Atheism Is A Religion.
No it’s not. Catholicism is a religion. Hinduism is a religion. Islam is a religion. They have churches, temples, and mosques to practice their religion in. They have dogma, holy books, beliefs that they commit their entire lives too, along with their children’s. Atheism is the opposite of a religion. 180 degrees opposite. Diametrically-opposed-to-the-entire-concept opposite. At least not as it’s defined in the first three of these four definitions:
- Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
- A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
- The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
- A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
- A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
If you are claiming the fourth definition, then please, speak up. When I’m having a debate with someone about the nonsense of their religion, it is not accurate or helpful to say to me that my lack of belief is a religion. That tells me, in that context, that you are asserting that I worship or revere something supernatural or spiritual. I don’t do that.
If, on the other hand, you are complimenting me for the fervor and zeal I bring to my criticism of your religion, and my support for atheism, well then say so, because I love compliments. In that sense, and only that sense, I’m a religious person. There is nothing supernatural or divine about the enthusiasm I have for the subject of atheism. No more than my enthusiasm for reading books. Maybe less so.
Does having a well used library card make me religious?
I’m not sure what it is about this word I don’t like. It rubs me the wrong way, like a marble on a blackboard, to coin a cliché. It is just a word, after all, however one I never seem to hear unless it’s coming out of the mouths of Christians, most notably on TV when I tune in to a televangelist. You don’t hear politicians talking about their righteous legislation, or lawyers extolling the virtues of their righteous clients. What makes it so obnoxious, then?
It means “morally upright, without guilt or sin”, so maybe that’s one reason why I find its use so tiresome. I don’t believe in sin, so for someone to describe themselves in such a way makes no sense. Christians usually use the term to describe themselves, or at a minimum to describe their optimal selves. They go on and on about morality, and righteousness, when they are really no different than the people they point a finger at and call “sinners”. Sometimes worse. They set themselves up for charges of hypocrisy, and find themselves knocked over time and time again. When I hear someone use the word, I immediately reach for my back pocket to see if my wallet is missing.
It’s also an archaic term. Nobody uses it anymore, unless they are very religious. Exhorting people to choose the “path to righteousness” is what street corner preachers do, while they thump their Bibles, and who listens to them? So a word of advice to Christians. Delete “righteous” from your vocabulary. It marks you as someone who reads his Bible just a tad too much. It also looks like you pat yourself on your back for no good reason.
Christian Rock Music
I Don’t Believe In Evolution
This may actually be proper English and grammar, but it still grates on my cochlear nerve. Belief is used to describe something that one has mentally accepted or is convinced to be the truth. Implied in any belief is a certain level of knowledge about or experience with the subject matter of the belief. In other words, a belief is usually based on something. One doesn’t pull it out of thin air, i.e. nothing. If I believe the leaves will fall from the trees this fall, it is because I have knowledge, based on years of experience in which leaves have consistently, without exception, fallen from the trees in the autumn. Similarly, if I believe my wife loves me, it is because I have firsthand knowledge of her love – her declarations, her actions, many large and small bits of information I’ve gleaned from our years together, coupled with a lack of evidence to the contrary.
With the usual lack of belief in evolution from theists, however, I find that there is a concomitant lack of knowledge. In fact, the less they know about evolution, the less they believe in it. Ask a theist why they don’t believe, and they will give you answers that are anything but based on knowledge or understanding of the scientific theory. For example, if they’ve been reading creationist literature, they might say that they don’t believe in evolution because of gaps in the fossil record, or because there is no evidence of transitional fossils, when in fact it would be a supernatural miracle if we didn’t have gaps in the fossil record, and there is much evidence of transitional fossils.
So the phrase, I don’t believe in evolution is usually a red flag indicating ignorance, usually raised because theists stubbornly refuse to raise the white flag of defeat.
Atheists Are Responsible For Banning Prayer in Schools
This one actually makes me feel sorry for theists, especially Christians, and pity is not an emotion that makes me feel good. I see this a lot in Christian emails that decry the erosion of family values. You know the ones. They first cite statistics on crime rates, teen pregnancies, single parent homes, a preference for Classic Coke and NASCAR racing, and all those things that in comparison show that America has gone downhill. Then they have quotes from Jesus saying something like “If only you hadn’t kicked me out of the public schools”. Sometimes they mention that Columbine would not have happened if everyone in that school had been allowed to pray. Sad, isn’t it? It’s sad because it’s so stupid.
Why is it so stupid? Because no one, not a single soul (sorry) has ever been prevented from praying in school, by the Supreme Court or anyone else. Imagine you are a junior in your high school, and you see a fellow student in a long black overcoat strolling down the hallway sporting an Uzi. Do you think the principal is going to come out in the hallway and stop you from praying if you feel the need to do so at that moment? He won’t, and not because he’s preoccupied with the Uzi, but because there is nothing illegal about you doing so.
Likewise, if you are in Hemant’s class, about to take a major trigonometry test that you failed to study for, and you think you are in need of some divine assistance, feel fee to bow your head before the test and pray to god to help you. Silently, so as not to disturb those who did study. There is no law or Supreme Court decision that prevents you from doing so.
What the law, and the Constitution, prevents is being lead in mandated prayer by the school authorities. That’s a no-no. However, every Christian in America can pray as much as they want, in any school they want, provided they don’t disrupt the normal activities of the school. Since god hears all prayers, even the unspoken ones, there is no obstacle to prayer in the schools.
This is such a no-brainer that it leads me to believe that any Christian who buys this crap has his head up his ass. I guess it is only a matter of time before the Supreme Court rules against rectal praying.
The United States Is A Christian Nation
I had started a little rant on this, but Ebonmuse has done a far nicer job, so I’ll defer to him. I will, however, reiterate what I said in a comment. Practically all major governments up to 1776 were patterned on those set forth in the Bible. The American Revolution was a rebellion against that type of government (a monarchy, where all powers of government are concentrated in one individual, where religious freedom was non-existent, etc.). Remember the concept “the Divine Right of Kings”? That’s what we got rid of, folks, when we overthrew King George III, and enacted our Constitution. Our country, our form of government, is anything but Christian.
I guess, theoretically, you could take anyone’s name, add an “ism” to the end of it, and commence discussing the pros and cons of the ideology associated with that person. Marx is a good example, because he was full of ideology, what with all his bourgeois this and proletariat that. So Marxism is a good word.
Darwinism is not. Charles Darwin was a scientist. Scientists, by definition, do not create ideologies. They do science. More specifically, they study the world, accumulate their observations, formulate hypotheses, run tests on their observations and hypotheses, come to conclusions, devise theories, publish their results, and if they are lucky, and good at what they do, actually advance our knowledge of the world and the universe. One doesn’t create an “ism” after this process. There is no such thing as Einsteinism, or Hawkingism. So why Darwinism?
Charles Darwin (along with Alfred Russell Wallace) discovered evolution. Evolution is not an ideology, no matter how hard theists want it to be. It is a scientific theory. There are no pros and cons to discuss about the theory. It is neither good nor bad, it just is. There ARE, however, yeas and nays that can be voiced by qualified people about whether the theory continues to hold true given all the known facts. However, most people who like to bandy about the word, Darwinism, are usually not qualified to do so.
In fact, in my book, use of the word immediately disqualifies them.
Now, let’s discuss SpanishInquisitorism.