- 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.
Some of you may remember the TV prime time soap drama, Dallas. JR Ewing and his family were Texas oil millionaires with dysfunctional relations rarely seen in real life. One of the plot lines for a whole season occurred after one of the actors (Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing) left the show, and was not part of the TV family. At the end of the season, he must have missed his paycheck, and asked to be brought back, so the next season began with Bobby’s wife waking from a dream (and he in the shower) with this dream being the entire past season without him. All the viewers smacked their foreheads and thought “WTF?”, but then the show continued with him for a number of seasons, so it apparently didn’t affect the false reality created by the show.
Now consider the following:
Seems like a lot of bloggers are posting April Fools Jokes today, because April Fools Day is one of the sacred holidays of Atheism, having no reference whatsoever to the divine, supernatural or religious (even though this year it falls on Palm Sunday). It’s a completely secular holiday. Most of the posts on Freethought Blogs are of the “my fellow atheist blogger X has decided to hang it up, and stop blogging ” variety. I have to think this was a planned strategy. (D’uh).
You may or may not be aware of the recent clashes the Taliban influenced populace of Afghanistan has had with authorities over the inadvertent and unintentional disposal of a few Qu’rans, resulting in daily protests, suicide bombings and other violence. All over some janitor burning a few books that were probably in the way. I often wonder how this actually can seem to be so horrendous to the protestors that they would resort to such extreme measures to voice their discontent. I can’t imagine getting that upset over the loss of a book.
We all know that the “official” position of the Catholic Church is against any form of birth control, other than the rhythm method. And surely we’re aware of the current controversy (and when I say “controversy” I mean bullshit created by the Republican party to stir up trouble for Obama) involving the health insurance requirement being imposed on Catholic employers mandating coverage of Birth Control, even for the Catholic Church. Yes, the Catholic Church will be required to provide medical insurance for its employees, except in certain circumstances, primarily involving employees of the religious edifice itself, as opposed to incidental employes not providing religious functions, such as hospitals, clerks, secretarial etc. Oh, the horror. It’s been the law, however, since 2000, all during the Bush years, with nary a peep from conservatives – until now.
I think one of the hallmarks of atheism is the quest for knowledge.
That’s a very broad, generalized statement, so let me explain. Atheists, at least the ones I know from the atheosphere and the internet, spend a considerable amount of time studying, parsing, analyzing and generally commenting on religion, and all of its aspects in our culture. We try to understand the subject, and I think we have a very good grasp of religious dogma, or at least enough to discuss it; we know our Bible, and there are many among us that can cite chapter and verse. We are able to discuss intelligently most facets of religious life, from the notion that the United States is a Christian nation, to the effects of religious mindsets on our culture, politics and sexuality.