Illogical conundrums, historical inaccuracies and vague platitudes is how this Atheist views religiosity. However this worldview has now become a religion in itself, as this fervent Atheist explains, and with an ever-growing flock of believers the absolute disbelief in a God is beginning to prove as dangerous as its established opposition.
I am an Atheist and I have been ever since I was born. Logic is logic. 2 + 2 will always equal 4, ghosts will never exist and there is not a god listening to billions of thoughts simultaneously, while existing everywhere and nowhere. There never will be. As part of holding any belief, of course, users must from time to time argue why they hold those beliefs. Whether that be why you support a certain football team, why you hate a certain band or why you hold a particular worldview. This is a normal part of experimentation. Only through dialogue can one truly discover what they really believe. However, in an age of religious fundamentalism it would seem simple discussions are failing, proving to cause more problems than they could ever solve, and we Atheists are as guilty as the fervently religious.
Atheism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. In many Western countries for example, the percentage of the population claiming to be Atheist has almost doubled in the last ten years. A supposed lack of bias in many ways makes Atheism a pure form of religion bearing no constitution and no encouraged prejudice, yet too many of us seem to be getting it wrong.
It is understandably becoming increasingly difficult to hold a positive opinion of religion of late. We are saturated with visions of bearded assholes spouting ‘death to the infidel’ over some grainy TV footage in an eerie sepia tone. There are troops of placard-branding hyper conservative in-breds yelling antigay sentiments at groups of gasping onlookers. And sadly this is not uncommon, since the 1920’s religious fundamentalism has grown radically; growth mirroring the extent of scientific progress during the last 100 years. As science becomes more advanced, it would seem for many the only defence is complete ignorance.
Ignorance leads to militancy. Militancy, which in today’s world of constant terrorist threats, is a real danger. Not only in Islamist communities, but Fundamentalist Christianity is growing more militant as well. Even Buddhists have been responsible for suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. But do not be fooled, Atheists are not without blame.
In terms of bigotry, Atheists are certainly on par with any other religion that turns their nose up at alternatives. Although, we do have thousands of scientific discoveries backing up our beliefs. We have unshakeable logic and we don’t take our information from one lone book. However, I’m an Atheist and in terms of stubborn refusal to accommodate others beliefs, Atheists are just as guilty as the guys with the bombs.
I have had hundreds of conversations with plucky Christians over the years, always ending with the same anger and resentment at something as minor as belief in God. I used to sit at home, studying Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion like a desperate serial killer compulsively cleaning a murder weapon. I lay in wait for some unwitting Jehovah’s Witness to knock on my door so I could tie them up with logic and gag them with seeming intelligence.
A problem is that as Atheists we are unable to accept theism in any of its forms. As such, anyone involved in the other worldviews cannot accept the rejection of theism. It is two opposing forces with no foreseeable outcome: an immovable object against an unstoppable force.
It is worth noting the problems faced by Atheists once they ‘out’ themselves. For example, an outwardly Atheist politician in the USA would never be elected President. An overwhelming proportion of the population would admittedly fail to trust a man not trusting in God. Also, in many Islamic countries Atheism is openly illegal, with many Atheists persecuted, discriminated against and in the most severe cases, sentenced to death for apostasy. These cases are clear infringements of basic human rights, and should be challenged as vehemently as any other. Atheism shouldn’t be a factor when fighting the breach of liberties, and the moment it does, we as Atheists are no better than any other religion struggling to ‘improve’ humanity for its own gain.
Ever-growing militancy is strong in Atheist communities. People outwardly expressing dislike for organised religion does the exactly what established religions are doing, only under the guise of ‘reason’ instead of ‘faith’.
I sincerely hope we won’t be seeing anybody canvassing the city streets, spreading the word of Dawkin’s anytime soon. People, from all walks of life need to reassess their opinions on opinion. Atheism, as a new major player on the religious circuit has an opportunity to shift religious hegemony in the right direction and lead by example. Humanism is the most important element; if Atheism can successfully fuse with this, I for one will be proud. Though current trends seem to be heading in the opposite direction, I simply plead for you to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself,’ Mark 12:31.