Atheist Fundamentalists

by Luke Muehlhauser on February 24, 2011 in Funny

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Garren February 24, 2011 at 7:42 am

Admit it. Fundie Atheists would write scathing blog posts. Some might even make awful YouTube video responses. This cartoon is white-washing the e-militant nature of unbelief!

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Zeb February 24, 2011 at 8:02 am

Point taken, but to be fair “atheism” is not in the same category as “fundamentalist Christianity” or “fundamentalist Islam.” Certainly some atheists will flip their shit when media mocks, contradicts, or attacks things that are quasi-sacred to them. Not to the extent of death threats, as far as I know, but hate letters and cancellation demands, sure. For example, gay equality – that’s not a belief of atheism, but a belief a person can hold sacred as an atheist, just like the perpetual virginity of Mary is not a theistic belief but a belief that I hold sacred as a theist. If South Park did an episode mocking generic theism, or more equivalently, a-naturalism, I doubt you’d see much of a reaction from fundamentalists.

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king atheith February 24, 2011 at 8:15 am

The only way the can people will be able to pull that off is these delusionist will have to snear at truth. some god people has went to picket atheist kids school and lay in the middle of the street and kick there feet

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Reginald Selkirk February 24, 2011 at 8:18 am
Justfinethanks February 24, 2011 at 8:31 am

Fundie Atheists would write scathing blog posts.

That’s kind of the point. Registering disagreement in a public forum would be the absolute worst of the atheist response. When Go God Go aired to poke fun of atheism, there wasn’t a lobbying effort made to pressure television networks to take it off the air, as Catholic leaders did in response to the episode “Bloody Mary.” Nor did celebrity atheists use their leverage to prevent reruns of the episode from airing, which is what Tom Cruise did in response to the Scientology-mocking episode “Trapped in the Closet.” Nor did atheists issue death threats in response to the epsiode, which what some extremist Muslims did in response to the episode “200.”

In fact, do you know what Richard Dawkins response to being mocked was in “Go God Go?”

“I would have thought they could at least have got an actor that could do a proper British accent.”

That’s right. Scathing dry British wit. Trey Parker and Matt Stone better not make fun of Christopher Hitchens or else they might be in store for even more devastating bon mots.

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Nonyabidness February 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Hey Luke, you’re violating the Creative Commons License terms of the author of the comic by not providing a link back to his or her site.

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paul corrado February 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm
T'sinadree February 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Justfinethanks:
In fact, do you know what Richard Dawkins response to being mocked was in “Go God Go?”

“I would have thought they could at least have got an actor that could do a proper British accent.”

Actually, Dawkins just looked like an ass to me when he made this statement, completely misunderstanding the nature of South Park, which is explicitly explained in their satirical disclaimer before the show: All Characters and events in this show — even those based on real people — are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated… poorly.

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Luke Muehlhauser February 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Nonyabidness,

Oops, you’re right! I thought I had put the link in there but I guess not. Fixed.

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Andrew EC February 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

T’sinadree: let me guess, you’re one of those folks who *always* thinks Dawkins looks like an ass?

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Grady February 25, 2011 at 1:45 am

Atheists have killed millions, who ya kiddin?

Oh, wait, they weren’t “true atheists” . LOL!

There is a Militant Atheist in Kansas City who organized some meetups and likes to brag about the guns he owns…on the Kansas Citizens for Science site, a site instrutmental in winning the Kansas “evolution wars” he called for PUBLIC EXECUTIONS of “sinners against rationality”.

And for a year he left commetns telling Christians to Shut Up and Die, and so forth, on the Bill Tammeus blog…former religion editor of the Kansas City Star…until there was some legal broohaha and the comments section was closed down.

To this day there are people who won’t go to the meetings where this scumbag and his pals are saying they are going to show up. and of course they have been asked to leave several area bible studies when they “act up”.

Oh yeah, there are some dangerous atheists out there.

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Steven Carr February 25, 2011 at 1:56 am

There are some naughty Christians and some naughty atheists.

Just like there are drunk drivers who crash, and they are outnumbered by the sober drivers who have accidents, despite not having any alcohol.

So why do sober drivers go on and on about how drink driving is bad, when the sober drivers know perfectly well that sober drivers also cause accidents.

It is like atheists saying religion divides people into Christians, Muslims,Hindus, Jews and Sikhs when atheists also have people who hate others not of their kind.

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asdf February 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

I doubt that any atheists even complained about the south park episode. For the record, I’m an atheist, and I thought it was very funny. Same as Richard Dawkins.

I think that most theists have the misconception that all atheists want everyone to be atheists. In a way, this is true – we want to promote atheism for the same reason we want to promote truth and logic – these are noble goals that advance civilization. But to be honest, atheists only really care about non-atheists because they affect our lives everyday. They do so legally and socially because they are the majority, and their effect is undeniable. Point being – if atheists had their own county, we wouldn’t be invading other countries to ‘spread’ atheism.

Second, accusations of militant atheists are virtually BS. I admit that there are probably a couple of stories like Grady has restated above (athough, you need to provide a source for those kinds of accusations). However – this is far FAR from the norm. It’s inherently different from making accusations of militant Christianity because I can name 8 abortion doctors/nurses who have been killed in the last couple decades. The type of emotion involved is the same, but many of the doctor’s assassins were called heroes by their respective congregations.

tl;dr – atheists don’t care.

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Reginald Selkirk February 25, 2011 at 7:49 am

Grady: Atheists have killed millions, who ya kiddin?
Oh, wait, they weren’t “true atheists” . LOL!

Why would you group people by what they do not believe in? You know what all those Nazis and all those Stalinists and Pol Pot all had in common? They didn’t believe in the Easter Bunny.

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T'sinadree February 25, 2011 at 7:57 am

Andrew EC:

T’sinadree: let me guess, you’re one of those folks who *always* thinks Dawkins looks like an ass?

Really? The fact that you a) don’t know me personally, and b) extrapolate from a single instance of me calling Dawkins an ass to positing that I always thinks he’s one demonstrates your unmatched skills of logic.

For the record, I don’t always think he’s an ass, just in instances where he says that the South Park creators could have done a better British accent eventhough they state that their accents are terrible *on purpose* before each episode.

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Singh February 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

You just don’t get it,do you?…Atheist’s are a “group” just like any other group..group thinking is religious thinking…don’t say i am an atheist…just say i am a primate and so are you…now stop fighting over religion and lets talk bout human ego and figure out why we think we are bigger than the Earth?

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Shayrah February 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Andrew EC:
For the record, I don’t always think he’s an ass, just in instances where he says that the South Park creators could have done a better British accent eventhough they state that their accents are terrible *on purpose* before each episode.  

I think you may need to get a sense of humor…Dawkins was not being an “ass”…he was making a joke. That is why everyone laughed after he said that. I am sure Trey and Matt appreciated his humor, unlike you did.

Andrew simply saw a huge stick coming out of your ass and pointed it out. You took a joke seriously, so what can be assumed about your attitude towards the more serious things that Dawkins says (like in the scene mocked on South Park)?

Andrew said he was making a guess. I think he was spot on!

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Shayrah February 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

You just don’t get it, do you?…Atheist’s are a “group” just like any other group..group thinking is religious thinking…don’t say i am an atheist…just say i am a primate and so are you…now stop fighting over religion and lets talk bout human ego and figure out why we think we are bigger than the Earth?  

First of all,I have never in my life heard an atheist say he is “bigger that the Earth”, on the contrary, I have heard them say the exact opposite. But this really shows how reasonable atheists are.

On the idea that atheists are a “group” and therefore are religious:

If you lived in a country where a majority believed in fairies and they had billboards, buildings, TV shows…BUT ALSO, knocked on your door, threatened people’s lives, told you if you didn’t believe in fairies you would be tortured for eternity, try to take away your rights according to the Constitution, and you had family members cutting you out of their lives for not believing…

…wouldn’t you want to have some like-minded people to chat with so you had some semblance of logic and reason in your life?

We are not following a code or a text or a doctrine. We have no dogma or punishments or rewards. We all lead VERY different lives and have varying ideas about ethics and morality. We don’t think giving money to Dawkins will ensure an awesome afterlife. We don’t cut other atheists out of our lives because they look at porn or smoke pot or have sex with someone they aren’t married to. We don’t sit in a room singing songs together in unison and think we are somehow doing something of importance. We don’t ever call each other “not a TRUE atheist”.

How in the hell are atheists religious? I think you are out of your bloody mind!

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winelips February 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

T’sinadree obviously doesn’t get the joke.

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bossmanham February 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Therefore atheism is true, eh?

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mojo.rhythm February 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Bossmanham,

When you are being sarcastic you really ought to use to let people know. I could see someone actually thinking you were serious there. Just a heads up.

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mojo.rhythm February 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Correction:

Bossmanham,

When you are being sarcastic you really ought to use sarcasm tags to let people know. I could see someone actually thinking you were serious there. Just a heads up.

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jim February 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Admit it. Fundie Atheists would write scathing blog posts. Some might even make awful YouTube video responses. This cartoon is white-washing the e-militant nature of unbelief!  

Right. “Atheists” blew it by lowering themselves to the discussion about “big g”. Pro or con is equally stupid. The whole gambit (pro or con) is not worthy to thinking humans.

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jim February 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm

“Atheists” blew it by lowering themselves to the discussion about “big g”. Pro or con is equally stupid. The whole gambit (pro or con) is not worthy to thinking humans. jim(Quote)

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cura February 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

The hardest part about being an athiest is being associated with other athiests. It’s one thing I don’t believe religious people will ever understand. They are use to being associated with a group based on their beliefes about the creation of life, and I am not.

I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s deities, but as an example, most everyone does not believe in the tooth fairy or unicorns or even to a more serious extent not many people still believe in Zeus. Does that mean we share anything else in common? No. Not believing in something does not come with sets of rites and rules that all “non believers” must follow. There is absolutly NOTHING uniting us.

Therefore, it is highly offensive to be generalized against. If I could chose, there would be no word or label for lacking beliefe since I am just a human being who decided that religion is something I prefer not to have in my life, a choice that has no definite effect on how I chose to live the rest of my life as a religion would, since it is an organized group.

As I said, I know it’s a difficult concept for a person who has most likely spend the majority of their lives being defined by a group and their beliefes of creation. But please try to understand that athiesm is not a group of people, as much as christians and muslims are not a united group of people because they both don’t believe in Shiva.

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jim February 27, 2011 at 12:28 am

For sanity’s sake then why do you call yourself by a name that Loyola’s lawyers put on you to collectively (!) identify you as irregulars from the church’s point of view. That’s all he cares about! What unites you in their eyes is that you are different from what they advise. You mistakenly take over this collective propaganda name and go crazy trying to explain that you are different from the fundies and not just in one thing.
There are so many other ways to go. Free thinker, nature thinker, post stone age etc. Just stop tinking in the theist paradigm. There are so many more exciting ways to go than denying that a big Cadaffy is ordering you around from the ionosphere.

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JasperJ February 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

Neither atheism nor theism, whatever god you choose to follow (atheists follow the god of “reason”) has anything, really, to do with truth. Truth is as truth does, in the eternal moment. People don’t really need to look beyond themselves to find this truth; it is always right in front of everyone. If something is funny, it offers humor, that is the simplicity. We only complicate our minds with our Mind! We are god together: The atheists think that science answers everything, the religious think that their holy books answer everthing. There is no answer to “everything,” never will be, that’s not how consciousness works. We are here to learn of our greater Self. Period.

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cura February 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

@jim

Because non-theistic peoples were given a lable to identify them as the “other” to what people identify as the “normal” person. Considering that non-theistic people make up a minority throughout the world, it can be argued that this label is almost as ignorant as “faggot” or “nigger” (other words used to create a lesser other). It becomes obvious even in this thread, that athiest has negative connotations and that many theistic peoples stereotype based on the world… hence the many “all athiests do…” comments above.

Therefore, just like being catagorized based on your race or sexual orientation it makes no sense to be catagorized by your beliefes about creation and or after life, yet, each one of these groups is forced to identify with the lables forced upon them in order to give the lable a positive and realistic connotation, and eventualy turn them into acceptable and household terms. Why is it important to do this? Because a person with a minority status of any sort is not capable of chaning the language the majority decides to use to describe them, but we can change the ideas that come to mind when hearing these lables.

In other words, since its going to be thrown around by people whether or not non-theistic persons use it ourselves, atleast we can “take it back” and try to turn it into a wider, more comprehensive definition void of the stereotypes that plauge it now.

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jim February 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Very well, we have been handed a label (a-theist) which can serve as a cohesive element from which to better oppose a numeric majority. I can sympathise with this kind of struggle still I prefer considering things like non-existence as background to conciousness as necessary as canvas to painting

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Net February 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

LOL at “e-militant.”

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Paradoxasaurus February 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

@Jim – The word “atheist” comes from a different root than “theist”, the “a” is just a happy coincidence. [cit. recommended, of course]

At this point, atheists should be trying to fight the “heathen” character rather than impose it upon theists. If people keep saying “religion is evil”, we won’t go anywhere soon. Granted, you rarely (once in a decade, it must be) find a group of atheists willing to cause harm to anything to get their point across, and theists do tend to find blood on their hands occasionally, but radicalism is most often quietly acknowledged by religious persons anyway.

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hitchhiker March 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.” – Steeeeven Weinbeeerg!

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Joel Nickel March 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Oooo! E-mails and Blog Posts and YouTube videos!! Wow, we Atheists are hardcore! Um, last time I checked he didn’t kill anyone or threaten to kill anyone because they held different views than us! We just mock them on the Internet.

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Josh Evolved March 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm

@JasperJ

Neither atheism nor theism, whatever god you choose to follow (atheists follow the god of “reason”) has anything, really, to do with truth.

Reason isn’t a god, it is a form of thought. I don’t worship anything, and nor would I try to make any claim that a form of though is remotely like that of a god-concept. Using your brain doesn’t mean you are worshiping anything, it simply means you are using your brain.

The atheists think that science answers everything, the religious think that their holy books answer everthing. There is no answer to “everything,” never will be, that’s not how consciousness works.

No. No. No. I can’t speak for all atheists, but I am pretty sure not many think science answers every question about existence that we have. In reality science only TRIES to answer the fundamental questions of how the universe is, was, and will be. It is also highly presumptions and arrogant to assume that there isn’t an answer to all questions. You can’t possibly know that. 1,000 years ago people had no clue that disease was spread by microorganisms, and never thought they would know what caused disease.

You are just making an incorrect assumption. You should be careful about that.

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Uhh March 27, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Uhh. South Park has already done an episode about athiesm.

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One Being Human April 3, 2011 at 3:16 am

Athiests seem to share two common traits that separate them from an everlasting life in His House. 1. Reason 2. Personal Responsiblity. A reasoned understanding that nothing in nature is everlasting can generally end the concept of the existence of god in an “Almighty” sense. As for the various religions around the world, it is well known that with the right mix of fear, violence, indoctrination, guilt, ridicule & intolerance, along with a dash of wishful thinking & 1 ticket for the lotto of eternity will make otherwise intelligent human beings into very manageable prayer-babbling sheeple. The modern form of religion is government. Some athiests might feel that they are free because they are free from religion. Lose reason & personal responsibility & you might embrace modern politics, looking for a savior.

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jim April 3, 2011 at 6:18 am

The big challenge is that we have to die. The even bigger challenge is that we have to go through childhood. The most important cosmic command is reproduce . From this we get 90% of our “meaning” out of life not mentioning the entertainment value. Even those who swear off of reproduction do not do it completely. Children have parents. And I can’t get past this complex even when blown out of proportions – as in “our father” in the ionosshpere

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dyoung1167 April 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

Point taken, but to be fair “atheism” is not in the same category as “fundamentalist Christianity” or “fundamentalist Islam.” Certainly some atheists will flip their shit when media mocks, contradicts, or attacks things that are quasi-sacred to them. Not to the extent of death threats, as far as I know, but hate letters and cancellation demands, sure. For example, gay equality – that’s not a belief of atheism, but a belief a person can hold sacred as an atheist, just like the perpetual virginity of Mary is not a theistic belief but a belief that I hold sacred as a theist. If South Park did an episode mocking generic theism, or more equivalently, a-naturalism, I doubt you’d see much of a reaction from fundamentalists.

I don’t think I understand this. I sort of agree about the fundamentalism, it’s not the same because there is no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist. You either are or your not. There are extremists though, in that they want religion to disappear completely. Fundamentalists believe in the old ways of the bible and not modern interpretations, which is funny because most of them read the King James version which is in and of it’s self a relatively modern ( in relation to the beginnings of christianity) interpretation compiled by many different scholars who in turn each had their own individual beliefs and interpretations and ultimately reviewed and okay’d or nixed or rewritten according to how the “editor in chief ” (for want of a better phrase) King James saw fit.
Atheists don’t hold things sacred, as that is a wholly religious term. Gay equality is simply the way it should be as this country was founded on equality and non-discrimination. Christianity preaches do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Some do and some don’t , I don’t get that. It seems to be more along the lines of do unto others that believe as you do and screw the rest.
No, the extremely vast majority of atheists don’t get mad at being poked fun of. We don’t really care. We believe what we want, you believe what you want, no big deal.What we care about and get angry about is religion trying to force us into believing something that my/our logical mind says is bullshit. Also the stupefying amount of fraudulent money hungry evangelical style preachers, churches and tv shows that will gladly take a poor persons last dime for “salvation”.
But religious folk, now that’s another story. They scream bloody murder at the slightest talk or mocking commentary (regardless of how slight) that in anyway contradicts what they believe because they are terrified that another person will start to think for themselves and potentially lose costumers and money. It would be impossible to poke fun at generic theism ( i guess you mean non-denominational religion) because they still believe in god and would immediately invoke the wrath of any and all denominations, as they would take it personally regardless. From what i understand naturalists are just atheists that don’t want to offend the theists with their name, so they don’t count.
The virgin mary being a virgin is absolutely a theistic belief. nobody who is not religious would believe such a thing. You may hold it sacred, but so does everyone else that believes and were taught to believe from the get go.

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joseph July 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

JustfinethanksFebruary 24, 2011 at 8:31 am
“scathing british dry wit”
It is so awesome our wit is compared in effect to bombs. I’m going to eat some fish and chips in celebrate, toodle pip me old mucker.

P.s. yes as an englishman I do deserve my own form of christianity.

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CommonlySensical December 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

I feel like some people (not all) might be misunderstanding this cartoon (or hey, maybe I am?). I interpret it as a joke against those who call ‘atheism’ a religion in itself… This cartoon includes characters making that association, and then ends with the “no,” which indicates the author is not serious/thinks that belief is silly.

There’s no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist, because there are no tenants of atheism. Atheism is simply one of two possible answers (some might argue three), to a yes or no question, and an ‘atheist’ is simply someone who employs that answer when the question is put to them.

Further, as an atheist who knows many atheists, most of which differ incredibly from one another in personality/beliefs, I can’t think of a single one that would actually be angry about this episode. Further, they would probably all take the time to watch and laugh at it along with everyone else. It’s actually amusing to think theists might watch this episode and laugh smugly AT atheists, not realizing (apparently?) that atheists are going to be laughing right along with them. Perhaps a broad sense of humor accompanies open-mindedness?

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jim December 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Why be concenrned at all if there are powerful beings sporadically thrown into the criss crossing and parallel universes? It’s not our business. It’s like somebody trying to explain Turkish history to a stork. The bird would probably listen then say, “I am really not interested in this. ” Believe me the universe beyond the human “eternal life” concerns is of no interest. It is doable and our flaming god complex (pro or con) plays comedy with each other’s nervous system on a self imposed stage where we are not even agreed on what the “other” means. Language is not the final arbiter of anything other than pre-agreed social rules

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CommonlySensical December 5, 2011 at 6:41 am

Why be concenrned at all if there are powerful beings sporadically thrown into the criss crossing and parallel universes? It’s not our business. It’s like somebody trying to explain Turkish history to a stork. The bird would probably listen then say, “I am really not interested in this. ” Believe me the universe beyond the human “eternal life” concerns is of no interest. It is doable and our flaming god complex (pro or con) plays comedy with each other’s nervous system on a self imposed stage where we are not even agreed on what the “other” means. Language is not the final arbiter of anything other than pre-agreed social rules

Jim,

That’s all fine and well… unless the stork happens to be a Historian specializing in Turkish History. I might not believe in such “powerful beings,” but I’m an anthropologist who includes religious history, religious studies, and the archaeology of religion on my list of academic interests.

Further, as a humanitarian, I keep track of worldwide social injustice, much of which is religion-oriented or based.

Simply, I concern myself with religion because I want to.

Also, language isn’t really the “final arbiter” of anything… Language is just the physical expression of thoughts and feelings… a creative production by mankind, almost like a work of art. Your post really makes almost zero sense.

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Alan January 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

Atheists are individuals, not a group? – Then why would you promote the idea of atheists in their own country with no theistic citizens?!

Just about every atheist I get into a discussion tells me straight up, that they are right and I am wrong – which makes me step back and wonder who really is bigoted/dogmatic.

I am prothelsized to constantly by atheist friends, both on Facebook and in my life, things I never do – I am told that they are doing this as some form of protest for equality. Yet, these very same people take offense to anyone putting up anything religious on their Facebook page.

I had an atheist friend say to me he was insulted and angry that religious people/colleagues no longer wanted to talk or debate with him – when his intent in his own words ‘was to tear them a new a-hole!’

I always have to smile when someone tells me ‘I’m black, therefore I can’t be a racist’ – the same goes for the atheist who says ‘I’m atheist, therefore I have no belief system/religion/dogma because I don’t believe in god’ – yes, you do not have or follow a religion, but you have a foundational system on which you base your principles and assumptions’

BTW, it has been proven that the human mind cannot operate on absolutes – we operate on a set of assumptions. From these assumptions we create our own reality, our own understanding of the world. Call it whatever you like – its a belief system (even when part of it is not believing in a deity)

We can find dogma and fundamentalism in just about all corners of this world, in just about all and any belief system, be it theistic or atheistic.

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CommonlySensical January 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I am prothelsized to constantly by atheist friends, both on Facebook and in my life, things I never do – I am told that they are doing this as some form of protest for equality. Yet, these very same people take offense to anyone putting up anything religious on their Facebook page.

I had an atheist friend say to me he was insulted and angry that religious people/colleagues no longer wanted to talk or debate with him – when his intent in his own words ‘was to tear them a new a-hole!’

Sounds like you need new ‘friends.’ And your friend who is “insulted” by a lack of debate sounds like he might be a jerk. Or, he’s just very outspoken, likely about non-theistically-oriented things as well? Which would obviously be a character trait rather than a dogmatic one.

And did it ever occur to you that all the atheists you know are in-your-face about their atheism because you don’t HEAR from the ones who aren’t? I mean, I know that’s sorta common sense, but there are many, many atheists who don’t feel a need to discuss their lack of belief at all, either with theists or other non-theists. They’re just not interested. Does that mean they aren’t atheists? Nope. If a person doesn’t believe in a higher power/god, then they are an atheist, rather they ever tell another single soul (pun intended) about their disbelief, or keep it to themselves and remain apathetic forever.

I always have to smile when someone tells me ‘I’m black, therefore I can’t be a racist’ – the same goes for the atheist who says ‘I’m atheist, therefore I have no belief system/religion/dogma because I don’t believe in god’ –yes, you do not have or follow a religion, but you have a foundational system on which you base your principles and assumptions’

I have to disagree again. A belief system is based on what one DOES believe; On positive assertions. For instance, a theist is a theist because they believe in a higher power. They are not theists because they DON’T believe that there ISN’T a higher power. Although that statement might be true when applied to them, it is not the correct way of representing their belief system. If non-belief was used to represent belief systems, then those systems would require an infinite amount of time to define.

Further, while I might have a ‘belief system’, it can’t be compared to a ‘religious’ or ‘spriritual’ ‘belief system,’ which is something else entirely. A person can have both types of belief systems, or not. You can try to argue that for someone to say they do or do not believe in a higher power, they must be basing their belief on something else, but honestly I’ve heard many atheists and theists say they believe the way they do based on “instinct” or “feeling.” Sure, this might just mean they’re reacting subconsciously to experiences and stimuli in their lives, but subconscious thoughts don’t really constitute true ‘beliefs’, as ‘beliefs’ are affirmative statements. Therefore, “I don’t believe in God,” doesn’t really qualify as a “belief”, because it is the opposite.

A simply-defined system such as “I believe in the positive power and abilities of mankind, and the potential of science to advance the human race and our understanding of the past, present, and future,” suddenly begins to look more like this:

“I don’t think all humans are bad. I don’t think humans are insignificant or weak. I don’t think humans will ultimately bring about their own destruction. I don’t believe fairies contribute to mischief among humans. I don’t believe the Greek pantheon oversees or interferes with the activities of mankind. I don’t think alien abductions or experiments are destabilizing or infiltrating the human race… I don’t think failed or unsuccessful scientific experiments will prevent the ultimate advancement of mankind. I don’t think dangerous experiments with nuclear technology will bring about the destruction of the Earth… I don’t believe it’s impossible to learn more about the prehistoric past. I don’t believe it’s useless to make assumptions about the future. I don’t believe archaeology and anthropology will lead us to the false conclusion that we know everything already, thereby destroying any chance we have of truly uncovering and interpreting the past…” etc., etc., and so forth…

So you see, while the lengthy non-beliefs might be true statements, they are NOT part of my belief system. A ‘belief system’ is much more concise. A belief system is what you DO believe.

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jim January 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I have a little more sympathy for atheist because I see them as a response to a very childish hangup. Like 2 kids fighting on a playground you tend to scold the one who started it. But then again you have to realize they are two sides of the same coin.
The main trouble with theism is that it is like a train that never leaves the station.

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