Religion of Atheism

The anger of atheism toward religion, especially Christianity grows as seen in this story from CNN. It is regrettable that Christians would resort to stealing.  There are more productive ways of responding.  But what I find strange is, as a former atheist I never felt the need to attack other people’s opinions. Nativity scenes did not bother me nor did any other church activity. I had my beliefs (or lack thereof) and other people had theirs. There seems to be a new breed of atheist, the angry atheist, who take their lack of belief so seriously that they have turned it into a religion.  I see very little difference between the new breed of atheist and fundamentalists of any religion.

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13 thoughts on “Religion of Atheism”

  1. I don’t see any anger at all in putting up a non-offensive sign. It is merely equal time/presence at a particular event/space. Nothing wrong with that at all.

  2. Would you feel the same way if the atheists chose a space to express their beliefs and then Christians decided to add a sign explaining how wrong the atheists were? Why should atheists care if Christians want to celebrate Christmas?

  3. I couldn’t care less if any other religious group put up their version of events (as long as it was in a non-offensive manner) along side the Atheist one – if (as in this case) the scene was located on Government land.

    Private land, obviously, would be an entirely different matter.

  4. “Why should atheists care if Christians want to celebrate Christmas?”

    Who is stopping them?

    If Christians put up their symbols on government property, then they must understand that conflicting views are also allowed to be placed there along side them.

    Don’t want to share the space? Then keep your Christian expressions on your private land. Then atheists will have no reason to protest or ask for equal time.

  5. I never suggested that atheists should not be able to post their messages along side religious messages on government property. My post was on the change I have seen from my own experience as an atheist. When I was an atheist it was enough to just not believe and to enjoy a good sleep in on Sunday mornings. Now there seems to be more of an organizing and of aggressive response against those who are believers. I agree with atheists right to do so, I just find it interesting that they feel now the need to do this.

  6. Athiests can be crazy no doubt about it. More good has been done for the religious as well as the secular by keeping the state separate. The NT got that right. Render unto Ceasar etc.

  7. I am all for the separation of church and state, although how that is sometimes done is unfortunate and is a misunderstanding of the original intent. The separation of church and state means that there is no state church such as found in many European countries. It does not mean the banning of religion in public but rather stopping the government from pushing one denomination or banning other denominations. The trick is for the state and the church to find that right relationship where we can work together in positive ways to benefit society.

  8. Science and Religion

    Science is different from religion. It does not pretend that it knows everything. There are even now deep questions about the origins of the universe that we don’t have answers to now though it is possible we may be able to answer some of them in the future.

    But the inability of science to provide answers to these questions does not prove that religious faith, tradition, or an ancient holy text has the ability to answer them. Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russel had an analogy. Imagine that there is a teapot in orbit around the sun. It is impossible to prove that the teapot does not exist because it is too small to be detected by our telescopes. Nobody but a crazy person would say “Well, I’m prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot establish that it doesn’t exist.” This means that maybe we have to be technically agnostics, but really we are all atheists about teapots with orbits around the sun.

    But now let us suppose that everybody in our society including our teachers and the sages of our tribes all had faith in a teapot that orbits the sun. Let us also suppose that stories of the teapot have come down to us for many generations as one of the traditions of our own society and there are ancient holy texts about the teapot. In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.

    There are infinite numbers of things like celestial teapots whose lack of existence we are unable to establish. There are fairies, for example, and there are unicorns and goblins. We cannot prove that any of these creatures of the imagination do not exist in reality. But we don’t believe they exist, just as we don’t believe that the gods of the Scandinavians, for example, have any true existence.

    We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also does not exist.

    Now here’s a version of this text in Interlingua. (For more information about Interlingua, use a search enging to search on the title “Interlingua in interlingua” or go to http://www.interlingua.com.

    Le scientia es differente del religion. Illo non pretende que illo sape toto. Il ha etiam nunc questiones profunde sur le origines del universe al quales nos nunc non ha responsas ben que il es possible que nos potera responder a alicunes de illos in le futuro.

    Ma le incapacitate del scientia de provider responsas a iste questiones non proba que le fide religiose, le tradition, o un texto sancte e ancian pote responder a illos. Le scientia non pote probar que Deo non existe, ma isto non establi de ulle maniera que Deo existe. Il ha milliones de cosas cuje existentia non pote esser establite.

    Le philosopho Bertrand Russell habeva un analogia. Imagina que il ha un theiera in orbita circum le sol. Il es impossibile probar que le theiera non existe proque illo es troppo parve pro esser detegite per nostre telescopios. Nemo excepte un folle dicerea, “Multo ben, io es preparate a creder in le theiera proque io non pote establir que illo non existe.” Isto significa que forsan nos debe esser technicamente agnosticos, ma vermente nos es omnes atheistas sur theieras con orbitas circum le sol.

    Ma que nos nunc suppone que omnes in nostre societate includente nostre professores e le sagios de nostre tribos habeva fide in un theiera que orbita le sol. Que nos anque suppone que historias del theiera ha venite usque nos trans multe generationes como un del traditiones de nostre proprie societate e que il ha textos sancte ancian sur le theiera. In iste caso le gente dicerea que un persona qui non credeva in le theiera es eccentric o folle.

    Il ha numeros infinite de cosas como theieras celestial cuje manco de existentia nos non pote establir. Il ha fees, pro exemplo, e il ha unicornios e gnomos. Nos non pote probar que iste creaturas del imagination non existe in le realitate. Ma nos non crede que illos existe exactamente como nos non crede que le deos del Scandinavos, pro exemplo, ha ulle existential ver.

    Nos es omnes atheistas sur quasi omne le deos create per societates in le passato. Alicunes de nos tamen prende le ultime passo de creder que le deo del judaeos e del christianos, como le deos del grecos e le egyptianos, anque non existe.

  9. As a point of clarification, my post was an obeservation of the development of how atheism has changed over the years and not a value judgment.

    Ad for science and religion, I would not say that religion provides all the answers. There is much that we do not know. We should be susipicious of any scientist or theologian who claims to have all the answers.

    That is an interesting analogy but there are two problems. First of all Christianity has its own. It has been said that evolution without intelligent design is like a tornado going through a junk yard an producing a boening 747. Secondly, you are assuming that God’s revelation of himself is on the same level of the tea pot orbiting the sun. I believe in God not because I heard it from someone and it sounded like a good idea. I believe in God because he has revealed himself in history, creation and my own experience.

  10. That was an interesting post. But I would like to comment on some of your observations. The difficulty in engaging in self-criticism is not a religious problem but a human problem. I do not see atheists or politicians or bankers or lawyers or any other group of people being particularly eager to engage in self-criticism. On the other hand, the church has engaged in some pretty major self-criticism. Ever hear of the Reformation? The original purpose of the Reformation was not to start a new religious movement. Rather is was about some honest and difficult self-criticism of the Catholic church and a call for change from within (remember that Martin Luther was a monk). Christians are far from perfect and we often fall into unhealthy comfort zones, but there is a deep call of self-criticism found within the Bible that we seek to respond to.

  11. A billboard between Sacramento and UC Davis has been erected by an Atheists group which says boldly:

    Are you good without God?

    Millions are.

    One can respond to this statement with a plethura of theological arguments, or simply say “no one can say he/she is good without God.” The conceptualization of goodness requires an ultimate qualifier (i.e. God). Otherwise one is simply interpreting what one believes ‘good’ means in one’s own mind. Thus ‘good’ cannot exist.

    Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good– except God alone. Luke uses the same material as Mark (10:18).

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