of nature. Nature was not designed. There was no designer.

          Science is more accurately described as a system of acquiring knowledge, where that system is based on the scientific method. Science also refers to the organized body of knowledge that is gained through such research.

          But to get on to more important subjects: You fail yet again! This post is about atheism, and the fact that I am anti-religious. The fact that you keep changing the subject simply goes further to illustrate why I am anti-religious.

          One of the reasons why is because sanctimonious pricks such as yourself can’t be bothered to hold their religious views as the ‘deeply personal’ things that they claim them to be. Oh, no! Self-righteous zealots like you must try to inflict your particular brands of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry on as many people as possible, by whatever means possible.

          In other words, zdenny, fuck you and the holy-roller cross you rode in on.

        2. Jason Thibeault

          You can’t even win at losing. Wow. Seriously, is there anything here I can actually reply to? Not a shred of this is at all rational.

          Yes, there’s a reality here.

          No, that doesn’t prove God did it. Just that there’s a reality here. Just because we don’t necessarily know “why”, doesn’t mean “why” is even a valid question. And it doesn’t mean you get to say that “God is necessary for reality to exist”.

          1. Jason Thibeault

            A sur-reply.

            Design in nature is an illusion. We understand that natural processes can create very interesting, design-looking patterns and shapes. Processes that take billions of years can produce very intricate, complicated, or design-looking objects, like our planet, which is borne of the stuff of a past supernova. Evolution can create some very interesting self-replicating biomes that have nothing to do with a design, but sure do look like they only function because they’re cellular machines. But the fact remains that there is no god personally directing the splitting of each cell and absorbing of material and activating of each organ in the fetus in your wife’s womb right now. It’s happening as part of a chain reaction that started when life started self-replicating almost four billion years ago.

            Look at a snowflake. Its perfect symmetry is obviously designed. Except that it wasn’t. It is the result of the natural crystallization process that happens when ice molecules freeze and self-arrange into recognizeable symmetrical hexagon patterns. These are due to mathematical realities, and like fractal images, are complicated images built on simple equations. Nobody designed it like one would build a building or chisel a statue from rock. It appeared, in nature, through natural processes, all by itself. But it appears complicated. So you ascribe agency to its creation. If you worship anything, you worship the wrong thing altogether — the universe is built of rules that are comprehensible to humans, it has created a vast panoply of interesting and amazing phenomena including life, and it did it all by itself, without intelligence. You should be worshipping the universe itself, if you were honest with yourself. You are a pantheist, only you use the wrong word, saying “God” instead of universe, and you are confusing some really old bronze-age myths into the mix (like all that Jesus stuff).

            Lose the Jesus stuff. It’s confusing you and it’s not helping your understanding of the universe. And stop worshipping the universe, believing it to be proof of God (when your definition of God basically only means “universe” and is therefore circular), and try actually studying it instead. There is lots of evidence here that will tell you how old it all is, how things work together, and maybe even how it all formed. So start looking at that evidence instead of saying it was made up or is being misinterpreted by scientists.

            And stop saying atheists are parasites on science. You and I both know that it’s theists who parasitize not only science itself, but humans like yourself.

  12. Mossa

    Yust “found” your blog and like the style and topics on it.

    I am a atheist. Im some what a naive atheist who dosent look up the evidence for my belifes myself and most of the time blindly accept what other people saying to me. I can get offencive and werbal when encountering ignorance and stupidity. I try to show people that are ignorant but lack the knowledge needed about the topics discussed. I probably do more harm then good when trying to confront creationist/ID followers.

    Shuld I stop comment on subjects I realy arent cualifyed for or try my best anyway?

    Sorry for using this topic for my question.

    1. Jason Thibeault

      While it doesn’t take much to be more informed than theists with regard to evolution, and while I am of the opinion that every person that believes in the truth is a good thing, you are probably right in that having an uninformed opinion is less useful than having an informed one. Especially if you’re railing against ignorance — ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge in a topic. Be careful that you don’t expose your own ignorance in shouting at people for theirs. Take it upon yourself to learn whatever you can about any topic you feel the urge to fight about, or at least say “I disagree but I’m not terribly informed about the topic.” Admitting you don’t know much about something is tough, but it’s the only way we grow as human beings.

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