Well that didn’t last long. A vocal facebook atheist killed three muslims and we atheists are everything evil. The person in question is not in my social networks, have no idea where he is vocal and I have no first hand knowledge of him or his mindset, I only know atheism does not inspire killing. Many a christian has named Dawkins and others as instigators but none have produced the documents showing these people as instigating anything.

The news stories (mostly in the US) have focused on the muslin/atheist aspect trudged under foot a long standing disagreement over parking. If we were talking about Australia I would be inclined to let that fact wash but in the USA where shooting and rage crime is common you can’t ignore that a gun nut shooting someone was just expected behaviour. The possibility that three people in the USA confronted someone, or he confronted them, ending in a shooting is not amazing.

statistically wIf we put this in perspective one atheist shot three muslims while a five second Google search will find endless stories about deaths associated with muslims killing christians and anyone they don’t like, christians killing christians and anyone they don’t like, buddhists killing muslims killing buddhists… I am not saying religion causes these deaths though the doctrines often allow or even promote such action, fact is it is still people and their own problems that cause people to kill. Using your religion as an excuse to kill doesn’t automatically make it the religions problem. The big difference however between atheism and theism is atheism is only a denial of theist philosophy and doctrines, atheism has no counter proposal or doctrines. An atheist need no more have a counter proposal to god than anyone else does for unicorns or elves. Atheism has some writers, none taken as god like authority and none I have ever seen that promoted killing. You may be an atheist and kill but you can not say I killed because Richard Dawkins said so (he hasn’t and wouldn’t, just an example).

I did see something which upset me even more during this time, more than all the talk of how immoral atheists are. I spend a lot of my time correcting people errors about atheism, my fellow atheist not theists, and this was one of those things. Someone said they were ashamed to be atheist because of this one event. It is right for us to condone this one persons actions but how is it being part of our community is suddenly the worst thing to be? You simply don’t see christians getting up saying how much they don’t want to be christian every time someone shoots someone else in a church. Theists take pride in being theist regardless of how often people use their religion to excuse killing. An atheist kills, there is nothing to show he killed because of atheism or in its name, and we have to be ashamed of who we are. This upsets me.

From this one immoral baby eating atheist to everyone listening or reading, I personally, without doctrine or belief, do not condone killing (or baby eating).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Well not quite, though I have been told often how immoral I am without god, allah or the bible it isn’t the truth theists wish it to be. I go as far as arguing that it is not me they accuse but their fragile beliefs they defend. If they can’t get morality from their beliefs, if you can get it without them, what value can you give those beliefs. It doesn’t take long to find good caring law abiding atheists, even one still hanging on to many of the ones they had when they were religious and I’m sure the theists know this deep down under the mental barriers they erect around their beliefs.

This topic comes to mind not for the first time but as I sit waiting for my wife’s scheduled midwife visit there is a woman sitting in front of me who’s jumper is covered in little metal crosses and she has an angel tattoo on her ankle. Suddenly, first time today and like so many days, religion is bought to my attention. So this isn’t a new topic for many atheists but one that is for some reason hot on my mind.

I cant help but wonder what morals theists think we should have, why the ones we have are not enough for them and how are theirs better than ours? What’s wrong with how I live my life and how does it hurt anyone?

hellmedMidwife visits are not new for me nor are accusations of immorality, this isn’t my first time as a parent and with my eldest turning 18 this year I suspect my morals may be in working order. To date I have not eaten my offspring or anyone else’s (regardless of baby eating being another accusation against atheists) and the fact my eldest has never been in trouble with the law or even looked like he is able to get in trouble with the law may be some measure of my ability to navigate morality. I’m as sure as anyone can be that my son will developed into a fine young man (give or take regular teen parenting issues). I myself have never been in prison, I haven’t even lost a license and haven’t had a point on it in 10 or more years. I don’t have any issues with my morals or those I have instilled in my son, why would anyone else given our record to date? Even if the claim of immorality as supported by statistics (it isn’t) why would you tarnish us all that way? I don’t call all theist paedophiles because so many of your institutions are under investigation world wide.

I am far from being a perfect parent – who is – and having made my share of mistakes but I also recognize that there are far worse parents with far worse kids in this world. Giving in and buying my son an XBox when he was 16 and a mobile phone at 17 don’t really count as terrible errors and not immoral but for me these were significant points in my parenting I am as yet unable to call good parenting. My mistakes are significant to me but certainly minor in comparison to some and of those some doing worse than I feel I have many believe in the fictional moral giver. I am a realist about everything possible and I don’t even promise to parent my next one better. There will be differences and problems I – and all parents – can’t hope to navigate before they happen. 18 years ago we may have foreseen the rise of gaming but who could have known the social impact. Now when your teens don’t talk to you they do it in your lounge room (as my son does) instead of out with their mates getting drunk or stoned (as I did). Who would have know? I don’t know the future or pretend I can control it. What I do know is that as a parent I will do my best to instil a since of community and caring in my next child, the same as the sense of community and caring I have had most of my atheist life.

So what is the difference between being a moral theist and an immoral atheist?

Not believing in a mythical god is an easy one. Given I’m the 3rd generation of atheists on my fathers side I can’t see that as being important. If not believing in a god is a moral problem it is one I can’t make sense of because I have no evidence to suggest there is a god or that the proposed gods (more than 3000 of them) set a good moral standard. Even buddha who is meant to have been all about peace and wisdom had a low regard for women an unacceptable notion in or modern society and not a sign of sound eternal morals. Any immortal all knowing eternal god character would give perfect morality the first time not give us primitive morality and say “that fits your current thinking, use that” so we later work out it was wrong and find something better for ourselves. Maybe giving us the wrong morals is a test and because theists are not developing they are failing the test. In any case how would giving us the wrong morals be moral? As an atheist this is easily explained, I understand gods are fictional and their morality equally so. For me the 10 commandments are no more a problem than any of the other 300 commandments because fiction books that says things about human behaviour are everywhere in literary history we just don’t consider them god given or law. The bible is just a terrible fiction novel, it is most certainly not historical or moral. Even if holy book weren’t fictional there is no morality lesson in “thou shalt have no other gods before me” or “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”, these are just the demands of a jealous deity, not morals.

I often hear it said our morals are given to us by god along with every stage of human development and learning. These people know how to cheapen their achievements and every achievement of humanity but there is no evidence to suggest we don’t learn and developed or morals on our own. If our morals were given by an overlord we would all start out with the same morals and even if we factor in free will, the end result of our morality would be a variation of the basic moral code. I have since primary school had an interest in socio-economics current and historical, I have travelled a little, lived in China a short time and known my share of people from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds. I can’t see the effect of a supreme moral giver in the behaviour of my fellow humans. I have spent around 15 years working as a children’s entertainer, I even see differences in how children behave and reason and it varies a great deal suggesting there is no starting morality only learned behaviour. I most certainly can’t see this overlord morality. If I am to believe rules like “no gods but me” is a god given moral instruction, one of many amongst the thousands of gods and rules we know, how is I exist and live as an atheist. I known some will say I don’t but lying about me to protect your religion doesn’t change the facts.

One final point on this line of thought, if god gave us our morality how is it satan (or any other evil fictional entity, demons are very common in religion) get the blame whenever a theist does something immoral. Satan (and kin) it seems are the primary excuse given for bad behaviour and bad parenting. What use is the claim of god given morals if satan (and kin) can simply make you break them? Thinking here of christians and their satan and his being sent by god surely indicates gods low regard for morals, he is tempting you – more than life itself would – to break your moral code. God it would seem wants to end morality. Is god a moral giver or do you find your own morals and god tries to break them?

I don’t know which of these lines of reasoning is best, they all seem equally bad. All I can gather from the evidence at hand is that there is no god involved in any way in our lives and most certainly not in anything called moral giving. We have to be personally responsible for being good or bad people. I think personal responsibility and knowing you are responsible is one of the best paths to good morals. Passing the blame to invisible magic men invites immorality.

It’s been two days since I started this article and I considered letting it go until a christian again bought the topic to mind. Religion is not my every day life.

nothing doing aIn an attempt to lure atheists into a moral trap this theist put forward a hypothetical that proposed kicking two women in the stomach and killing them, the variable being that one one was pregnant. Not just any version of pregnant but six months pregnant, a time indicating she had decided to carry through her pregnancy. This person was suggesting we decide a new course of action for her by killing her and another woman with the premise being a need for us to select which death is morally superior? Not one atheist fell for this very obvious trap because not one atheist thought there was a moral option. After having some trouble getting anyone to take the bait he changed from two women to one pregnant woman who he would kick to death because the baby when born would be noisy and keep him awake, this was his idea of a moral compromise. These people scare me, they have no morals I can see and represent a danger to humanity.

I will admit the person in question is an idiot but stupidity is not rare in religion and those who defend it. I have seen similar mindsets time and again, this is not even the worst example. How with this level of thinking can we or anyone take the idea of theistic moral superiority seriously? When theists are willing to consider – even as a hypothetical argument – kicking anyone to death as a moral option, theist morals seem to be a very sad and inferior thing indeed. This persons only concern with this entire line of question was an unborn child, there seemed to be not one second given to the thought that killing a person is wrong. Is that the level of morality learned from the bible? These people are the ones arguing religion with atheists, they know and recite apologetics and represent the “knowing” section of the theist community. Even the most dull minded atheists (yes they exist) reasons 10 levels above these people. Is christian morality (and muslims argue the same way) such a dangerous and meaningless concept that the stupid represent its most knowledgeable representatives.

If we take a second look at the problem the idiot presented and consider only the woman and the baby as nothing else matters then the problem is at least better represented.

Using personal experience, it being the best way to argue, not entirely hypothetical. I have a wife one month from giving birth, her belly kicks like escape is number one on it’s mind. At no point in the past 8 months have I thought the child more important than my wife. If I thought it was my choice to make I would never choose the life inside her over my adult living loving wife nor would I regret making the choice. Too make choices for her over her body and her life, to put the child’s life before her welfare doesn’t show my wife to love and respect I owe her. I don’t care for the morality of the options however because I hope with us having actually decided to have a child we have a healthy one and the choice never has to be made. If I were not educated and knowledgeable about sex and impregnation, if I had gotten my wife pregnant by mistake, had she not wanted it, if this was something we did not both want, even if I wanted and she didn’t, I would not have one second have thought to stop my wife choosing to abort. Maybe this is the real moral issue. My eldest will not get anyone pregnant by accident, he knows enough to not do so because my morality doesn’t say to pretend sex doesn’t happen or it is evil, that some sex is not really sex. My morality doesn’t enforce the result of rape or correctable mistakes on people and pulling out is not contraception. My morality says educate them and make their lives better than mine, not, keep them ignorant and with child at 13. I don’t ask who do we kill, I ask how do we avoid it.

The thing is that I am not alone in my thinking on women, christians also killed babies to save women. Until the advent of modern medical assistance baby’s heads were often crushed, killing the baby, if it was thought she couldn’t give birth safely. Many cultures had practice’s that allowed abortion for reasons as simple as illegitimacy to health. Simple fact is, a woman may have more babies if she lives, she serves no purpose dead. Adult women have always been more valuable to society than unborn children so why do christians make so much fuss in our modern age? Often it is the same christians who deny aspects of science and medicine that have saved babies dying on mass, do they want the dark age killing of babies back? Why do they choose to overlook their own history? Why do they think their protection of the unborn has anything to do with morals? The idea of killing babies is not unknown to the Abrahamic religions or their texts. The abortion argument is not entirely new but is entirely over blown and over rated. How about we just do what is morally right, how about we let women decide what to do with their bodies.

I suspect this is not the last time I will discuss morality as I will go on being told how immoral I am the rest of my life. For now and from this perspective I will let the topic rest.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

What a nasty cycle religion creates. It creates a cycle of fear and depression in believers on which it feeds like a leach. Like a leach it also provides the lubricant to keep the fear alive as it sucks the life from it’s victims. Sucking the life from people is not how I personally felt during the past 2 days, being quite immune to the methods I viewed, I do however suspect that a few poisoned and toxic brain cells were discarded in the wake.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn't ours to sell.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn’t ours to sell.

I have spent the past 2 mornings in a hotel and not being good at spending time alone in hotels I don’t sleep well, creating as it does long periods of stagnation in four walls (being the immortal atheist I am said to be, I never want to find myself in prison). At home I’m not much of a television watcher, the sheer stupidity of news reporting and sometimes the content, cause me to rage at the screen. Subsequently I have been banned from television news for around 10 years. That is how little television I watch and how little I enjoy it. Documentaries and comedies are my limited television diet. When alone in hotels the rules change and I use television as both company and entertainment. From the time I step in the room until the minute I leave the television is on.

This does present the problems of being faced with the increasing levels of crap regarded by television executives as entertainment and the need to channel surf. My laptop, writing and books offer occasional relief but not enough, I need noise to work and without noise find reading sends me to sleep. Being faced with television as my noise option I also have to face the fact that I end up waking to morning television and nothing is worse in the morning than christian televangelists (late night television psychics run a close second). No scam is quiet so blatant or been so openly allowed throughout human history as religion and the pinnacle of religions contemptible nature is money hungry televangelists.

In two days I have witnessed the most blatant scam and in those two days the price of participating in the scam went up from $300 to $500. Two different presenters, the same shallow project and slightly different god given offerings being presented. These are not donations or payments mind, you are asked to plant seeds. Both presenters continually say they want you to sow seeds, and that sowing will create positive outcomes for the person giving. Both guys had also been explicitly and conveniently instructed personally by god to get these seeds from 1000 people.

The second guy had me wondering if they were going to ask for half of everything their followers owned. He was rattling on about how he gave half of everything when god called him to give and nothing is too much for god. He had lots of anecdotal stories of people who gave and magically the phone rang saying they received money there and then as he spoke to them. One story was of a guy giving and a client who was late paying, paid. Even if it were true are his audience so stupid as to believe that only god could have caused someone to pay their outstanding invoices. What I did get from the sales pitch is that god loves your money and having people lie to get it is just fine by god. Even if were an element of truth to any of the stories they we so embellished and edited that they were nothing short of a lie. The preacher did eventually get to the point of asking us for the new and increased seed price of $500 but I felt at the end he was naming his minimum price. I suspect his minders let him ask for more because his sales pitch was better, you could get your seed at a discount price of only $500 from him, much cheaper than half of everything.

For around 30 minutes both mornings I watched these people promise everything and nothing to get my money. The first guys seeds were for blessings and bonus points with god. If you gave last year you need to remind god this year. The second guy was mystical cash returns, give now and money will just appear everywhere in your life. The more you give the more you get, give enough and maybe someone will drop dead and leave you a fortune (sweet thought). Both guys insisted that giving them money was going to drive satan away, the only common tie outside which church doing the asking and the project they were offering to fund.

The project itself was not often mentioned and if I had not decided to listen to the methods and words used I could have missed it. I was unusually focused on the content having woken early and little else to do before heading out. The project was sending bibles to the third world. Yes, bibles. These people over 2 days insisted you give $300 – $500 or more for bibles (no specific number of bibles was ever discussed while I watched, it may have been 2 worth $250,000 each).

So offering nothing but lies and bullshit to those giving in this life they were offering fire starters to Africans worth $300,000 and $500,000. Let’s face it, if bibles were going to save Africa it would have been done long ago. Many places in Africa were introduced to the christianity and the bible long ago, the world oldest known christian culture is in Ethiopia where people died on mass during long periods of drought and political turmoil. These idiots alone have been delivering bibles for years, some result should be clear by now. The bible being the single most printed, sold and stolen book in history, even the first book printed, surely the world should already be saved.

If, if you were the sort of idiot who believed this crap surely sending a bible to a random African address would be cheaper and not have you paying the wages for multimillionaire middlemen for god. Why does god need middlemen anyway? For $500 you yourself could send a box full of bibles to a church in Africa and they can share them out.

The saddest thing for me in watching this is that I knew someone who watched and believed, she sent these people money. She had all the DVDs and books they sell and she still died before the world ended or any of the promises came to pass. Her family found that the cash rewards were not coming in her life or after her life and eventually sold their farm and moved on. If she got any blessings at all ever there is no evidence of it. Maybe she got her brownie points in heaven but even if you believe that shit is real how can you really believe lying and cheating US millionaires are the key to getting those points. It is more likely that her wishing at heart to be a nice person, not her delusional state and making other people rich that won points. All these scams do is make someone in the USA richer, then they die too.

retrospectPeople like the lady I just mentioned (not an anecdotal story, I knew Thelma personally, I live 2 farms away and sometimes helped out if they needed extra hands, I was out with her grandson when I met my wife, I don’t need to lie for atheism) don’t get better or think better with religion playing on their fragile mental states. Televangelists play on peoples fears and their depression, they target them and enhance their problems to scam them out of their hard earned incomes and investments. Thelma believed the television news was a sign of satan and end times and these people re-enforce that belief.

The victims of these scams don’t seek help for their conditions because religion presents itself as a cure. By properly fearing the stories of evil told by the religion you allow god to save you from the religion and everything will be fine. This relationship is often and correctly compared to abusive relationships because getting the victim to accept the abuse they receive is a key to both religion and abusive partnerships. The fact is religion doesn’t cure and people start to avoid the victim making them even more alone, miserable and insecure. People find them harder to associate with and this only gives religion more hold. Thelma was eventually left with visits from people with a vested interest in her money being given to their church as her primary companionship. Her husband had little say over her money and he continually fought with her over how much she was giving them. The rest of us only went near Thelma if we were asked to come and help unload hay or other farm tasks best left younger folk. At our farm we put effort into making it look like we were never home so Thelma wouldn’t visit, we even hid ourselves on occasion when she did. She used to comment at how often we were not on the farm. This is just one sad but true story of how religion destroys peoples lives and it didn’t do much for us in turn. It made our lives change, we hid to avoid being rude, nobody really wants to tell sad deluded old women to fuck off.

Thelma was addicted to televangelists, she would whenever possible lend us books or videos knowing we were atheist (and before I became a father with children to protect, I would not be so polite now). For us, her nearest neighbours (only vacant farm lots and cows between us) avoiding her was our best option.

Religion is a social disease and like many diseases it feeds on the unhealthy aspects of the thing it is infecting. Religion seeks weaknesses in people and played them to its advantage, growing in them like cancer. Televangelists are amongst the worst of religions cancers, the lung cancer of humanity.

I am going home now with this short and rant like post behind me. I hope one day we will be free of bad television and religion, until then I will return to my state of mostly television free bliss (and consider sending my $500 πŸ˜€ ).

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.BADA 1

Atheism, theism, deism, agnosticism these and the many other often useless and unproductive terms get used and abused in discussions of a theistic nature. Mostly the practice of a theists, some less informed atheists also manage to fall into these traps. For the theist it is often ill considered arguments learned from a professional in the art of “lying for jesus”, for the atheist it may be the result of prior indoctrination or social conditioning that has not been completely shaken off.

On to business…

Thinking GenerationBELIEF.

Belief is an odd thing that needs some explaining.

Most people believe in things, only nihilists believe in nothing, they seem to think we all live in the matrix computer. Other than the nihilists we all start with a few basic testable assumptions about our lives and the world around us. Theists do often try and throw nihilism into a debate not understanding it negates all argument even their own. Simply put, if none of us exist what use does any argument or any god actually serve? I prefer to accept that we all start with the same basics, I am here, I am alive, I have four senses (touch, sight, taste and hearing) to begin exploration of my existence.

We are not at belief yet because I trust rather than believe my senses. My trust has limitations because I also know they can be wrong as would anyone who has tried to catch something under water. There is still room to examine things in my environment and confirm things I normally accept. For instance, a rock is hard and I have no reason not to believe my senses here, but, the reason a rock is hard is something my senses are unable to tell me. I know my senses don’t explain everything and I will spend my entire life learning about my environment and to that end I am one of the lucky ones, as are all people willing to open their minds.

At this point I will quickly throw off science rather than bog down in it. For some reason science causes problems for many theists yet science is not about belief and is not a rebuttal to religion. Science is a method of discovery and reporting that allows us to build a better evidence based picture of our universe. You don’t believe science you accept the value of science as a tool and in turn accept the value of its findings. If you “believe” science you are not understanding science. Equally wrong is the idea that science is a “phenomena”, science is not some magic mystical out of the ordinary thing. We humans have experimented with our environment since we first made tools, science is the modern and more accurate way of addressing our already exploratory nature.

On to belief finally because saying we accept science doesn’t mean we cant also believe things, atheists can believe in many things. The problem with belief is not that atheist have it but that all belief is not equal, this idea confuses some people.

Belief based on intangible evidence (evidence I can’t put in a test tube and boil until it reveals it’s secrets) and a theist favourite is love. It’s a favourite of mine too because in my own life I believe I’m loved and it is lovely. Should I have my belief wrong and this is not be the case I would not be the first person to believe in love based on reading the evidence (words and motions) incorrectly. I can’t very well test my wife’s love without a sounding jealous and possessive, traits I believe are undesirable and dangerous to relationships (and another belief I have based only on life experiences). So love, how I assess it, even how I manage to maintain it, remain based on largely intangible evidences,. Life it turns out is not always about picking up every rock to see how hard each one is, often we judge our environment on prior experience, we decide to not lift every rock but choose to believe the next rock is hard. Should we really need to know we can always go a little OCD and go back to lifting. An even better and less confusing word to describe this belief would be trust, we trust our judgement based on the available evidence and previous experience. Regardless which word you use, evidence based on real world events and actions still constitute a form of evidence.

Religious belief, the problem belief, should be a short on to explain. Religious belief is best described by the word faith, the final argument for all gods. Faith by definition stipulates that evidence is not required you just need to hope and if you hope hard enough it will be true. I don’t understand it myself, it sounds like Santa for adults. This form of belief differs greatly from the earlier belief in that only your own opinion matters. Evidence is not only unimportant but can be ignored and even denied in favour of simply hoping you have it right. This version of belief should be opposed by all atheist as it is at the heart of what constitutes a god. The biggest problem for atheism is that theists hoping for several millennia that there is a god still haven’t managed to provide a single clear definition of what god is or what god means. Religious belief is basically belief in whatever you imagine/guess/hope/are told/feel like. Some theists use doctrine to base their definitions but the instant anyone show doctrine to be incorrect or falsified the last defense is always faith or religious belief, the belief in nothing simply because “I want too”.

FAITH.

I know I mentioned it but this one is meant to be an argument buster for the theists. Basically, if you have faith everything is okay and no argument can defeat your personal want to have an invisible friend. The problem is that saying you have faith is like insisting anything can be real if only we just want it hard enough, the christian bible even has a pretty line about praying and the mountains will move (praying being an extension of having faith). I could think of a few things that still don’t exist but have very high levels of faith. Santa for one would be much more fun than most gods but how about a rabbits that excrete chocolate, the pet we would all like to own. All those kids for all those years knowing beyond doubt that Santa and easter bunny were real, so much faith and still we parents shop for gifts and eggs. Nothing is more childish than thinking faith is a good argument except having father in adult imaginary friends.

RELIGION.

So many people try to palm off their belief in a god as not being religion. Statements like “I’m not religious, I have a personal relationship with jesus” are just plain stupid. Working from this particular example, Jesus is a mythical character associated with one specific set of religious doctrines (and edited to fit islam), anything associated with jesus is christian and christianity is a religion. Other arguments are put forward by people around the idea that you are not part of a big church and only attend sermons and do bible study in a house or a hall you are not somehow involved with religion. Quite well known for this variation on stupid was a preacher named Banana Man, sorry, Ray Comfort. Ray, a christian preacher with a small christian congregation but a congregation none the less, claimed to not like religion and to not be religious. Talking to these people you can always find a specific variation of god with a specific religious doctrine behind their ideology. Sometimes they even claim to be atheist probably under the common misunderstanding that atheism is a belief. Regardless of what you imagine your relationship is with your fictional friend, if you have one called spirit or jesus, without religious doctrine you may very well not have that specific variation of friend. You are religious and the variation of friend tells us which religious foundation.

CATHOLICS.

This is a good one that should have Catholics hopping mad. To try and justify their own beliefs and separate themselves from catholic dogma many christians claim catholics are not christians. A christian is quite simply someone who believes in the mythical character jesus which catholics most certainly do. The biggest difficulty for these catholic denying christians must be the fact that the Roman catholic church collated and edited the bible they use as their definitive reference book. Other than the eastern orthodox churches all christians are little more than catholic cultists (itself a cult of earlier jewish beliefs, which are an amalgamation of earlier known beliefs).

BORN AGAIN.

Bloody ridiculous unless you popped out of a vagina for a second time. Being “born again” would be easier described as confirming your brain washing as it is mainly a undertaking of people already religious but need to take that one extra step towards labelling themselves clinically insane. They demand that they believe in adult imaginary friends much much much more than everyone including other christians who they describe as “not proper christians”. Born again christians have serious problems and extreme indoctrination method with which to instil them.

PROPER CHRISTIANS.

Now I am not a biblical scholar but I know the bible says you shouldn’t judge others. I would even go one further and say that it says only god can judge, and yet, so many christians judge this way. The obvious case at hand are the many atheist who once had some variation of religion, some prominent ones were training as ministers, at least couple I know of were priests or in seminary to become priests. How christian do you need to be to be christian? Still some christian judge the christianity or former christianity of others to try and devalue their becoming anything but christian. How dare you devalue someone else’s life in any way, more so, how dare in front of your invisible friend do his job? If someone says they were atheist I am wary but I don’t right away say you were not a real atheist even though many a born again christian see their earlier christianity as being atheist. What I do is ask the person about their earlier atheism and work out the actual condition of their belief. Only then do I let them know if they are lying about having been atheist or have for some reason unknown to me developed a mental illness. I don’t have an invisible friend who claims the job and yet I still consider the other persons position with some care. I hope nobody minds me holding the higher moral ground over anyone who tells someone they were not a proper christian for simply changing sides.

My relationship 1RELATIONSHIP.

I detest hearing this, not so much because it is stupid and wrong but because it lacks respect for family and friends of the person saying it. Hearing someone say “I’m not religious, I have a relationship with jesus” says to me nothing short of, “I am an idiot who thinks my imagination more important than my family”. The christian religion is having an imaginary friend called jesus so you get no medal for understanding your own beliefs but then you want to bring that imaginary friend to a level equal to or higher than the real life people you are meant to love and care for. How can I respect you for even suggesting such a thing? Your imaginary friend can not hug or kiss you, your imaginary friend can not nurture and feed you, still you want to dismiss the people who can and imply they are of no more value than your imagination. You my friend, your with the relationship with your own imagination, you are a class one idiot.

As an atheist I have one very real life with very real people who get from me 100% of the love and care I have. If my family don’t feel loved and cared for it’s only my fault, no imaginary friend detracts from my ability to work harder on my relationships. No imaginary friend takes my time nor his representatives take my money, all my resources are for my family. If I have spare I have and do give to my friends and broader community. No imaginary friend gets to claim its importance over real life flesh and blood people, my family have it better than your just on principle and I feel for them being related to such an emotionally stunted human being.

proudly purple AATHEISM / ATHEISTS.

This may be long.

1) atheism is a belief.

A dictionary, a good dictionary, will define atheism as “a lack of belief in the existence of gods”. I had a software dictionary that got this wrong and I no longer install it on peoples computers for them, if you can’t get a simple one line definition right your dictionary is rubbish. This dictionary now offers 2 definitions, they may have the correct one now because I complained often but they still have the old one offering atheism as a “doctrine or belief”. These words are as far removed from atheism as gods themselves and in line with some very misleading theist argument. The point of defining atheism as a belief is to bring it down to the same level as theism. This offers two basic and incorrect outs for undereducated theists, one is the idea that it is easier to deny another belief, all you do is say “it’s wrong, I’m right”. The second is related to the idea of atheism being a serious threat to belief, if atheist can live without gods why can’t other people? People changing between beliefs is easier to accept because they may return if you can convince them they are wrong, if they stop believing and life continues without god, the problem of getting them back is escalated and for most people impossible. I for one can not see a time in which my mind is still functioning where I could convince myself to believe something I know to be unnecessary and a lie.

2) atheism has doctrines.

There are no doctrines involved in atheism. No rules, no doctrines, no leaders, no churches (just some people playing churches to keep the social feel), no definitive writings, no authorities. There are individual atheists who do all the things humans do, following, accepting without question, accepting authority and playing church but every atheist is an individual, not drawn together by doctrine but by one single thing, a lack of belief in god. There are many people who have written about atheism and many good quotes from their writing but no one person or writing can be said to represent atheists. If I look at my own reading I like Smith who views atheism as I have all my life, I also like Dawkins and as a biologist the man is brilliant but Dawkins got some things wrong with his atheism. This is how many of us read and view our atheism, everything is open to question and blind acceptance is not required or even demanded. The other things with these books is that they are not read and interpreted for us once a week by someone who’s only qualification is often that on book or books about that one specific book. Atheists read everything, as I write I have in my bag The Happy Housewife (a christian book from 1975), a copy of the Muslim Teens Handbook and in this pad device I am reading The Necessity Of Atheism. I don’t always read on religion and atheism, this is just a good time to sample, I also like reading fiction and science.

Atheism is only a counterpoint to the philosophical proposition of god/s and as such atheism runs out of things to say as fast as theists run out of arguments for their god/s. Every few months I see the watchmaker fallacy come to life yet again, this time a house, next time a car but always the same argument. How can atheism find new refutations for the same warn out arguments that have been waved about for hundreds of years? We don’t have our own doctrine to build on, only the same iron age religions and their extremely pathetic modern counterparts.

3) atheists just want to sin or be immoral.

There are more than 300 rules in the bible alone on how to live your life, not suggestions, god given commandments. To live by them all may drive you insane and most certainly make you a criminal. Christians ignore these rules though the bible makes it clear all of the rules are of equal importance in getting to heaven. It seems even christians don’t put much value in the concept of sin and like we atheist choose their own morality.

For catholics this even less important because all they need do is say sorry. Not mind anyone they wronged, only to their imaginary friend.

To my knowledge most religions and most followers have similar blind spots in their beliefs that they choose to ignore as it suits them.

For an atheist sin is easy, there is no such thing. Sin is an imaginary illness created by an imaginary friend to which it is the only imaginary cure.

When an atheist does bad and atheist put their life on the line. With one life to live there can be little reason to want to spend it in prison or devoid of friends and family. It is simply easier to be a good person. When a theist does something bad they see forgiveness and life forever in a magical wonderland, sometimes because they believe the bad they did was in their chosen deities name. Being bad must ideally hold less meaning for the theist than the atheist.

4) Atheists are satan’s…

Who cares what we’re meant to be, that particular god entity is no more real that the other one. We may as well agree that we act in the name of Frosty the Snowman.

5) atheists just want to rebel.

I am a little rebellious. I questions, I don’t stand for flags or anthems (but have pride in many things about my country) and I don’t always vote the same way. This is not what theist mean though, they mean rebel against their imaginary friend. Again we come to the fact their friend is imaginary. How anyone could seriously think I was trying to rebel from their personal imaginary friend I just don’t know.

Taking this argument to the next logical step, what about the law. Atheists have to accept personal responsibility for their action, there is not asking forgiveness or blaming you imaginary friends evil twin. Studies and statistics can be used to show this has an element of truth because it has been shown that atheists make a considerably smaller proportion of prison populations than they represent in the general population. Figures from both Europe and the USA have crossed my desk showing this to be true. Given this it would seem statistically that atheists do in fact respect law, just not mythical ones.

6) atheists don’t exist.

Having never in my life believed in any god, uttered a single prayer and believing the only thing that could get me to believe would be insanity, I find this offensive. I may punch the next person who says it to me and risk the assault charge I find it that offensive. Fancy having the balls to tell anyone they don’t exist, to simply with one simple phrases deny a person any value. To take away any good they have done, to imply they have no place in the world. I know atheists exist, I am not christened or baptized and even have my for skin (sorry if you were about to eat :p). No religion has even be allowed to claim me and I was raised without religion. I am most certainly atheist and my life has value and has had value to many people (I hope mainly positive).

I am not easy to offended but his offends me every time it’s stated. I am slightly offended that I even have to write about it.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

NOTHING.

1) Universal nothing.

Lets start with one simple fact, atheism is not science nor does it require science. Theism is a purely philosophical proposition and atheism is counter argument on purely philosophical grounds. Without doctrine trying to keep us ignorant, having a open and educated mind may be an advantage to atheists, but, not a requirement of atheism.

Science is in part to blame for this one but theists are to blame for its continued use in the form they use it, knowing full well they are lying. This idea of nothing being nothing has been refuted time and again, continuing to use it is simply lying for jesus.

Nothing as it was proposed would be better phrased as nothing-we-as-yet-understand. There are many theories about what was before the big bang but we don’t have a solid case yet (that’s fine, not knowing and saying so is better than guessing the answer, ie. god). To our knowledge and in our experience a state of nothing is not possible and we have no reason to think it possible. Science suggests that all of the matter and energy now in existence has always existed and we have as yet no reason to think otherwise. Only the state of existence may have changed becoming the universe we now know.

To the theist nothing sounds better because claiming science can’t possibly have it right, nothing exploding and becoming the universe is just stupid, is a far better story to tell (a lie). They’re right that nothing becoming everything is stupid but for those of us not trying to rob people of their hard earned wages by selling them lies, god is nothing. By our understanding that means god is nothing did some magic and from the nothing came the universe. Nothing is not a scientific position, it’s a theist one.

We know this claim means they think god is something but if that were true where is god now? Any real god should be somewhere in all of our scientific knowledge but god as theists would have it remains a nothing. Not one scientific paper accepted in academic circles says “and then god”. Theist would have us believe this is a conspiracy but if god was valid god would then be required to prove the next step in research. Science doesn’t just forge ahead ignoring past findings, it can’t. Worse it has to prove past findings or find itself basing its research on incorrect foundations. Back in the early days of science, in Darwin’s day, people were building entire scientific works on incorrect assumptions and when the original assumption collapsed so did the entire tree of research. Modern science doesn’t make that mistake as often and it discovers the problems very fast when it does.

If for one second I was to take up the case of god and run with it it would simplify down to this. There was god; god had nothing and no friends; god made some spirit friends but they had no substance; trying again from nothing he made a universe of pretty things then put some new friends on one of the pretty things he made from nothing; not knowing how to have friends made mistakes, putting things where he shouldn’t, like apples he didn’t want eaten; rather than being a good friend and guide the friends he created he punished them for his mistakes; over time he punished, threatened and killed his friends on mass demanding they play his way or burn forever (at least as kids most of us just took our ball home when the game wasn’t going our way).

I am an atheist, I don’t need science to be atheist but ask me again which nothing option makes more sense and I have to side with science every time.

2) god nothing.

This idea is something I don’t see as often as I once did but for the entire history of religion nothing has ever been forgotten. Some arguments may change form but they keep retuning regardless of how bad they are.

This idea presents itself in the form of “without god I am nothing”. It fits with many other top is already covered, the universe, atheists, life, none of it would exist without god making it. All the efforts and the suffering of humanity become cheap and meaningless with this one statement. I studied formally for a total of around 20 years of my life plus informal learning to get where I am and yet in a single breath the theist says your knowledge is from god. Why the hell then did I have study, I fall apart in exams, it wasn’t easy for me to get through my education. Why did I bother when I could have it seems just prayed for knowledge.

Any of us who know people or have met people with home schooling or from less educationally advantaged countries, places where they do pray, we know it to be bullshit. I would like to meet the theist who had not one day of education, never seen a book and prayed 6 hours a day. I find children wonderful, I chose to give up my trade and now entertain kids for a living, I love the fact I can tell stories and make terrible jokes that my audience will react to with none of the adult inhibition we all learn. I think that christian would have a child’s mind, in short burst I may enjoy his company, I could make terrible and very simple jokes about things he understood, smelly feet maybe. I couldn’t stay long, the best thing about entertaining, I don’t have to keep the kids at the end of the day :).

Without god I am exactly like everyone else with an open mind. I am a biological entity doing my best to get through life as best I can and willing to consider every option as I do. The other difference between me and someone so tied to an imaginary friend they can’t manage life without it is that I am not wasting my one short life on imagining something better, I am work to make it happen now and beyond for myself, my partners and my children.

MonkeyMadnessTRUTH

Personally, I don’t believe 90% of preachers would know truth it if it tripped them up, kicked sand in their face, gave them an additional kick while they were down and screened I their face, “I am truth”. I have seen so many preachers present arguments and have it ripped wide open and yet the next week they are out repeating he same argument word for word. This level of dishonesty, as it must be in the preachers who claim to be the knowledgeable members of their community, is inexcusable. I can excuse it to some degree in run of the mill sheep theists but I have personal experiences that tell me dishonesty is not a rare commodity in the religious at any level.

Still when a believer says truth, their honesty towards their fellow man is not normally what they mean. What they mean is some sort of atheism, science breaking truth, a thing so true only believers can find it.

Buddha was the highest of all people – and gods – according to buddhists, he became enlightened and nothing was beyond him. He became a super-god above all people and gods. He achieved this contemplating his navel for a very long period, this great revelation, this great revelation, and still it took us the better part of the next 6000 years to discover the true nature of electricity. The stuff that flashes in the sky, stuff buddha would have seen, was beyond buddha’s navel contemplating ability. Considering your imaginary friend to be the source of truth is no different to navel contemplation. It was not until we did the work of generations, learning, testing and discovering the truth of our existence that we started to learn what it was. In not one in our learned truths has god been a requirement, worse, it has often been a hindrance.

There is no truth in religion, religion more often maintains levels of ignorance. There are people in this world with no better qualification than having studied one particular variation of mythology and passing themselves off as educated. These people are often happy to present themselves as experts on everything or as knowledgeable representatives of their community, exercising that communities political and social power. A number of these people have never even studies a second variation of mythology let alone all competing mythology. Even then, if they knew every mythology known to man, it would only qualify them to tell fairy stories. This isn’t truth, this is nonsense.

OPEN MIND

This one is laughable. I never had to give religion much thought when I was younger. I was allowed to learn on my own and I chose to do Religious Instruction and go to Sunday School (sorry mum, so I could go she has to sit through 3 hours of catholic Sunday sermons, she is still non-religious, but was raised anglican, it was a torture she undertook just for me) until both became boring. Oh I got told all the cute kids stories they tell while missing the death and destruction of the bible, but I never took it as anything but art class with fairy tales. I had better thing to do with my life. I had a mad aunt who insisted we went to church if we visited on Sundays and I remember complaining a lot if it even looked like we would visit on a Sunday. My mum thought it good manners to go so we went a few times, just to polite we had to go and act like we knew the songs and pretend to sing along. In my 20s I returned to looking at religion and considered every one I could find looking for something of value and failing to find it. We all have that point in life where we go from invisible to contemplating our mortality and for me it meant considering as many philosophical perspectives and scientific facts on the topic of death as possible. I considered what religion was presenting and I have been atheist all my life.

Many atheist don’t have the luxury of my secular upbringing, many come from very religious backgrounds.

To say that atheist have a closed mind is to ignore the fact many of us were once religious and every one of us has religion shoved in our face at some point in our lives. It ignores the efforts of many religious people to promote their beliefs everywhere they go and all the bumper stickers that must have made someone rich. It ignores the fact that the bible is the number one selling book ever, the first book ever printed and a copy was once in almost every hotel in the world (everyone I stayed in but it seems to be less frequent). Even the morons and joho witlesses have to admit that not many escape their door knocking. Christmas, easter, passover… I could go on all day with the many religious holidays and events we all suffer (I hate carols, simplistic rubbish music and played everywhere) during our lives. You can’t not consider religion.

Forget what telling an atheists they have closed their mind says about your efforts to make your beliefs known, it says your god is impotent when it comes to making itself know. Are you sure you want to admit that?

Looking from the atheist perspective, looking back over this blog post, looking at what it means to be atheist, considering how inescapable religion is and how ignorant and denialist the religious can be, it is laughable to think we atheists are the ones with closed minds.

Open your minds, take in everything and learn to evaluate it.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

I should cover quickly some of the incorrect, misleading and deliberately false statements made about atheism and atheists. There are a number of people wheeled out as evil atheist killers that history to show how immoral atheists are but the historical evidence doesn’t support the claims of “killing for atheism” made against them, some are not and can never even be considered atheist. I need to address this before moving on because I am certain there have been atheist killers but atheist or theist, a persons belief is not always the reason for their actions, only the excuse they use. In the case of atheism atheism is never to my knowledge, or any historical reference I know of, the excuse for killing. With no atheist doctrine saying we should kill it would seem to be impossible to say someone killed in the name of atheism, it is far more common to find people actually reporting that they killed in the name of their chosen doctrine (political or religious). I want to discuss moderates but first I have to dispelled some of the false information in the world today.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

The the politics l ideology of Marxism and some of the people accused of killing for atheism is a big one so let’s start Marxism itself. Karl Marx was a remarkable and prolific writer, brilliant economist and renowned philosopher who formulated the ideological basis for what we know to be communism. Marx, regardless of how people may think of him, was a very clever and thoughtful writer who like most theoretical economists was an idealist. His choice of ideal came to be the power majority, the working classes. It is often said that communists are atheist and this may be true to some degree but when a theist use this argument they use it dishonestly as an excuse to accuse atheists of being mass murderers without morals. Karl Marx, the father of communism did indeed suggested that to change there needed to be bloody revolution and no power but the worker state be allowed to retain the states power. Communism as Marx saw it is blood soaked but that is not atheism. Marx recognized the power of the people running the state with their military and police forces and said the masses need to rise up quickly and violently to overcome them and that is the heart of his writing on churches and religion. Oddly enough many christians still think the same way as Marx. Look towards the USA and who shouts the loudest about having guns to maybe one day take over the state, you will find a whole lot of christians in that mix. Marx also recognized the power of the church on people and said they need to fall to refocus peoples attention on the state, replacing god with state being his intention. There is a suggestion that state imposed atheism is a best option but the intent is to direct people to believe the state comes before god. Again a very christian ideal, in the christian bible a guy names jesus said something similar when the suggested you pay Rome what is rightfully Rome’s. Technically and theoretically, on the division of power, Marx was not wrong churches wield a great deal of unwarranted unelected power in our societies. In practice communism like capitalism and all pure forms of economic theory has the ability to turn ugly when people come to be part of the equation. What we find looking at Marxism is that its not really atheism he was arguing but the replacement of god-religion with state-religion, the state to effectively become a god to the people. What happened when people were added was personality cult and power grabbing not dissimilar from any other human power structure. When it comes to the anti-theism of pure communism it is about breaking down powerful church organizations and far less about destroying personal belief. Power as the focus of the anti-theist ideology, both Mao and Stalin, major players in communism, allowed religion to exist where it benefited them and their cause. Marx may have been and is well noted as being atheist but atheism was not his goal nor the reason behind his writing. At worst Marx’s outsider perspective as an atheist gave him a clearer view of religion and how it held and wielded power on which to build parts of his socio-economic vision.

Next let’s address the one person who was surely atheist in his destructive years, he man made clear his lack of belief but he wasn’t always that way or educated that way. Joseph Stalin may be best described as a mad monk turned politician. We can’t ignore how a person learned to hate enough to be willing to kill on mass or how he came to decide it was political necessity. I have some Marx in my personal library (I have many historically important books) and have read other of his works. He does suggest that because of the nature of the wealthy to have military and police strength the only way for radical change is revolution but that can’t be the only factor leading to mass killing post revolution Stalin undertook. I have read Marx and other philosophies of the time and I don’t want to kill or think of people of other races as lesser than myself, lessons easily learned from many of the philosophers of the 19th century theist and atheist. Atheism as I have previously mentioned has no doctrines so “kill everyone” can’t be atheist doctrine, I would need to adopt an ideology (or go insane) to want to kill and my atheism has not given me any special

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What's your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn't.

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What’s your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn’t.

reason adopt any ideology in its entirety. Stalin identified as atheist but the ideology of communism is not atheism. Somehow Stalin not only became atheist but adopted communism as his ideology. Stalin’s formal years of education are well known, Stalin was well educated and on his way to the priesthood when he turned to politics. Is it here perhaps that he learned to hate, to refute god and with communism thrown in gain the power to enact his hate. Every one of us is the culmination of our life’s experiences and it is lucky for christians that we will never know how his training as a priest changed Stalin or why he became a power hungry paranoid killer. In the end we know Stalin was insane with his need to retain power and under pressure internationally to renounce communism (which may have enhanced the need in him to retain power through killing). We know the historical fact of Russia, the revolution, the progression from communism to Leninism to Stalinism and how dirtied ideology of worker state became. We know Stalin’s actions were in the name of communism but nothing he did was in the name of atheism though he was openly critical of religion. We also know Stalin was the atheist was the same man who knowing the power of the church, reformed the Russian Orthodox church to build public support in the fight against Nazi Germany (and gaining Vatican approval). It is impossible to know what drove Stalin to be who he became but we do know atheism and christianity both played roles in his life as a communist.

Leading on from Stalin, Adolph Hitler. This one is easy. I have a copy of Mien Kampf in my personal library and the man is well documented as being Roman catholic. His speeches, articles, books, radio recordings and film stock all show a man declaring his christianity and his work being that of god. It is hard to work out why so many theists bring Hitler up when trying to tarnish atheism. There are some writings at the end of his life, as his world collapses, where he expresses doubt but still no outright rejection of belief. Until the faith shaking realization there may not be a god on his side in the war he started, Hitler is very much a Roman Catholic christian. His doubt can not be seen as atheism and nothing in his life suggests he fully understood, if understood at all, the concept of no god only the wrong gods. Not only is Hitler well known but the vatican gave him the power to choose German church leaders. The pope of the time, like many people of the time, did not like the separatist nature of some communities – especially some religious ones – in their midst which was often expressed as anti-semitism (though WWII all but ended gypsy existence in mainland Europe and Hitler also targeted homosexuals). At that time in history it was a very christian thing to hate anyone not christian and white with violent intent if not actions, WWII rocketed us along the road less hateful.

Pol Pot. This man is a mixed up creation. Like Stalin his actions were communist but his level of non belief is an unknown from the information I and most people can access. Pot was born buddhist and educated christian, he later became communist and for reasons unknown (as they can’t have presented that much of a threat to his power) took to killing people in quite horrible ways. I am not even going to guess where Pot got his mindset but it was a sick one he managed to get away with. Pot’s communist empire fell and the people who followed him to power allowed him to live out his life basically unpunished. Certainly unpunished for the level of suffering he caused. I am not even sure how to judge the people who failed to punish Pot or what their beliefs may be, I am certainly willing to say that their beliefs or lack of beliefs may not be the criteria best used to judge them.

Mao Zedong, China’s hero, was a buddhist before becoming communist. Revolution in China with it’s population and poverty, the 1936 invasion on China by the Japanese who killed far more Chinese people than all the people Hitler had killed in his lifetime, and the problems of western support of imperial China, nothing about a Chinese revolution was going to be clean. There were certainly strange policies leading to death in China, the Great Leap Forward was meant to revolutionize agriculture as had been done in Russia and ended up starving million to death. The following youth movement implemented to boost support after such a failed policy kills many more. To say that Mao meant to kill people in villages would I think be over stating his actions, it was simply a very bad poorly implemented policy and a power structure slow to change. Bad politics is not atheism any more than it is buddhism. I can’t get in the head of the long dead chairman but today the Chinese people love him, even those who suffered now credit him with bringing the country from abject poverty and foreign domination to the level of potential first works country. Admittedly his record is whitewashed in China, something that may backfire on the regime if the people ever learn how whitewashed; a problem for another day. Would I be happy to say China today is atheist, an evil atheist nation? No. The China of Mao practices a blend of atheism, ancestor worship and buddhism. Hospitals have Chinese medicine wards where pseudo-medicine is practised, pseudo-medical pressure point massage is huge business and crackers go off daily to scare of spirits and bring luck to businesses. Western religion and its powerful churches may not play a part but I don’t know that we can judge Mao’s actions or China as being atheist, only communist.

Why theists play these games is beyond me but pushed for an answer I would say they hope their followers don’t read. It takes a 30 second google search to find historical references that refute many of the claims so the people they are talking to must not even read that far (which I guess is why Answers in Genesis and Conservapedia exist, to save googling information you don’t want and re-enforce the lies some preacher told you).

This line of argument is foolish because it doesn’t take long for an atheist to dig up examples of religious killing. People who did directly say they killed for god are easy to find; Adolph Hitler afore mentioned, any number of people currently in prisons world wide, and some of the most repulsive periods of human history such as the dark ages, various which hunts and the fictional flood of Noah Abrahamic theists believe in. It isn’t just the people (and fictional gods) committing the crime who present the public face of religious killing, finding people defending the murderous actions if other believers (or their god) is as easy as breathing.

When you build a false argument that is easily refuted you don’t do yourself any favors. The theist argument puts believers who have a simplistic view of the world in danger of presenting these arguments in places where they will be presented with the facts and counter argument. I have met many an atheist who said that learning the truth of things they had been told by a religious leader was what made them question their beliefs. By presenting these arguments you weekend your own cause, honesty is and will always be a better weapon in the battle to save theism from its long slow death.

Again I do not understand why these arguments exist, I for one prefer honesty in all things. The people who originally built them must have had the intelligence to research their subject and must have known that being caught in a lie can be detrimental. I can only guess stupidity and education are lacking in the people they aimed it at. I guess it also shouldn’t surprise me, I have known most of my life that religion targeted the young, stupid and the vulnerable. The young and stupid would certainly be more susceptible to this level of argument from an authority figure.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

Moderate is a word often thrown about in religious circles when someone comes to unwanted media attention for some radical act in any specific gods name. The idea behind the statement being, “we are not all like that, you can’t blame us”. I don’t accept this and hold the idea that moderate theists are to blame for the nutters who use their religion as an excuse to do harm. In fact I take it one step further in not believing there are actually any moderates.

WHAT IS MODERATE THEISM?

Many people claim to be moderate but few if any could really be considered so. Unjustifiable belief, which is key to religion, is held while the person holding the belief may not agree with everything about an organization or doctrine they claim adherence too. These people must think god is a democracy and their vote matters but even that is stretching the boundaries of doctrine. This form of moderate theism all but demands that atheism is a more honest position. The moderate theist by asking questions and denying doctrine acknowledge that they have no solid foundation for belief, wilful ignorance is the best descriptive for this form of theism.

No, god is mythical and at best imaginary.

No, god is mythical and at best imaginary.

Consider if you will the homosexual christians and their families trying to change the church from the far left wing. They often consider themselves moderate for not holding tight to the same levels of bigotry as others yet they seek with unwavering passion a god documented as promoting the very bigotry used to discrimination against them in churches. Breaking down that bigotry would require breaking church from doctrine, what value it had and what is actually believed would then be worthless. There are large numbers of people like this already, often called spiritual as they drift without doctrine seeking new beliefs. These christian homosexuals can hardly be the moderates they claim while holding so dearly to belief in something which proclaims to want them dead and perhaps missing the point that only breaking it will fix it.

As an example of how fragile moderate theism is I was recently discussing the Australian governments school chaplaincy program with a self appointed moderate theist, a discussion that went sideways very fast. This individual identifies as a nonreligious christian (a ridiculously floored understanding of reality for someone who puts value in the christian bible) and someone I consider a nice person. When during our discussion I made the obvious statement suggested chaplains had no part in state schools and that my son should never be presented with that option in place of a professional counsellor you could almost see the blood pressure rising. She all but yelled that religion was good moral teaching and all kids should be made to have some in their life. The supposed moderate pseudo-christian went out the window in defence of a religion she doesn’t even admit having close ties too. Nothing rational or moderate came after that point and I walked away.

Moderation it seems is almost always a single word or action away from being radical belief in these people. Simply being an atheist can be enough to be told you are a sinner, somehow less human, that you need an imaginary friend or that you may burn in some imaginary afterlife. On learning of my atheism, hearing a counterpoint to theism or hearing an argument against members of my family (myself included) being openly or stealth indoctrinated, I have often myself been accused of not being a moderate. Why? It seems I must consider the religion though it has never been required it for life to be good to me or to be a law abiding individual. Why do other peoples imaginary friends matter when I’m talking of my family? It is the problem of religion that’s key to these topics, I don’t want to consider it or take it into account, keep it away from us and I won’t discuss it with you.

I have found during my life that most religious people cling irrationally to religion having little or no idea of their supposed doctrines. Those who study the doctrine become atheist or become radicals in defence of doctrine. Those christians who claim to read the bible go to “classes” which instruct them on which passages to read and how to read them, indoctrination sessions not book reading as most of us know it. For most theists, actually reading a holy book is not required, they base their belief on some mythical doctrine of their own which has all the hallmarks of Sunday school christianity. These are no more positions of moderation than running onto the field to play at a world series rugby final expecting to win with no idea of the rules and having never played the game. This lack of knowledge is often coupled with passionate, even aggressive defence loosing any semblance of moderation. Not knowing the doctrines may also be why moderates don’t understand how people who cling to a religions fundamental writings can go wrong. To paraphrase something I have read in my travels, if the fundamentals of your religion create problems there is something fundamentally wrong with your religion; something worth considering for those who claim to be moderates.

WHAT IS A RADICAL?

Having given some time to moderates I guess I owe radicals some time. This point is important because in the middle our very own societies are radicals going on with life free from criticism from their fellow believers. People they consider silly or deluded but overall harmless.

There's something that's never going to happen.

There’s something that’s never going to happen.

To start, a radical would have to be a fundamentalist in some way shape or form. Fundamentalism means taking the word of a religious text as fact and irrefutable. A true fundamentalist will deny science, reason or historical evidence that shows their texts to be incorrect and hold firmly to their position. Nothing could be more radical than fundamentalism but the resulting actions of fundamentalists are what we generally regard as radicalism.

Radical at the suicide bomber end of the scale we all know and understand, these people are news worthy, they represent those people we hear of whenever they go boom. There is always a backlash against them and the trich for we atheists is not to take the side of one religion against another as they express their hate and bigotry.

Sometimes but not often heard of are the parents who kill their kids because of some doctrine or belief. Other variation on of this theme are those who deny blood transfusions, practice pseudo medicine or are anti vaccine rather than trust in science. Common in some places is the idea of family honour killing where daughters who are accused of most anything are killed and considered socially under some doctrine. In the middle of this is the person so depressed they think their child would be better off in heaven, someone finding power to act from doctrine rather than seeking help for their depression. On the other end of the scale is person who believes god explicitly instructed them to kill.

Almost never heard of are the people who go online ranting about ridding our world/country/town of homosexuals/other religions/atheists. Some countries under the influence of religious persons, persons who have travelled specifically to spread doctrines of hate, have in fact implemented extreme laws against homosexuals.

Something coming under more scrutiny is circumcision , perhaps due to genital mutilation of girls (a significant part of this topic) in the first world. This level of extreme has been going on in boys for over 2000 years with the questioning mainly being in relation to inter religious hate rather than religious doctrines inducing people to commit such act of cruelty. The fact it now happens to girls in our modern world is horrifying to most people even those willing to do it to boys. Mutilating babies can’t be considered a sane thing. I’m a parent and I find it repulsive that there are people and parents that interested in a babies genitalia that they think it needs cutting. Through religion this act has become so normal and socially acceptable even some atheist argue in favour of it. Some people even think a penis is a fashion item and argue it looks better cut as if they assuring their baby son had the best start for his future as a porn star. At least poorly credited health studies are not to my knowledge used in the case of girls which means laws are in place for girls in many countries, boys still await the same legal protection against mutilation. Religion is at the root of genital mutilation and many babies have died from diseases spread mouth to penis in a traditional jewish ceremony in which an adult male sucks the freshly cut penis. Only religious extremism allows this act to continue.

Another of extremism is the person or people who continue to support or excuse their associates who have performed radical acts. Recent news came across my desk of a preacher who had been convicted on child sex offences and was now being given his job back as an authority figure in his church community. As a form of excuse for this action the congregation were being asked not to bring kids to his sermons. Some years back an American man killed a doctor outside a women’s health clinic, his best known friends/associate openly supporting this action saying it was gods work. People supporting these radical actions seems to be easier to find than the voices of religion speaking out against them. Small outspoken groups, often without support by their church and never by the governing bodies of those churches, are sometimes to be found, but not to any great extent considering theist numbers.

Probably the least recognized of the extremists are the science deniers. Creationism has shown its public fact load, proud and stupid for those looking for such things. What even less people know is that climate denial, some junk science, some pseudo-medicine and science denial all stem from theist roots. Junk maths, philosophy and literature stem from these same roots. Not seeking evidence and believing simplistic arguments from a preacher are preferred by many theists. I have found a number of “moderates” arguing climate denial. In fact what they are generally doing is repeating some of the most simplistic and inane statements known to humanity with absolutely no knowledge of the actual topic.

All of these people represent radical religion. These people not only believe irrationally, they act or fail to act with a theological fundamentalist mind set.

All of these level of extremism are a danger to our societies, as much as those who bomb, some may even be more so dangerous given they are less acknowledged by society and more subversive. The bomber is an extremist who in one event burns out his impact and builds an instant social backlash. Those churches that function as their own mostly isolated subsets of society go on for years even decades having an effect on the greater community. They put in our midst an enemy to secular societies and corrupt the “moderate” theistic message turning it into bigotry and hate.

The problem for moderates is that the radicals often find their understanding of their chosen belief in that religions doctrines. The text they use are the very same texts the moderates use but often choose to ignore or remain ignorant of. It’s hard for the moderate to challenge the radical without having to question the doctrines of their beliefs and so it remains easier for the moderates remain silent, ignorant and blissful.

NOT ONLY THE RELIGIOUS.

Hug an atheist and feel the love :)

Hug an atheist and feel the love. At least you know they’ll be thinking of you first πŸ™‚

I know there are crazy people in the world and I am far from saying only religious people are inclined to it. I credit it could as easily be an individual atheist doing the harm, the difference is doctrine. There is no doctrines of atheism, there are only individual atheists rejecting god. As individuals even atheists can be followers, accepting authority without thought, atheist simply do it without amalgamating doctrine or community consensus. An atheists insanity is generally personal or part of some additional ideology (from experience, sometimes the remains of unshaken theistic indoctrination). Doctrine is what makes religion and belief different from atheism, there are rules for religion, how a so called moderate reads them and a radical reads them is the only difference between the two. For both parties the rules exist in the same form with different interpretation. Religious doctrine is the other side of the coin to atheism, it combines bigots, giving them power, funds, community and writings providing purpose and reason.

HUMANISM IS EVERYWHERE.

I also know there is good people who are religious but religion does not seem to be the key to being a good person. Many moderates are good people while being anything but moderate about religion. Religion on the other hand does seem to be the excuse for many people when doing wrong. Anyone who thinks I have it wrong should read papal history or look up the many priests and preachers up on sex charges in this day and age. When the people at the top are getting wrong what hope for the rest?

SUMMING UP.

There is no moderate when it comes to theism, theism is by nature irrational and extreme. A theists acts of kindness and compassion towards other people may be better termed “irrational theism with humanist tendencies”. Looking in at religion from the outside all my life as I have found so called moderates to be largely ignorant of their doctrines and aggressive in defence of them. The many people arguing for theism often fail to understand it enough to form original arguments or refine the arguments. More often their arguments are those simplistic ones learned as children or those learned in church that were never designed to face reasoned argument, indoctrination is about reinforcing not reasoning. The fact that radicals can very easily be born from the ranks of moderates using the same doctrines generally goes unacknowledged by moderates. Rather than condemn their doctrines they argue for special consideration of their religion due to the fact they themselves are moderates. No part of religious belief is moderate and the term apologetic would be better suited to these people.

WHY DO I CARE?

The danger of moderate theism is that it spawns radicals as well as lending numbers and weight to radical causes and arguments. Moderates excuse and promote the use of religious doctrines in making life choices, doctrines which serve to guide radicalism. Moderates raise funds that often support radicalism and supply political coercion, ensuring radicals have legal space to congregate, learn, grow and eventually act. Moderate theism helps to enable ignorance in our society, we live in an extremely advanced world where only small portions of the population actually understand the science or technology they use every day. A great deal of anti-science and anti-intellectualism comes from theistic sources ensuring segments of society never try to understand science and technology. Studies have even shown children who believe in gods are less able recognize fact from fiction (something I have found still exists in their adult counterparts). None of this is good for human society and what is a danger to society is a danger to my family.

I do not believe in moderate because moderate is an excuse, a smoke screen enabling religion to go unchecked, unduly respected and free from criticism in our societies. I do not believe in moderate because every supposed moderate is a single word away from radical behaviour due to the very nature of their beliefs.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

I am a lucky atheist, lucky to be atheist and a lucky in life.

Before moving on, I don’t mean that as any belief in the mythical lucky faith-fairy waved a wand over me. I mean simply that my life has been better than some through the circumstances leading to my birth and since my birth. Luck is a culmination of events and actions, events and actions are not in themselves good or bad nor are they mystical. We read the good and bad into events and actions and call it luck. Some people make the foolhardy judgment that their reading of events and actions is a magic thing called luck, I do not. The human mind really can be a strange thing.

So how do I judge my personal journey as being that of a lucky human and a lucky atheist.

I am lucky but my life hasn’t always be luxurious, some may even say it still isn’t. I have certainly known suffering by first world standards, suffering that left me well prepared for most eventualities in life and made me who I am. I was born to a lower middle class family who became poorer in my in mid teens after a tragic accident but I am white and male so some of the prejudices of my sometimes undesirable economic situation have not impeded my ability to be happy, love and be loved and enjoy some comfort. My life has been free from some of the hate which may have come if I had been of a different sex, sexuality or race. At times I have lived in my car, gone hungry, been unemployed and been without friends and family at hand when most needed. I have lived without access to electricity or running water and when time in my life came and I found myself living in a dirty little inner city Chinese bolt-hole flat with my wife I was quite comfortable, almost luxuriously so compared to some previous living arrangements. Life has never been without its ups and downs and yet I am a very lucky atheist. A lucky atheist because the one form of discrimination, religious discrimination, that i have experienced has had minimal impact on my happiness and relationships.

I was born in the non theocratic secular country Australia in a state capital. In my younger years religious people existed and tried to push their religion on me and threaten me with mythical punishment but my home country is very atheistic. Cities also allow more interaction and like minded people were never impossible to find. Even in the 80s prior to mass computer ownership and new social media finding like mined people was still quiet easy. Nobody ever threatened to kill me or torture me for not believing in fairy folk in this country and legally risky for them to do so. Most discrimination was quite mild, generally hidden, people talking under their breath or making choices that effect me without my direct knowledge of it (not always well disguised, sometimes intentionally shown).

Australia is historically recognized as being a non religious country, a great many nonpracticing christians are noted in official statistics but in the street that translates as cultural christians. Cultural christians are people who fill out forms saying they’re christians because their parents said they were christians and they themselves have never been given to considering religion or a possible lack of religion. I have had people tell me they say they’re christian for the census simply because they see islam as a worse option. What they are in fact implying is having not seriously considered the evidence and willfully accepting the position presented in popular media. The real question is, why should we allow any unelected mythical belief and set of associated doctrines run our country? Cultural christians don’t really believe in god, they don’t talk about or think about gods, nor do they know anything of doctrine or philosophy. It could be called lazy but maybe it is just that their lives were never touched by religion in such a way as to make them think about it. At best cultural christians save god for feeling good when some dies or christmas holiday (and even the christmas church figure is dropping). Cultural christians when not filling out forms will often spend time taking the piss out of religion like a full blown anti-theists.

A country full of cultural christians is the country I grew up in. On the surface it looks great but cultural christianity aids others in retaining idiot beliefs and adds political weight to those with more radical agendas (and something for another post).

Other atheists in this supposedly technological, post enlightenment world, are not so lucky.

It’s easy to find people of religion screaming about how they’re not getting their “rights”, but when it comes to not having a religion, discrimination becomes a “religion only” issue. Many theists would prefer a person of a religious sect who were persecuting people of their sect over an atheist because at least they also have an imaginary friend. You will not find the same level of screaming from the christian community when an atheist is killed somewhere as you will when someone throws stones at a christian in the street. Oddly enough atheists will jump up and down about both, screaming about human rights not religious freedoms. The atheist will more likely demand religion or the lack of religion not be a significant factor at all.

If this simple yet mostly unrecognized discrimination can happen in Australia, a country with a secular government and secular education system, I hate to think what some of our atheist counterparts in far off lands struggle with. It takes nothing to find some christian or muslim demanding atheists all be deported from some country or another or killed, all without refutation often to the applause of many fellow believers. It has even been proposed before now that atheists should pay a special tax for not going to church as if we needed punishing for having a counter argument to the god proposal and under the ridiculous assumption we will be better people if only we attended church. If a atheist did the same thing the theists, demanded they pay a tax for going to church for instance, they would be up in arms about hate speech or race hate. So it is that the catholic church remains one of, if not the single biggest tax free property and business owners in the world, another example of benefit not extended to non believers.

To defend religious bigotry, hate and/or intolerance laws are used and abused in our more moderate societies and by theistic states, in the UN. Discrimination law is something that is continually being dragged through the mud for religious sensitivities. Muslims for one have gotten very good at demanding that any word said against their religion is race hate. Conveniently forgotten is that these people are normally Arabic muslims who are a minority group in their own religion suggesting any word against islam as anti Arab. Also forgotten is that a philosophical proposal is not a race no matter what race it may be associated with. If I were stupid enough to call science a race and denying it was race hate, they would soon demand science is a tool for discovering things or as they often do declare, a belief.

Human rights laws are not only being ignored in numerous countries, they are also being used and abused by religious people across the world. All to often belief or religion are argued to be human rights and people should be allowed to believe as they see fit. This is fine, thought should never be a crime, but put forward the proposal that atheism is a relevant philosophical position worthy of being spoken aloud and see where it gets you. In some places religion is a right given to people in law but the same people administering the law will refuse to acknowledge atheism as a valid religious option. Atheists rightfully declare atheism is not a belief, you can’t believe in not believing in something and as such not being a belief leads to discrimination. Again it is forgotten that religion is a philosophical proposition and atheism is a valid rebuttal of a philosophical construct, belief is simply a word given to people in acceptance of a faulty argument. There is no actual “belief”, no belief based on knowledge or evidence. Atheism and theism as simply philosophy.

Freedom of speech or freedom of expression as we have in Australia is also screamed load by believers who in the same breath declare atheism should be banned as it is stopping them getting their free expression. Atheists being denied a similar freedom of expression simply to protect the sensitivities of people with imaginary friends and never is it seen as a double standard.

At this point I’m still talking mostly of the first world. In many places people are still being killed under laws that protect invisible fairy folk from having their existence questioned. Without the fairy folk ever presenting themselves to put forward a case the defendant is sentenced, killed, maimed or imprisoned. If your neighbor sued you for denying an alien landing he had no evidence of, and without him ever having to present evidence in court of the landing, you were sentenced to death, you may find it noteworthy. Make the alien an imaginary friend and the neighbor a theist accuser saying you deny his friends exists and without justification we have to accept a different set of rules. Some people who are outspoken about religion (not always atheist, sometimes theists with a different view) get off light with long prison sentences in places we wouldn’t put a mangy dog. People with educations comparable or better than my own, with more wealth and financial security than I have, risk their lives every day simply for not believing in a god.

Escaping these countries seeking refuge is not always recognized as a valuable use of resources. Sometimes people prefer to stay in silence and not risk their lives and families. With thought laws in place and a need to communicate with people like ourselves, atheists endanger themselves and their families. Some states watch social media and employ religious policing very much like the witch hunting of old (or in modern christian Africa) to find and persecute people with unfavorable religious perspectives. For those who do escape it has been noted that life is not all up hill. Getting through Australia’s overly zealous refugee barriers for instance is noted as being easier if you claim to be christian and having any god at all get you a more favorable hearing than an atheist. Not having a religion is often viewed as strange and unusual and will get you bottom of the barrel placing even in secular countries. People can escape their home countries with people who consider them the worst kinds of person, apostates (ex-muslim, the worst of crimes), which increases their personal danger and we treat them like social pariahs on arrival for the very same reasons as the people they’re escaping.

Bloggers like myself, people with a story and a passion doing nobody any physical harm (and arguably less harm than religion does mentally), have been killed and imprisoned for simply denying a god in Middle Eastern and Asiatic countries. With so many religious missionaries continually voicing their need for rights, the cry for equality and religious freedom is never extended to non belief. News media can totally skip a story about an atheist being killed by a mob but jump up and down about a christian family being chased from their home. The difference being that one of these stories is regarded as news worthy, sensationalist if you will. Tell the world about pro-religious persecution and they will scream for blood while the non-religious persecution will simply shock a few people. With 30 minutes of news time to see your product you choose sensationalism every time.

So yes, I am a lucky atheist. As a lucky atheist I am often asked – and see it asked – why atheists feel the need to be vocal about gods they don’t believe in. Well as a lucky atheist living in a country where I can speak with relative freedom, I see it as my duty to see my children remain lucky and try to make more people in the world as lucky as I am. To do so I need to identify and address my opponent no matter how imaginary that opponent is. Having done so it is my duty to speak out and defend my rights and champion other peoples rights, not only identified atheists but all people. I do as an atheist have the right to defend atheists ahead of theists simply because theism is half our problem and theists have their own well funded voices spewing rhetoric. In fact theism must take a secondary place because it holds us back as a species and promotes separatism like nothing else. Nationalism, politics and money don’t separate people as religion does, religion separates people within these demographics based on mythology.

Without theism there would be no atheism to defend, theism requires a vocal opponent. I am lucky enough that it can be me. As a lucky atheist I hope my voice has the ability to drive change in the world and it is my duty to share my good fortune with others as best I can.

I am sorry for the rant like nature of this post, it was hard to trim out the passion in this post.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

My story is not a new one but in today’s atheist community it is one less heard. The voice of the ex-theists with their bible or koran passages and references, their atheism based in irreparable belief and failed doctrines, is very loud in the atheist community. I guess it has always been this way as belief seems to be the default instruction for most people in their early years and discovering you have been lied too is always a difficult thing to learn. I don’t come at my atheism this way and have never considered a deeper understanding of religious writing or doctrine to be required in my life or to confirm my atheism.

How did I become atheist?

It doesn't take much to destroy christianity. Here are 3 comic books that do just that.

It doesn’t take much to destroy christianity. Here are 3 comic books that do just that.

I will come at this backwards because I became “atheist” I’m my 30s. That is I learned of and understood the term and its relationship to me in my 30s. Atheism was not discussed in my youth, society and media have always promoted religion but references to non-believers are still rare and often negative. Even now I can get blank looks of people who simply don’t know what atheism is, our new voice has far to go to make up for the thousands of years of silence and repression. My lack of belief was always there, I was always atheist without knowing what it was. I was taught as child not to discuss religion and politics and on both scores my parents were wrong. It is our silence that has kept us the underdog while our opposite number came door knocking to promote their false doctrines and tarnished our political landscape with their bigotry. We were compliant through our inaction and that mentality still hold in many of us. In my 30s I realized the truth of my atheism and that I need to speak of it.

I became a vocal anti-theist before becoming knowingly atheist. I started my serious battle with religion when my son started school. As parents my wife and I received a starter pack from the school and without any shame or consideration for the fact the school was a secular state run institution, we received a piece of A4 paper with a school prayer and creed – which mentioned trusting in god – as part of the pact. My wife actually took this battle on with a simple letter campaign and two weeks later both were banned in all public schools in the state. I took on and failed to win before moving from the state, the battle to remove Religious Instruction from the classroom as our kids were being sent to sit in halls or do menial tasks outside the safety of their class environment. More a punishment than a reasonable alternative.

Before this I was still very anti-religious and a non-believer. I was never told there was a term for my position on belief and never thought to find out but it was still who I was. Before the internet and social media atheist existed in quiet and disorganized, normally family groups. There was no community and no contact with like minded people. I knew people like me but other than throwing our hotel bibles in the hotel pool on occasion we really had no way or means to make our point heard or our existence known. We had no church, doctrine billion dollar budgets to promote ourselves but we have always been here.

To my knowledge I am a third generation atheist on my father’s side. Like I in my early years, my grandfather and father had no way to express their lack of religion in a world dominated by religion and its money. My father is very vocal now about his lack of belief but it was not always so and he did try to be a good catholic (from my memory of him, my grandfather avoided churches like they were the plague). My fathers mother was raised in a convent and she imprinted catholicism on him, he did go to church and play the game. Today my father is very much atheist, my mother less vocally, but, when I was growing up they had only recently become so. With no way to express it and a society actively protecting religion, I grew up in a house where religion just wasn’t part of our life.

My mother was raised Dutch anglican and my father catholic. They met at a dance and their lives together started but not with ease. My mother, an immigrant, was not entirely approved of especially by my grandmother (feel the christian love?). My grandmother never seemed to escape being the result of an abusive convent upbringing, catholic indoctrination at the end of a rod. My Dutch grandparents I am told were also not very keen but at the age of 5 I never again met my grandfather, my mother has only just reunited with her 96 years old mother. The result of an extreme falling out, I don’t recall in detail, I only remember my mother in tears and my father chasing them from our house. Family stupidity aside, religion was part of the problem. It was a problem with the families but then my fathers church refused to marry my parents. This was the start of my fathers shift away from religion.

My parents did marry but as part of the arrangement they agreed not to go to church. They explained this to me once as being a way to stop differences of religion getting in the way of their relationship. I accept this explanation due to the issue of not being allowed to marry in the catholic church but also know that going separate ways on Sunday was somewhat not in their interest. My mother as I understand (we never have needed to go into great depth on religion as a family but we do talk) was never much of a church goer but my father was a church goer. Because of their decision to not go to church and my father no longer going to regular services resulting in a package being sent to him by his priest. In the package were a supply of reply paid envelopes and a letter which stated my fathers exact income – something the church should not have known – and how much tithe was to be sent each week. At this point my father had some choice words with the church and has never looked back.

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Proof that Vegemite is god.

I was born 2 years after my parents married and well after my parents walking away from their religions. I was never indoctrinated. My parents made the decision to allow my brother and I to seek and learn of religion on our own. We both remain atheist to this day with differing levels of anti-theism (my brother was more anti-theist than I was in our early years).

How did I stay atheist?

Staying atheist could be difficult for some with the power of peer and society indoctrination. Only yesterday I saw an atheist saying she had moved to a new town, a very church town, and with no friends she was considering going to church as a social outing. Religion has a power on society that can make atheists feel like second rate citizens. There is limited public discussion of non belief to find strength in, we, don’t have the thousands of years of social organization and some people without informed choices and secular options may struggle against the power of peer and society indoctrination. For me staying atheist was never an issue and to explain it I will share some more detail of my life with you.

It was not as if I had never been to church, family members had dragged me along and my parents always said it was good to experience and learn. I had a mad aunt who was born again salvation army (she left them eventually, they were not insane enough), we were not allowed to play those satanic card games in the house (we, the entire rest of the family, played UNO in a bus in the driveway) and had to attend church if we visited on Sunday. I have had more than my share of street preachers and even worked to reconvert some who had very week arguments. I was never allowed to say no to an offer of church before I was 12 years old but I took it one step further.

In primary school I signed up for Religious Instruction (RI) and once a week went to the teachers lunch room with a man I remember only as being very nice. A local minister of one denomination or another of christianity, he taught us the nice sweet bible stories they teach kids. None of it rung true for me even without adult reasoning, so I stopped going. I then tried Sunday School and my poor mother sat through 3 hour catholic sermons so that I could go (the churches requirement or no Sunday School for me). That lasted 6 months, until the nice story telling and finger painting got boring. Again nothing rung true or meaningful enough to be important to waste Sunday mornings on. I had family and friends who went to church and believed In a god but I found it all laughable even at primary school age.

This was almost all of religion for me. I had people try to indoctrinate me but I was always able to reason and counter argue their own limited understandings of their religions, though mine was almost equally limited. I had friends desert me for not believing, I was shunned for not participating in prayer, but I could not believe just to please other peoples needs. I was a cadet with St John Ambulance but never participated in the religious activity associated with many of their events and was often in trouble for option out. Even pretending there was god to make others happy seemed foolish. I have had people tell me l will burn in hell all my life but imaginary friends, good or bad, have no meaning for me.

In my late teens I was given a lesson about the nature of believers that has served me well. Never trust them. This lesson also made me carefully consider the actions of believers and their reasoning. This distrust may seem harsh but since this experience I have seen more dishonesty in believers than you would expect from people claiming the high moral ground. Everything from lying about doctrine to fish symbols on business advertising that has an element of dishonesty.

When I was 17 I was taken for a small sum of money – the only time in my life – by a born again christian family who we considered family friends. My family were not overly supportive and told me it was my fault and I should have considered the deal better before making it. I was the first person to get this lesson but not the last. The same family soon stopped being family friends after their second dishonest act against my family. My mother found the father trying to indoctrinate my father while he was high on morphine in hospital (after a motorcycle accident). Possibly the most dishonest act of all, trying to take hold of someone’s mind when they are unable to defend themselves. One thing I know for certain of that days events is that on that day a christian learned fear of someone other than god, my mother under her thick skin is made of fire. This was where I completely and thankfully learned to distrust of christians. I still prefer to give everyone benefit of doubt, I am a trusting person by nature, but if someone feels they need to make their religion known to me I change my stance. From that point on I work from a position of watchfulness which has saved me much grief. Believers all to often see nonbelievers as subhuman or lessors, normally to be shunned and less deserving of anything than other believers. The social consequences alone are to be watched for, an atheist can be a theists friend one minute and over night have them crossing streets to avoid them for not having an imaginary friend.

With that lesson behind me, in my 20s I finally considered my mortality and death. I guess I had been working up to it from the time of my fathers accident which took his life 2 times and left him disabled when I was only 15 years old. This may have pushed me to a more seriously considering of death than accept a simplistic view and hang on to it. At this time I finally decided to work out what the fuss with religion was. I studied the people, cultures and doctrines of every religion I could over a few years. Again nothing struck home. I was at the end of my study and about to admit that buddhism was mythical bullshit but buddhists seemed to have something going on, but, the news that week was full of monks in Asia killing one another over a leadership vote. I went back and took a longer look at buddhism, its history and current power base and found the only difference between buddhists and other religions is its diminishing political power.

My search ended with me becoming more anti-theist than my former bibles in pools, refuting door knockers and street preachers. At this point I was armed to refute all religion everywhere I found it and had knowledge of doctrine to support me.

What I discovered about death is that there is no point worrying about. Worrying about the inevitable doesn’t make life any more enjoyable and concerning yourself over the well being of dead friends does nothing to help you get over your grief.

For me, being atheist was simply a matter of not being indoctrinated. Staying atheist was simply seeing past the pretty stories and being able to reason out the poor arguments.

My atheism is now much more than it was and in no danger from indoctrination. Everything I have read and learned has solidified my atheism. Religious doctrine, arguments, stories, science, politics, history and when in my mid 40s I finally started reading about atheism has all strengthened my resolve. My atheism is now more than ever also anti-theism. Protecting my family from the dangers of religion and the religious, keeping mythology-as-fact out of schools, battling theist pseudo-sciences and fighting to keep my country safe from the evils of evangelical religion which is taking place of the old dying religions of the dark ages, these are important to me as never before. The danger religion presents and the way it tries to demand unwarranted authority have driven me from simple atheism to hard core anti-theism.

Though I was in my 20s becoming more anti-theist, there was still no media friendly to atheism, no doctrines to promote, no communities to discuss it with, no abundant wealth like religion holds and no supreme leaders. My ability to effect the world around me was limited by my finite personal budget, time and by the always present hand of religion set against me (as it had been set against atheists since the first person dared question the first god proposal).

There is a lot of talk amongst christians about “new atheism” but fact is I have been atheist for the majority of 50 years and the first recorded atheist was over 2000 years ago. There is no “new atheism” there is just a voice of atheism. The internet and social media available today has not changed atheism, it has given us an affordable, wise reaching voice and I like many others I am using the available tools. My atheism is not new, it is simply more vocal. I have always been unshakeably atheist and have finally learn to have pride in my non religious status. I wear the badge of atheist with the pride it deserves and will all ways speak against the dangers of blindly believing untruths.

I hope you have all found this insight into my life and atheism of use in understanding life long atheism.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

I started reading a book of the same title as this post but it was not to my liking, that’s the nature of atheism, no requirement to agree or follow anyone else’s example. I hope I do better.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

Sometimes you just have to wear the stupid things people say about you.

First lets address the idea of atheism being a pleasure first. Atheism as a denial of one single proposition and its not being built on doctrines of its own actually makes it impossible to find pleasure in atheism. Atheism is not something you do, by its nature it’s something you are, something specific about your intellect. Atheism may not be in of itself a source of pleasure but it does lend itself to improving the quality of pleasure. Atheism frees us from many aspects of religion both known and unknown (many new atheists note their surprise at how long and hard some habits are to break, habits they had never considered even having as theists).

Pleasure is the same for all people. The pleasure of good food, nature, family, any number of things create a feeling of pleasure in we humans. Religion has specific doctrines related to human pleasure and general rules that cover entire realms of human activity. Breaking this down to its most basic we humans eat, sleep, reproduce and die, there is a level of pleasure in the basics. If we believe evolution (and I do but it is not a requirement for atheism) pleasure is one of the basic drives that is required for the social structures that have made us the successful species we are.

Lets start at the top. If we found no pleasure in eating, would we eat? We all know pain is part of the need to eat, well anyone who has ever gone a day without a meal knows it. Pleasure on the other hand is not always as obvious. A clue may be the massive number of cook books, the wealth of recipes and the fact we don’t just eat the relatively tasteless woody bark from trees. We humans love to eat, even things as simple a roasted meat in pre-modern societies must have been a pleasure, as it still is for many of us.

As an atheist I have few limitations related to eating. Obviously I won’t eat anything that will harm me, the law and my personal ethics make some other options unwise, but, on the whole I can eat whatever I choose however I choose. All of the Abrahamic religions list pork as being off the menu (something many christians ignore) depriving them of ham and bacon. Together these religions have an impressively long lists of rules about preparation and what you can eat. Add to the list an overlord who may be watching you or reading your mind and is willing to burn you forever for getting it wrong and eating becomes less pleasurable. There is also an overall rule for indulging in this and other pleasures called gluttony. There is no measure for gluttony, no specified “two pieces is enough, 3 is gluttony” rule, it has to be worked out on a personal level. The entire act of providing your body sustenance suddenly and for no reason become an obstacle course of regulations.

Sleeping or resting, obviously a requirement for life is also a pleasure. I know I enjoy laying back reading or watching a good movie. The only people I answer to for my down time are my family and myself. There are no special rules or regulations in society that regulate my leisure time but when it comes to religion, being lazy or slothful is equated with being sinful. Suddenly we have a rule where there are none and like the gluttony rule there is no measure for how much rest is too much rest. If I were not feeding my family through my lack of work maybe I am being too lazy but I would only have to explain my actions to the people involved. With the religious doctrines, the problem again extends to an overlord watching your actions and waiting to burn you.

Sex and reproduction are a good example because there are religious folk all over the world screaming about the evils of this natural act, an act required to propagate our species. Sex has a secondary function not often mentioned of creating intimate relationships, as an evolutionary tool it helps to build and maintain social groups.

When it comes to sex theists love to shout down homosexuality. They insist it is a sin, a choice and unnatural regardless of the evidence to the contrary. They love to point at the rules and wave the big stick they call god to scare people from finding pleasure. When it comes to the bile they will cite two pieces of text which can be interoperated to mean homosexual sex is wrong but there are no clear defining rules that say the penis must never enter the poo hole. If god really wanted to say so how hard would it be to add that simple line. It is not as if the bible is a clean fun family text free from nasty adult concepts, saying bum hole or penis would not push the limits of biblical decency.

While the biblical theists shout down homosexuality they only mean between men. When it comes to women they are less concerned. Okay so they think women should be filled with penis but at least they don’t have a penis and it is not in bum hole. No end of christian men I have known have revered the idea of watching or being in bed with lesbians (personally, I don’t like being where I am not wanted and would hate to be ignored that way).

While your biblical theist is happy to deny homosexuals rights they are less inclined to question or wonder at the hundreds of references to heterosexual sex in the bible. If they did it may be they would be one generation from dying out because they wouldn’t even dare dropping their pants let alone use their genitalia. Add to the mass of rules the belief that someone is looking over your shoulder maybe even reading your mind and it’s amazing that theists even think to question other peoples sex lives.

This book is FICTIONAL and NOT good advice for living your life by.

This book is FICTIONAL and NOT good advice for living your life by.

As an atheist I can go to bed with any partner, or partners, I choose without any care that someone (other than my partner/s and I) is judging me. There are some limitation in law we must all abide by and personally I am not free from concern for my partners welfare. Even if I didn’t care about my partners welfare there would be no coronation with my atheism, how many christian preachers showed concern for their less than willing partners? I know christian and muslim men who believe sex with women outside their religion is not important or counted. Non christian or muslim women’s feelings don’t count. Many people manage to have sex without caring. How much we do or don’t care is not always down to our beliefs, sometimes we are just horrible people. I however am the sort of person who cares, I have never had sex with a drunk woman just because I could and I never will, yet, I would not balk at the idea of sex for fun. I may even in the right situation have sex with a man though I myself am heterosexual and not attracted to men, I don’t know but I do know I have no doctrinal reason not to.

Sex is a great tool for bonding and enjoying the companionship of others. I am not a swinger (swinging requires no emotional bond) but I am polyamorous (muti-loving, very much about bonding and relationship) and I am open to and can see how sex helps to bond people. If we could remove jealousy and the need for one on one relationships maybe more of us could experience the joys of sexual bonding. Without the guilt of religion thrown into the bed with you and with modern tools to protect from disease and infection sex could be a much greater pleasure for more people. Maybe with more open sexual societies we could reduce suicide rates and loneliness. People falling out of one relationship would still have others to support them. Anyway I am not here to promote polyamory, most of the world is not ready, all I am trying to point out is that there is no need for discrimination or rules about who can with whom (with children and those who say no as obvious exclusions). By having rules there is most certainly a reduction of pleasure for everyone involved, if they believe they may be breaking a rule or being watched over how can they get the full enjoyment available.

Trying to stop other people finding pleasure in sex is surely worse. How anyone finds it their business what other people are doing in bed is beyond me. Why would you need to destroy sex for other people and surely by torturing yourself about other people’s sex lives you are again reducing your own enjoyment. With so much of your focus on other peoples sex lives it must come to mind when you are in your own bed. This has to be torturous for you. My atheism frees me from this and though I do know some atheist who are still hung up on other peoples sex lives, there is no doctrine that tells me I must agree with them. I am free to reason and decide that other peoples sex lives are not my concern.

Moving back to the heart of this topic, an atheist has no invisible judge hanging over them. The only rules are those of society aimed at protecting people from harm. The only people we need concern ourselves with are our friends and family. Regardless of the choice of pleasure, the people I answer to first and foremost are living and very clear in their judgments.

I will at this point jump ahead to death because listing every human pleasure and the theism against it would take longer than life itself.

Death is not something of pleasure for those of us who are as yet alive (the dead have little care about death). We all have times and places where we question or mortality and that of those around us. Everyone I know will one day be dead, and even I have had times in my life this has plagued my mind. My wife tells me there is a Chinese saying that you are grown up when you accept death. As frightening as being a grown up is, I have it seems grown up. I decided a long time ago that the nothingness of death, the nonexistence, the non continuance of ME, is pointless. Pointless in that thinking about it will not make it go away, thinking about it will not stop the possibility of a bus hitting me or a christian shooting me to prove his god to me (a common enough line of though with christians on social media). Death will come and if I am lucky it will come fast and unexpected.

Obviously I find no pleasure in death. I, the strong manly one in my family, cry when pets die. I will cry if and when my next friend or family member dies (unless I get there first). The reason death for me is more pleasure than it is for a theist is that I get to let go. I have no false ideas about afterlife or meeting people in death. For me death is an end. I get to cry and feel sorrow for me and for my loss but I can and must let the person or animal that died go. I can take pleasure from their life after I stop feeling sorry for my loss. I can look back and know that in my life I was the best me I could be for them and I did my best to make their finite time of living a pleasure. I know that when the mind stops so ends life. Death may not be a pleasure but my sorrows are less for not having false hope and expectations.

For the theist death has rules, possible dangers, it keeps hope alive and restricts the ability to release that person and move on with life. When a pet dies, does its sole go where you go? Does it even have one? When a loved one dies, will the go where you go? Most assume so because we all want the best for our loved ones, but will they? Am I good enough? were they good enough? Did he get to absolve himself? Did she enjoy too much sex? Was he homosexual? Is heaven so big we will never again meet?

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn't ours to sell.

Religious scams are so simplistic. Send us money, as much as you can. We will send an African a bible some time and you get brownie points for the heaven that, even if it exists, isn’t ours to sell.

When you add all the questions, rules and the great overlord to the weight of death on us all how can death be anything but a worry? How can you let go and live your life? Atheism may not bring joy to death but it releases a world of suffering people may otherwise experience.

I know there are varying degrees to belief, many theists deny, don’t know or fail to understand their doctrines. Many have never read the holy books cover to cover and most wait to be told the meaning of what they do read. They never reason what they read. Those who do reason it spend their lives trying to make excuses, they find other option with less strict doctrine, like spiritualism, or they become atheist. There are also varying degrees within atheism, many people who declare themselves atheist are trying to separate themselves from doctrinal beliefs but are in fact still believers. Not all atheists are rational or for equality, bigotry is a human failing that can happen with or without religion. Atheism doesn’t protect us from imperfection, atheist are still human.

With this writing the only thing I am suggesting is that atheism is an aid to a happy healthy life. Doctrine and religion are restrictions that bring greater harm than they do good. My atheism gives me no joy in itself but it allows me to enjoy life with fewer restrictions, it increases my joy in life.

Until next time. May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Atheism from the perspective of a life long atheist.

I don’t have the anger or disappointment that lays behind the words and arguments of former theists. I also had very little in depth knowledge of doctrine before religion came bothering me and my family. I had the mad aunt who mad us go to church and had in younger days and the many people insisting quite crudely that I will burn for eternity. Considered the proposition of god was something I did, it is not easy to avoid people who believe and need you to believe, but nothing about religion seemed important in my life and in the long run not worth consideration. I never once believed or saw the need.

So what is atheism? Atheism is quite simply a lack of belief in gods, any gods.

Hug an atheist and feel the love :)

Hug an atheist and feel the love πŸ™‚

The only thing missing from the definition of atheist, and a big part of the reason for there being atheists in the first place, is a definition of god. It is a fact that in trying to define god the many religious doctrines of man become contradictory, demand of authority, they guess at things they cant hope to know and are scientifically and historically inaccurate. For someone like me it is hard to understand why anyone would ever believe.

To clarify my position before starting, I do not regard religion, church or the doctrines to be the only measure of god. Mind you, to clarify the importance of doctrine in defining religion, if you believe in a god or more a jesus, that is in any way like the biblical, and claim not to be christian or religious, you are an idiot. I personally hold the position that ALL spiritual, psychic and untestable woo claims that define themselves as supernatural or outside our natural world (another way of saying supernatural) are by nature god claims. As any claim of jesus is christian, any claim of supernatural is godlike. As our theist counterparts can not define god, I take it upon myself to do so and equally, I do not accept redefining of existing terms. Of the 3000-6000 gods know to man most were not creator gods (though several were, it was a busy time), the one defining quality of god is being supernatural.

Returning to my initial point, atheism is a lack of belief, in fact more a denial of proposition, of god. God being anything or any claim of a supernatural nature.

Ask, really, ask. There are not many questions I wont answer to the best of my ability or openly admit I don't know the answer.

Ask, really, ask. There are not many questions I wont answer to the best of my ability or openly admit I don’t know the answer.

Without clarification on the term god atheism is often claimed by people who are far from atheist. Buddhists often claim atheism (until it comes time to get tax breaks, then they are a religion) insisting enlightenment is not the same as god, yet, the stories within buddhist doctrine insist buddha is higher that the heavens, in effects a super-god. Some jewish people claim atheism but like a christian who denies he is religious, you have to pick and choose your doctrine carefully to redefine your religion that way. These people are not atheist, their beliefs still center on a raft of supernatural claims and stories. What value does any religion have if it doesn’t have a god? To clearly define atheism all supernatural claims must be pooled together as god.

I have been atheist by this definition all my life.

As a child my parents went through the Santa game with me (as I have with mine in turn, it proved to be a great tool for teaching critical thinking) but I as all kids must, always wondered at the chimney story. I believed in Santa, what option was there, I was a child and my parents were my authority figures (the same as religious indoctrination, but, less harmful), I did however think of Santa as a real living person (elves and workshops were a great story). I got chills from the shadows in my room as all kids (and some adults) do but on coming fully awake I don’t ever recall believing there were actually monsters or ghosts. I had a long running dream of my younger brother falling from Ayers Rock in central Australia. Though the dream was vivid and scared me I never remember thinking it prophetic.

I never remember thinking people who bent spoons and did tricks I didn’t understand were in fact supernatural, it was just tricks, magic, illusion. Not believing in the mystical or magical never took the joy from things in life, if anything it added to my love of it. Knowing people could be so clever and trick me, knowing if I studied I could learn to do it too. Knowing there were explanations to be found and things still to be learned. Today I still have things that excite me like this, I love rocket science and love history. I still know I could learn these things and do the work but given my life’s finite nature it is enough to know other people understand it and I in turn do things they don’t. If I live to be 300 I will try it all but now I have other things to do and learn.

As an adult I ran a cinema in a building more than 100 years old. I had many people tell me the story of how a woman may have died there and still to this day haunted the building (I know of no evidence for the death story) The cinema room proper is a converted dance hall with the cinema seating built over the original dance floors. It is a quite beautiful building for it’s location in central Australia and its history as a dance hall is clearly defined in the building for anyone looking. Fact is and I will credit this point, the room is quite creepy, something that set my fact seeking mind running. When you walk in to the dark hall the shadows dance, odd reflections on the darkened room that give the sensation of movement. Not believing in the supernatural and having time in the building to search for the reason I did just that. The original windows were boarded up but never completely sealed, the brickwork also leaks some light due to the mortar turning to sand over 100 years. Originally a dance hall it was not constructed to be light proof. The building leaks light, nothing more, still people tell stories of seeing ghostly images but I will never understand jumping to the conclusion anything is ghostly. Because I saw something I looked for the cause and each and every one of the shadowy regions led to at least one sometimes pinhole sized light leak, sometimes more. Knowing full well what the effect was caused by, I still occasionally thought as I walking into the room that someone was there before me and felt the tingle up my spine. These evolutionary responses to things in my environment are not evidence of ghosts and yes, I love it. It’s amazing that a very natural effect on a darkened space and with full understanding of it, I could still get that tingle. Even as a fully reasoning human I am still the culmination of millions of years of evolution, beautiful.

That guy who said,

That guy who said, “are you sure?”.

I am also a great fan of fiction, escapism is a great form of relaxation and sometimes clever writing tests or minds and expands our thinking. Nothing is more satisfying than loosing yourself in a fiction story, visualizing the characters and events as you read them. I appreciate not only the story but the writing skill and find great pleasure in it. This is one if my life’s little pleasures but at the end I never believe in fairies because someone wrote about fairies.

My other pleasures (of which I have many) include landscape and wildlife photography. I am no less in awe of the life and function of a lizard in nature than I am knowing the sun is a ball of burning gas and not a god. Knowing the truth of something is something I can not imagine swapping for a guess such as “because god did it”. I want to know the blood flowing in the lizard keeps it alive as mine keeps me alive and the air I breath is the same air it breaths. I find no shortage of joy or wonder in these things. Even the fact life ends and everything breaks down to become something else’s nutrient is beautiful.

The idea that atheist have no joy is simply a way to justify belief and enhance hate. This idea and the other ridiculous and abusive claims made against atheists will be my next blog. At this time it is enough to know that I am a life long atheist and that my atheism has always extended to all supernatural claims.

I hope I have explained my basic position well enough but I may return to this another day as my life long atheism and never having been a theist is the thing that has driven my writing. I have no issue with ex-theists or their expression, I simply want to address the fact that knowing a religion from the inside is not the only way to be atheist. Addressing religion and the nature of belief I did early in life, addressing specific doctrine came much later and is the least important part of my being atheist.

Until next time I write stay well and enjoy life. I am open to questions (but not preaching, had that shit all my life) so feel free if you have any.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

I have had many people tell me in my role as a facebook page and group admin that I should write a blog. I never took it seriously because I never thought I had enough words in me to make it worth the effort. Today I give in, I have note books full of my writing in the form of radio/youtube scripts and random thoughts, there are song ideas and lyrics and even a fiction novel. I was working on a radio show but that project is on hold and my writing went in other directions.

Finally I am setting up a blog to share some of my most atheistic thoughts and reasoning.

I will start out with a variation on the piece I have about my personal atheism. The atheism not of an angry ex-theist who having broken from their own life has anger and regret, but that of a life long atheist who really didn’t care for religion until it came bothering him. Someone who’s least concern was a god or afterlife.

I hope as I go on I manage to retain regular input, stay on track, always be well reasoned, thought provoking and informative. Give me time to settle in and I will do my best to get in to the habit of writing a blog (I haven’t been able to keep a diary since my mum found my quite personal dairy at age 15 πŸ™‚ ).

Thanks for reading and may your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

The book is FICTIONAL.

The book is FICTIONAL.