Recently there was a study that found that there were six types of atheists. Apparently, a disbelief in the supernatural is not a monolithic belief system, held in equal measure by all atheists. Actually, anecdotally, I think we would all say that was somewhat true, though it’s nice to have it confirmed. I often find myself in disagreement with other atheists about matters I would expect to agree on, based on the fact that I know how I arrived at my atheism, and assume that their path to disbelief was at least similar. But, lo, it turns out that doesn’t really work out in real life.
I was reminded of this by a discussion I had recently on Facebook. As I said, I sort of expect other atheists to think like me, so I’m a tad bit surprised when they don’t.
Because I was BORN an atheist. Two people I loved unthinkingly indoctrinated me into believing in something that didn’t exist. Key word – “unthinkingly”. The state of my knowledge at birth was the correct one.
Because religion, super-naturalism, has never explained anything. From the very beginning of civilization to the present, whenever religion has tried to explain previously mystifying natural phenomena (from lightning through mental illness to the size of the universe) it has always gotten it wrong. Always. It has not been right yet, and the odds are it will never be right, if we ever get to the point in human knowledge where we know everything.
Because religion is an inherently anti-human phenomenon. I’m a human, not a spirit. Religion explains spirits. There are no spirits, and there’s never been any evidence of spirits. As a human, there is a natural, logical way to treat other humans, and it does not involve burning them at the stake, making them believe what I believe at the point of a blade, or flying airplanes into buildings. Religion is cruel and inhuman, in almost all aspects of its justifying rationalizations.
Because I don’t need religion to be a good person.
We all know now that Cheney was the puppet master running the government behind the mask of President-in-name-only, George W. Bush, and was primarily responsible for the Iraq War, that boondoggle of military aggression that is the partial reason why the economy is in such a funk these last few years. He was the lead salesman for the idea that we should attack Iraq preemptively because he clearly had Weapons of Mass Destruction. If you haven’t seen Rachel Maddow’s documentary, Hubris, you owe it to yourself to watch it. It’s only an hour of your time. Over 4000 American soldiers (not to mention those from other countries) died as a result. Over 30,000 wounded, many of them with life altering injuries. Probably over 100,000 Iraqis killed, with millions wounded or displaced from their homes. All because of Cheney’s lie.
I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion on a few other blogs. It started the other day while watching the TODAY show as I dressed for work. Matt Lauer had his panel of “experts” addressing controversial topics of the day, and one of them involved “outsourcing” Christmas obligations, like shopping, card sending etc, and the propriety of doing so. In the course of the conversation, Nancy Snyderman said she didn’t like the religious element of Christmas, in effect, it’s what ruins it for her. It was a short exchange, not well fleshed out, but it was clear there was a disagreement between Star Jones, who felt “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” while Snyderman did not.
We all have heard the recent news about Rep. Todd Akin over the past two days. In an interview, he opined about pregnancies caused by rape:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Atheists are often accused of being too outspoken, too militant, to strident. Our mere presence in society offends many people, all of them religious in one way or the other. Our existence is a reminder that the religious worldview is not the only one, that there is some possibility that they might be wrong about their beliefs in the supernatural, which beliefs forms a major component of how they deal with the day to day exigencies of life. We’re simply telling them that their beliefs, their vision of reality, could be wrong. Since there is an underlying current of insecurity in those beliefs, we make them nervous.
I spent so many years thinking all these silly vestments, and hats, and rituals, and incense and ringing bells and holy days all meant something. But it’s all just a way to make the flock feel like there is some significance to the equally silly pretensions underlying all religion. It’s just an elaborate smokescreen to paint a veneer of respectability over a much more insidious process happening outside our view.
If you’re seriously thinking that Santorum is a viable candidate, you need to have your chucklehead examined. This guy is a major financial backer of the candidate, yet his ideas about women are from the 1950s. Birth control consisted of women keeping they legs pressed tight against a Bayer aspirin? How enlightened of him! Of course, the Pill had not been invented and commercially produced by then, so I guess that was the only pill available for birth control when Mr. Chucklehead was playing hide the salami.
God has sent Christopher Hitchens to hell because he loves him.
This is clearly what happens when a perfectly viable human being is dropped on his head at birth, either by the doctor as he’s pulled out of his womb, or by his mother when she got a good look at him. His brains get scrambled, the synapses in his skull don’t fire as they are supposed to, information doesn’t get sorted properly, and stupidity, sheer idiotic lunacy, comes out of his mouth.