Posts Tagged ‘education’

Very quickly. If you don’t know of it a storm has arisen over someone saying he didn’t want a career woman as a wife, he wanted to support a partner to care for him at home and mother his children. Expressing this preference has caused idiots to blow their minds and I’m here to say…

#TimDidNoWrong As an at home father I agree with Tim. My job is to have the house livable, bills paid, food in the fridge and the kids raised. My role is not to work so we can pay a maid and a nanny to take that load off my partners, and not be there to support emotionally.

Traditional roles are not evil. Wanting a partner at home you can support in exchange for them caring about your welfare is not evil. If you want to switch roles, go for it, he’ll be discriminated against, but it’s not impossible. 

So facebook has made reaction counts private. They make a fair point, some people do only react to the like count. I don’t do those sort of posts, posts aimed at people that low end of the IQ scale, nor do I watch them. Still I worry that facebook believes so many of it’s users are low IQ that it needs to police their reactions, not sure what it says or if it’s about us or about facebook.
 
Now we know facebooks lie (my bet) covering the fact they probably don’t want people knowing certain sorts of posting are popular, what does it mean for us.
 
Well, it means none of us know if the people we’re following are getting any viewership firstly. It doesn’t tell you if your position is popular, which can stop a feedback loop but can also stop you questioning your position. It doesn’t let you know what the political social trend is, handy in a US pre-election period, and, it may mean people feel less inclined to tag a rapid response and effect any possible algorithms that could be keeping you out of people’s feeds.
 
Thank you facebook, you fucked shit up even more.

Part of a reply to something else I wanted to put up here for consideration”. It’s rough in the writing but if I can live with it so can you 

“I don’t know any seriously “alt-right” people as politicians and media like to smear them (us, I get it too), I know people who are right wing but as with my being left wing we are all moderates, and as moderates we still manage to have differences on this particular topic and others, sometimes it’s just degrees. Something people tend to forget is that we all want to do what’s best, few people are out for themselves in my experience, we want to improve the world around us, it’s only our perspectives on how to get there that differ. Doctrines are the great divider that we atheists used have sayings about, what was it, “it takes religion to make a good man do bad things”. Well, turns out any ideology will do it, it you have a religious conviction to it”.

The feminists are out claiming an epidemic of women being killed, using a woman’s death for their financial and political gain. Truth is however that far more men have been murdered this year and male suicide is still happening at a staggering rate, as we pour money in to women’s services and leave men behind.

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Hotel construction in China. I’ve always liked stacks of books. No other reason for this image 🙂

And this is the point of the scare, millions of dollars in women’s services funding runs out this year. The feminist-run services need to find reasons to continue the funding and raw statistics and facts are not going to do the job. Especially while more and more statistics are being produced from raw data and not feminist theory. They need your fear so they can profit, and they are willing to use a woman’s death to push their cause. Not one of the services they could have been funding was a “buddy to walk with” service, everything is about “after care” where they can profit from the damage rather than prevent it.

Truth is, in the past 3 years 4 women were raped then killed in Melbourne. A terrible statistic but significantly low, as in not epidemic rates (I agree there should not have been one, but then there shouldn’t have been any men killed by female partners or children killed by their mothers – where is that campaign?). Also, maybe this is not about society but about our legal system, as 3 of the 4 perpetrators in Melbourne were out on parole or bail at the time. Maybe we did already have them locked up and maybe we should have kept them there. We don’t need more education on the street, we need more education in the courts. How will funding more campaigns showing all men and boys they are horrible people solve anything, if it’s the small minority being let out of prison who are committing the crimes.

There really is no epidemic of women being killed. Sorry ladies, but you are far more likely to die falling off something than you are getting raped and killed at night. Don’t let the feminists make you scared of living just so they can make money. Money used by people like White Ribbon Australia whose great contribution to stopping Domestic Violence is self promotion and advertising that they’ve “raised awareness”. We men try not to live as victims of our higher murder rate. We know the danger and live with it as everyone else does, but it doesn’t stop us taking care at night.

By funding women’s services behind this scare campaign we actually put more women in danger. How does telling people it isn’t their job to be responsible for their own safety help anyone? This is their message, as they drive this in the media, listen to them, they will blame men and tell men to be better, and tag it with “women should be safe at night” or “women shouldn’t need to be responsible for their own safety”. This is a dangerous message for women, and one we don’t tell men. We generally expect men to be responsible for their actions and expect them to not intentionally get into situations where they get killed. “Your safety starts with you” is a good message and not something to be shunned, but this is what these services do.

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Domestic Violence display at a human services charity with government funding. 100% women with men only seen as needing to fix themselves.

What we need is funding for everyone’s mental health, to curb all violence, to offer support to all victims and to provide non-gendered legal aid to all people. All areas currently dominated by women-only services. Most of who will treat men in need as perpetrators not victims.

How exactly do we expect men to stop killing themselves, one another, or women, if they are always treated as the enemy, it makes me angry. Not violent but angry, to have my sons and myself blamed for crimes we’ve never committed, but I can see how it would anger some people to violence. The transgender axe attack that just happened was preceded by twitter posts about feeling there was no solution to male destructive nature (the other side of this feminist thinking, the blaming men side where there is no hope until we fix men message). Feeling helpless to make change can make people act out, in men it’s largely suicide not killing women, but it is the feminist services that are driving this very message of helplessness.

To fix the world, we have to recognise that funding feminism has done nothing to help matters. A woman in Sweden, the country considered most feminist, has asked for a 10-30 years stop to feminist rule because rape and murder statistics have risen under feminist theory. I don’t agree it is the entire cause but the fact is Sweden has gotten worse and it is the prime example of feminist theory at work. We need a new solution, the only way we will get it is if we stop funding their campaigns and attempts to drive opinion and stop allowing them to fuel the troubles.

It’s time the feminist funding ran out. Don’t fall for their shit, let them evolve better services without the gender bias or die out.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

At age 16 I am a depressed teen wondering what life has in store to make continuing worth the effort. The idea of death is something that comes easily, a vision of hopeful future not so easily.

My father has been disabled in an accident and though I try I still don’t get along with my parents. Like all people my age I would never think to talk to them even if I did. I don’t think they would understand anyway, my life and my 60s born generation are very different from their wartime born generation. How can they possibly understand what I’m going through?

JihadieCard

Because blasphemy is isn’t illegal but we can stop you getting paid if you talk about islam. Jihadie Card, cut yours up today.

I don’t know why – I think I’m sociable enough – but I am still not well liked though I know I’m an average 16 year old. I have no real friends, I’m more a hanger-oner in all the circles I travel in, or around. I certainly have no close friends, no confidants, in school hours or out, I’m alone. I have not long since ended my first serious relationship with my first sexual partner, under pressure from family and my peers. I have been single since and barely a girl has noticed me. I am not attractive in my own eyes and don’t see it in other peoples eyes. I’m not sporty, I’m not a genius. I don’t like bragging about my sexual exploits or talking about football. I’m extremely tall and equally thin compared with my peers. Being from a lower middle class family I wear the cheap polyester clothing my mother buys at K-Mart and wear it until they pulls tight. A style matched to the equally fashionable hair cuts she gives me. I suspect none of this would be the problem If I had friends, but, I am alone in the world and these things can’t be helping.

I wish I knew what life I had to look forward to as I face the idea of taking the short road to the grave yet again. I wish I had someone I could talk to or at least enjoy the company of to have time away from these thoughts.

30 years on, I’ve reached my mid 40’s. I don’t know how I got here but those teen years don’t seem that far away. My own son is 16 and going through similar things to those I went through. I wish I could assure him life is the better option but I have trouble convincing myself some days. I wish someone could have encouraged me when I was 16, something more than the usual platitudes, so I had something to work from, instead I was instructed in my duties and given little emotional support to get there. I’m the strong backbone my wife and son need but I can’t be there emotionally. I have to hope my strength is seen as caring, as I know it is.

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There;s the science, then there’s the psychosis of feminist psychology.

In my teen years there were no councillors offering to mop up our every tear with their book learning and officially sanctioned words of encouragement. Without it, like so many before me, I still managed to survive to adulthood. It wasn’t always easy but we did it. In my teens and later in my twenties I did consider an early death. In my 20’s I considered religion, not seeking a god I most certainly don’t believe in, but seeking to know if anyone else has a better plan – and failing to find one. In my 40’s life is still not perfect but the journey, as I look back on it, has for all it’s low points, has been quite wonderful. My seeking did open my mind to other peoples experiences, beliefs, psychosis and cultures. If advice had been available I am not sure what advice I would have preferred anyway. Any advice from an adult would have had a limited reach. As a boy talking with peers is limited to nonsense and bragging. Any advice I received wouldn’t have had the foresight to show me how my life was to progress or where it may as yet go. How could it? As an adult looking at back, what advice would I – or anyone – offer my 16 year old self? There is no way I could have seen the brilliant second option I took on leaving school would fail me and the many years of difficulty and growing up I had to do away from the safety of home and family before I met my wife.

How can we assure young people that life is what you yourself make it? Life is full of ups and downs and when you are down, staying down is a choice you often make for yourself. Getting up is a difficult option that takes work. The further down you are the harder the fight to get up. The key is to find the pleasure in getting up, a joy that can with time overshadow the down times. How do you explain that life is full of beauty, made up of small beautiful things, small things to treasure and enjoy?

In my teens I would have loved to have known about my life as it is now, perhaps not of the journey but the fact I made it here and am generally happy with life. The problem may be that my teen self would have thought it all impossible, that the vision couldn’t be my own life but another’s. Even seeing the future may not have been enough. The partners good and bad that I have had, the love I have felt and shared, owning my dream car and having to sell it. family, trade and my business are things I, nor anyone else, can not have foreseen. If I could step back and assure myself the journey, the good and the bad, was worth taking, would I do it? If I could, how would I tell 16 year old me that who I am today is everything I was – including him – and that I just need to battle on?

In my mid 40’s I have contemplated death and I am as ready for death now as I was in the past. The difference now is that I am accepting of death, but accepting does not mean wanting, I just don’t fear it. I most certainly hope to live a long time yet but I’ll die when it happens and be no more. I don’t believe in gods or afterlives, religious doctrines mean nothing to me and I have no need of them or the idea of living forever in some form that is not me. Believing in unproven doctrines about possible happenings after death will not stop death coming to us all and it doesn’t seem to give people no more comfort than simple atheistic acceptance. Death is inevitable, something none of us can avoid and acceptance of death is not letting fear of it control your life. How would I explain to me at 16 that life and it’s corresponding mortality is nothing to fear? At 16 mortality hangs heavy on most of us, as we outgrow our youthful belief in immortality. How do you explain to anyone that life is short and that every moment should be enjoyed as best we possibly can?

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But it’s not man hate.

How do any of us share our lives and the joys we would have missed had we not lived? I wish I knew what to say so I could share this with my son and the world. I wish I could share the joys of my life and soften the load of things I once thought were key to my existence. I wish I could explain that grades at school have a limited and short lived impact on your life, that you can rise above those things. Some of us may race ahead at school and have everything fall apart on them. Life does not end if you don’t get those grades, only giving up and not continuing your learning can be considered personal failure. Life is entirely what you yourself make it and educated rich people who battle for power and wealth seem no happier than I am with my wonderful life and meagre achievements.

How do you explain that life is short enough without wasting it on misery and worry?

After all of these years I don’t claim to know everything and I still don’t have all of the answers. How do I explain these things which seem so simple to me now? How do I be heard over the voices of capitalism and the principles of wealth based success to explain you can live well and be poor? How do I make my voice heard over the councillors, teachers, peers and media? How do I explain that striving for success is fine but accepting a lesser path is not a failure so long as you find happiness?

These things I wish I knew so I could share my ease of mind with my son.

I penned this half a decade ago and it was written for my own purposes. In writing it I finally allowed only one other person to read it, my wife who I’m lucky to have still supporting me. My life has changed much since then, my eldest son is preparing to leave home and my youngest is starting school next year. Still, after 21 years as an at home father I can’t say I’ve ever completely felt accepted or comfortable in the parenting world. Feminists, and enough women for it to be significant, have told me my job as husband is to be the wage earner and that I’m lazy for not doing so (I think they under value mothers myself).

About 15 years ago I met a man who was given ever rough wide the government could dish out to a father and this led me to realise how bad men and fathers had it in our legal system. This warned me of how fragile my position as a father was in our legal system. The more I get involved in men’s rights the more men I find in my position or worse mentally and it’s for that reason I’m posting.

I hope this serves me as a reminder for me as my youngest son enters school and leaves my parental control (school and state take over now, they put bullies above victims if the bully is a minority and/or one stop from incarceration, the system totally removing us from our child’s welfare if they see someone else’s child as more “troubled”) , I hope it gives my son’s hope for their own futures, and I hope it serves others who may think they’re alone (as I did).

If you’re a father and see yourself in this in any way, know you’re not alone. If you have or know a father, maybe this can help you know and comprehend the things he may not be able to express. I am my families emotional rock and finance manager (I keep the bills paid and don’t discuss them unless I have to do so) and that takes the emotional burden of everyone else making their lives easier, is your father doing that or more for you? Maybe your male family members are in the same position as I have been, some may be worse. Many men don’t even get to be fathers, they only get to pay the parenting bill. I’m lucky to have my family behind me when the weight gets too much, I’m lucky to have my sons in my life… and yet I still penned this letter.

Boy, men and fathers are important, and human. Men’s rights are human rights.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

This argument goes quite simply “do you know your great (great great great) grandmother existed?”. Yes it is that simplistic.

Let’s start at the top. I am here and alive. I may not know who my great grandmother was but I can most definitely assume someone birthed my grandmother, mother and in turn, me from my experiences and knowledge. I saw both my sons being born so I know what vaginas are capable of. I know well enough that I sprang forth from my mother loins to assume my grandmother and my great grandmother had similar biological abilities. Finally I know there is a family history going back 400 years on my mothers side so I can assume 800, 1,600 and even more are entirely possible and likely. Given I am here as a product of being born of another person why would I have need to consider magic was used?

It isn’t always easy to know which direction the person asking is going but this is normally an argument for creationism and less often an argument for a historical jesus.

On the creationist side they have to be making some very big assumptions about how historical evidence came about beyond their 6,000 to 10,000 year planet birth. Assumptions they don’t make about the evidence from the 6,000 to 10,000 years since planet birth. If tomorrow they could find something that carbon dated as being around the time of Noah and everything pointed to it being a boat with kangaroo shit in it, they would yell it from roof tops that carbon dating proved them right. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know who my great grandmother was, I have enough evidence of her existence being a possibility to assume with confidence that she in fact existed. Our planet popping into existence from nothing is not in any way as acceptable as my great grandmother based on the evidence at hand. Assuming a god and a planet popping into existence along with life simply doesn’t offer anything but guessing and story telling. Science has not once found the answers to our existence in the bible, much study and hard work was done so other people could later try to find things in the bible that sounded similar. Though I may not know or understand all science I do know people are finding answers, questions and more answers that give us real information. Telling me I was not there to see the dinosaurs or know my Grandmothers mother and guessing an alternative to what can actually be proven is shear stupidity.

The person making an argument for a historical jesus is a little strange unless they are trying to say they have documented and DNA evidence of direct linage from jesus to show he existed. I have not heard this argument often but i have heard it made this way. The thing is I most certainly must have direct linage to my great grandmother whoever she was. Even if we assume someone in my linage was adopted and my great grandmother is not who I think she is, I still have one, everyone alive today has one. Some of may even have even met our great grandmother. On the other hand there is no historical record of jesus, the name jesus in the middle East at that time or any miraculous event attributed to anybody named jesus. Attributing any other name, especially a common jewish name only clouds the issue further. The only evidence normally given for jesus is a fictional book full of supernatural fairy folk and historical inaccuracy. I for one will not assume jesus as being as possible as my great grandmother, I may as well assume hobbits exist.

In conclusion. If you are going to try this argument on me, I am going to look at you and treat you like the idiot you present yourself as.

May you gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

Let’s get this out early and not hold anything back.

“All” religion is a lie.

Regardless of if you believe in a god or culturally connect to a religion and attest to that connection when asked, you are helping perpetuate a lie, if not outright telling one.

Lets start at the beginning because I am willing to accept religion may not always have been a lie. The person who started the lie may simply have been crazy, delusional or a wondrous story teller. We know it wasn’t god because we know the history of many religions and beliefs enough to show the hand of man in action developing and changing them. Even if we were to credit the existence of gods and if it were a god who told the first story, the story is now so corrupted and distorted it can’t be shown or proven to be the same as those first spoken words. Maybe the first person – as it was a person – was trying to impress someone with his knowledge or control someone in which case religion did begin as a lie but I have no more proof of that than there is proof of god/s and no proof that religion was the intended outcome. Lets at this point assume a story teller because none of us know where religion began and story telling doesn’t attribute blame to religions founders. The stories told by that first person may then have been taken too literally – intentionally or not – by someone who went on to teach to others. Eventually the story became a truth presented without evidence (because lets face it, it was just a story). At the point of the first someone spread the truth-without-evidence, the story became a lie. Some of those initial people may have been scammers spreading the lie deliberately, like the more modern examples of Hubbard (scientology) and Smith (mormonism). Some may have accidentally forgotten that it was a tale they were telling and not have made that clear (or just insane) but as the older religions have grown and questions have arisen – and gone unanswered or ignored – all religion has become a lie. A lie perpetuated for some time by the power hungry, the wealth seekers, the scam artists, the ignorant and the socially driven.

Lying for religion has become habitual in many – maybe most – cases, so ground into a persons mind they are unable to see it for themselves. Any attempt to enlighten them to their flawed position is cause for defensive, even aggressive behaviour. I don’t know how much I blame these people for the lie because the lie itself is defended by ideas such burning in hell, a lower place in a next life, a life without meaning, a world without law or morals and the social stigma of being disowned by your community/family/friends. There are people who claim they are not religious because they find aspects of religious dogma or practice repulsive and yet they will profess to believe in jesus and god (the very things that make the doctrines and dogma religious rather than political, business or social ideologies). This claim has become part of the fabric of the lie for some preachers, oddly enough the sort of preachers who cause other to not want to be religious in the first place. It can be hard to blame these “non-religious” people for telling the religion lie and continuing it. Blinded as they are to the truths of religion and indoctrinated to believe the lie of religion, the religion that tells them that questioning or being without it would be worse than anything they can imagine. The only hope for these people is the hope that they can be educated and see how clouded their minds are and discover that breaking from the lie is not the end but a bright new beginning.

Personal reasons for belief aside, the religious foundations of your reasoning remains a lie.

At a professional level we know that in the USA alone there are some 250+ preachers who no longer believe in a god yet still preach the doctrines. As members of a group trying to find new lives for themselves they are the obvious professional liars for religion. Take a second look at who is selling you the lie next Sunday, it may be one of that number or one of those as yet not known. These are the lesser scammers amongst the professional liars and maybe it seems impolite at this point to call them liars. If you found yourself in the position of having put aside everything in life and trained to do nothing but sell a lie, how would you feel if you found out late in life that you were selling a lie. There must be older people facing death who have this same troubles, suddenly questioning the lie and thinking how much life was wasted must get harder the older you get. These preachers find themselves continuing to sell the lie out of fear of isolation and/or financial ruin but at least they are trying to improve their situation. The best professional liars and scammers are the ones you can’t feel any concern for. These people are more obvious and it must take a special sort of stupidity, loneliness, fear of death, gullibility or an extreme need to protect your personal lie to not see the cash begging televangelists for what they are. Televangelists make street preachers look like – for want of another word – saints.

Lying comes in degrees but at all levels it is still lying.

At an individual level religion is a lie to yourself. A lie protected by worthless terms like faith that help to excuse the fact you know deep down that your beliefs is unfounded. Many believers don’t even know the doctrines or texts of their lie, their only defence against counter argument is to make meaningless statements, exhibit anger, behave irrationally or demand unwarranted respect (or any combination of the afore mentioned). The problem with your personal lie is that it is rarely kept personal. You lie to children and propagate the lie. Some liars use the lie to repress other people and deny them rights. Liars congregate to support others in their lie and to justify their own lie. There is strange idea that is sometimes spoken out loud, the idea that the more liars there are the more truth there is in the lie. You also lie to people about having some higher truth though you know you can’t prove there is any truth in the lie. You will try to avoid confronting conversations with statements like “it makes me feel good”, stating that no evidence could possibly change your mind, and taking questions as a personal affront. Some people go to the extent of denying evidence or deny having been offered evidence in defence of their lie. Respect for the lie is the final argument most liars make, as if lying was respectable and honest questioning the lie were a crime. You lie about personal experiences being god. Experiences that can generally be better explained in natural scientific ways you explain as god because it better supports your personal lie. As a example, if a family member dies and you dream of it only hours before, you will forget the months of suffering and intimate knowledge of the persons health concerns to jump to the conclusion that god sent you a message. A rational mind not tied to the lie would assume their mind was running through the obvious outcomes, maybe to prepare you for the worst, and the timing was simply because of their prior knowledge.

The strangest lie you tell yourself is the lie you tell as you give your tithe. The lie that god needs your money to propagate belief or maybe god can’t act to help people without your money. Maybe you give money because you lie to yourself that god has somehow given your preacher more of its time and he knows gods intentions better than you do; though you both tell the same unfounded lie (maybe your preacher is one of those non-believers, what then?).

Though I have written very specifically of the god lie which is most prevalent in my society it is exactly the same lie told for all unjustifiable religious lies. Aliens, spirits, mystics, pseudo science are all lies in the same vein. When you pay an exorcist, conspiracy theorist, card reader, palmist, crystal seller, ghost hunter, mystic salt seller or feng shui master you help propagate the lie told by other idiots who know nothing more than you could dream up for yourself with a little imagination. Through your actions you support idiots as in the dark as you are and maybe even more dishonest. Finding someone gullible enough to devote their lives to a falsehood – a lie – dishonest people find people equally willing to do anything and believe anything to defend that lie.

When you lie to yourself you make yourself susceptible to a wider range of lies.

It doesn’t matter why you lie. You may lie to protect your belief, you may lie for comfort, because you see no other option, for profit, power or just because you prefer to think your parents were not liars. It doesn’t matter why you tell the lie, a lie told for any reason is still a lie. Your parents didn’t mean to do harm (to my knowledge) in telling you the lie, they like you never had someone to tell them it was a lie and the lie is deigned to protect and propagate itself. Is not wanting to question their teaching really reason enough to not at least consider the lie?

The only reason the telling of religion may be considered something other than lying is low intelligence resulting in the propagation of other people’s lies without the ability to mentally process the lie. This doesn’t change the fact that religion itself is a lie, it just means you don’t need a fully functioning brain to carry on the lie. People of low intelligence may be no more guilty of knowingly propagating the religion lie than that first guy who said a tree had a spirit kicking off the entire religion debacle. Religion today is far from a few insane or mentally impaired individuals telling stories and most people telling the lie are, if willing, able to reason or at least understand the arguments against the lie.

From anyone lips, a lie remains a lie.

The very idea that there are groups of theists calling themselves “apologists” shows that even the most argumentative and defensive of believers know to some degree that that there is something wrong that needs excusing. Entire theme parks are constructed by these people, who have not one scrap of scientific evidence to back the lies they tell. Many have the sole aim of profiting and propagating the religion lie for their own gain knowing as they do that they don’t need to defend their lie to people who lie to themselves. Apologists are well known for phrases like “no amount of evidence well sway me” or “I will not listen to evidence” which indicates that they know they are lying to themselves as well as others. They know evidence works against them. Apologetics ranks no higher intellectually than the undereducated layman who proclaims evolution a lie, reciting arguments made by creationists (another form of apologist) yet knowing nothing of the actual topic and displaying an unwillingness to learn the topic. Apologetics is however claimed as an intellectual pursuits. It is only if you consider basic lying and denial an intellectual skill.

Intellectual dishonesty is any act of not listening to anything but the argument you wish to prevail while “knowingly” ignoring or denying any counter argument or evidence. The intellectually dishonesty often demand that people consider your position on the matter, the very thing they are not willing to do. Intellectual dishonesty is lying at its worst and apologists are the worst being more educated than most liars in religious doctrine.

When you repeat the lies of an apologist you only repeat a better worded lie.

I have seen all of this behaviour time and again. Though I have tried to make this article impersonal, every word of it is based on my personal experiences with religious people. I called religion a lie and I wrote of the actions of its liars based on my entire life’s experience as an outsider, an atheist, a parent and a husband. The lie doesn’t effect my thought processes, I see it for what it is. I see how people act on the lie and how they defend it. I am the person who considered the apologists position (and found it lacking) while having my evidence and arguments ignored. All my life I have listened to the lies, I am just not emotionally connected to them.

If you got angry or defensive rather than thinking about my position; why? How did a life long atheist came to see your long held and highly valued beliefs as a LIE? Why am I calling you a LIAR? Why not consider my position? Try it, consider your own lie and prove me wrong.

I will finish this here but there is much more to say on the topic of lying. In part two (Deceptive, Subversive, Lying-for-jesus, Stealth Religion) I delve into some of the dishonest methods and terms used to convey the lie.

Until next time, may your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

I was trying to describe to my 17 year old son why we were suffering expansion of christian trash bringing ignorance into our political system today and it boils down to, “it’s our fault” (I have to warm readers this became a very convoluted conversation and I tried to cover most of the ins and outs here, it waft on a bit).

Well no, not all our fault, maybe the new backlash against progressive humanist secular policy is our fault. When I say our fault I mean we-asked-to-be-recognised-and-have-equality and for some reason they think we don’t deserve it. Our fault obviously. Well no, when you go over it, after you work through the reasons and possible solutions, it’s not our fault at all. It turns out that they were always like this and we simply opened peoples eyes and minds to the reality of the situation.

That’s not our fault, what is?

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Religious and political bigotry, power seeking and wealth cravings were always there for those looking at it with their eyes open or suffering at its hands. What’s new is visibility. The actions and behaviours of those behind religious and political bigotry, power seeking and wealth cravings have become public knowledge and people are proving willing to dispute it. Because of societies increasing acceptance of secular humanism and awareness of our environment religion is loosing it grip on humanity. The witch hunting and inquisition were always there and they still are where religion influences education, society and politics. When your power is based on an untenable position I guess you it has to force itself on people and crush descent. Religion it seems has proven to be the worst and most repressive of doctrines as political doctrines fall as easily as the people running them. Invisible entities with repressive doctrines are not as easy to target.

Wherever we look at human history we find repressive religion close to those in power or in power itself. The buddhists, hindi, jews, Romans, Incas, Aztecs, even the ancient Greeks who all controlled relatively small parts of the world controlled with or alongside repressive religions using doctrines of war, caste, slavery, torture and indoctrination to drive their causes. Finally with bullets at their disposal, christians became the dominant religion controlling significantly more of the world than any religion before it. Again they used the tried and tested methods of the past to bring people to their cause. In the past our civilizations were controlled this way but we fought for and won our freedom, religion almost took the back seat. We were on the right track before political and economic freedom made us soft and took the fight out of us (sorry, I am Australian, our long fort for rights are being diminished and we barely raise our eye brows let alone our fists, this may not go for everyone). Our increased personal freedom and human rights allowed religion to returned with a new crazy and greater financing. In the past it was religion that had the most crushing grip on society but today we have the power to keep them out of power if we continue to exercise it.

This is not inventive history, the record is there for all to see and in support of my argument, to remind us of what the world was like when religion ran things, the middle east has islam and its crazies. The most celebrated of these, ISIS, and before it the Taliban, are doing nothing less for no more justifiable a reason than the religions before it (okay so it’s not all muslims but then it wasn’t all christians participating in the inquisitions, I discussed my thoughts on moderate religion in a previous post – https://antitheocrat.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/i-dont-believe-in-moderate-theism/ – if you lend your weight to a cause and fail to speak or act against it you are still more to blame than the victim). Generations behind the west in religious and social development (but able to learn from our mistakes and catch up fast) the islamic world is a vision of what the christian world was prior to the Enlightenment and a reminder of why we need to keep religion in its place.

While islam catches up the world has already changed for the rest of us. Liberalism, acceptance of minorities and being allowed to express ourselves have become accepted practice and maybe that is where we are at fault. We stopped letting them torture and kill us into silent submission so it must be our fault that we are no longer accepting the place they set for us in society and staying in it? Theists love to tell we atheists that we should be quiet and that we shouldn’t discuss their beliefs, we are terrible people for not letting them attack us with fairy tales. It was okay when they ran things to force belief on people, even today street preachers and door knockers are allowed to practice freely but if an atheist discuss their beliefs the atheist have to be silent and show respect.

It is quite true that once, in a time before colour television, long before the magic interweb, people sat in their homes minding their own business and complaining about the women, gays and blacks, making trouble and demanding change. That wasn’t until society grew of age and their own sons and daughters came out as homosexual, married a person with a different skin texture or worse, another religion that a whole new world came to their attention. Things they had never before considered suddenly demanded their personal attention and sometimes demanded they make a choice between much loved children and long established doctrines. Then came we non-religious folk, not new but suddenly more vocal, wanting our share of the equality. We became stopped being isolated individuals. We became a global community linked by new media and as that media access became available for our use we did use it. We started questioning for all to see. Questioning not only human rights abuses but the very theistic foundations of their lounging world.

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.

Back then even I was respectful. I was raised in a time when we didn’t swear and it was considered impolite to discuss religion and politics. The right thing to do was be respectful of other people’s beliefs and I did that for far too long, only questioning religion when religious people tried to push it on me and never bringing the topic up myself. It took some time for me to break that conditioning but I, with our society, saw change coming and I moved with it. I was amongst those who demanded people not only accept their sons and daughters for who they were, but question why they were not being accepted in the first place. I for one will never go back to the days of being respectful and I will never tell others that being disrespectful is wrong. No belief or doctrine should stand higher in importance than our planet and those – all animal species – who reside on it. I don’t say sorry taking this position and the people I want as friends take me for who I am not for what they want me to be when I am in their company. I will try to make people think and question their very beliefs if it is the roots of their bigotry whenever I have opportunity. I have gone one better in my life, than my parent did, I taught and will teach my children how to reason and research the arguments religion puts forward when it tries to force itself on them (as it has tried on my eldest). I will not promote unwarranted respect for other peoples stupid reliance on ancient mythology in my children or others.

This discussion boils down to why it is less acceptable to be an ignorant hating theistic bigot rather than who is to blame. We shook their own ranks while raising our own heads and they lost their grip on humanity but it was their doctrine that failed not our arguments. If we are to blame for anything we are only to blame for the increased visibility of their bigotry and hate. We are to blame for people seeing the double standards and inconsistency. We are to blame for the many religions being found resistant to critical analysis and failing to come up with workable answers when questioned. There is nothing in what society and atheism have achieved, especially what it has achieved in my own lifetime. If we have anything to be ashamed of it is how many of us still believe we should be polite and respectful in the face of ridiculous beliefs.

The successes of liberal humanist thinking and associated actions are one of the great achievement of humanity. The unionists, women, people of textured skin, homosexuals and atheists groups who over the past 100+ years who have fought for their right to be heard. The people who demanded and fought for their sex, sexuality, political and social freedoms, workplace reforms, beliefs, the revolutionaries who changed nations, the scientists who tested their beliefs and favoured their findings, we changed the world. We took on the very foundations of society and religious doctrine and made social, ideological and political equality something everyone could strive for. Equality is no longer something for the gentry or the overtly religious, it is a thing for the masses. Modern society is a thing decided and managed by a new vision of morality, morality reflected in law, where all people are not only born equal but worthy of equality in their lives.

This change hasn’t sat well with everyone and often its those people who object loudest that are the ones who 100 years ago would have been the poor destitute downtrodden masses. The barking mad christians that are so easy to find on Youtube would once have been locked away safely. They would have been the poor and unwashed, persecuted for their radical and outlandish displays, made the target of churches fighting to retain control of doctrine and gentry wanting to retain wealth and favour with the church. It’s the changes bought about by those of us who rose up out of our often humble beginnings that forced society to allowed anyone to rise up and make something of themselves. The changes we made meant it was no longer an accident of birth that made a person, we could all dream of something better and want for more, including the religious and crazy people.

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I have at this point to change direction because there is a perception that when all men are equal no man will do anything. when the struggle for life becomes the pleasure of life people will simply stop. This is relevant here because those in power use this argument to retain power and wealth over the masses. The ones who seem to use it most of all are the christian right. This is an odd belief, the belief that if you don’t need to struggle and fight for your every meal you will do nothing and accept boredom over action. This is like saying every millionaire having enough money to live on without ever again working, sits on their arse doing nothing.

I will put myself up here as an example of what people do when they have freedom to choose to live and are not stuck in a fight to live. I haven’t had to work for 18 years since my wife took over as our wage earner. I am an at home parent with that as my only requirement in life for 18 years, to look after my son and our household.

In my working life I took drugs, drank alcohol to what may be called excess and slept with my fair share of willing partners. With a life that revolved around working to earn enough to pay rent and feed myself, that left little time or money for more, I lived hard rather than productive. Some people see drugs as a cost ill afforded by the poor but compared to hobbies, clubs, travel, cars, comping, tools, craft materials and sport, drugs are actually quite cost effective and easy to do. You’ve already paid rent – if you pay rent – so staying in, being stoned, eating rice or noodles, watching television, movies and playing computer games is quite cheap living.

I admit I am older and those days may have taken their course and gone anyway regardless of my path in life. I do have to admit a liking for the sensation of being stoned, so maybe I could have kept going. My life is now far more settled mostly because I am busy but I could if I had time imagine reverting to that life quite easily. And here we have my point, I am free from the burden of working 9 to 5 for a living, I have lived the life of doing nothing  beyond my 9 to 5, yet I am more busy than ever in my life. Having the freedom of doing what I choose rather than what I must I would if it were an option enjoy spending time working in my trade entirely on-call rather than 9 to 5. I would love to be on call, racing out to factories producing everything from electronics to food, working in ships, foundries, bakeries, petrochemical and chemical plants to name but a few location I have worked, needing to fix their control systems as they run without disturbing their processes or before they can even run multimillion dollar production lines. Without the demand of full time work which would take me away from my kids and without the demand to make a living wage the adrenaline rush of my former life would be a pleasure. The idea that people like doing nothing when they have enough money to live comfortable is pure imagination, most of us would die of boredom. Before running my own business I spent some time stacking supermarket shelves to keep active, I could imagine doing even that for fun if it were not just another job working for arseholes who think they own you once you work for them.

So what did I do while not needing to work for my income? In the past 18 years, not needing it for our small but manageable income and on a $100 investment, I started a business that has provided us with some very nice family holidays and travel opportunities. In the past 3 years as my responsibility to my eldest has changed my business grown. My youngest will keep me at home another 18 years and for another 18 years I will run a productive business. I could have spent 18 years playing computer games as long as the housework was done and the bills managed but my creative mind and boredom are a very strong driving force.

I do not believe for one minute that equality will make people lazy or unproductive. In any discussion about equality and human rights, poverty based economics is not a justifiable reason for repressing people. Though it may sound to some like communism or whatever fascist doctrine you wish to call it, humanism is about improving peoples lives and I am humanist. I believe everyone born has a right to the basic of life (but I also believe in population control which would be easier to promote if people didn’t have to worry about how they get their next meal).

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Getting back to the blame thing and social change, the seeming rise of the new evangelists. It sometimes seems the crazies who once populated mental institutions now walk the hallways of governments. In actual fact it is just a case of our awareness being increased. They were always there somewhere to some degree but now, whenever and wherever these people speak, their insanity is shown to the world. The crazy ideas that were once found only in historical records are today news, presented to the world in a matter of minutes. There is very little any public person can hide, even without media coverage the electronic recording devices many people carry in their pocket result in few places anyone can hide their activity and the internet ensures exposure will be quick. Like atheism, evangelism is no newer than atheism, there is only new media and it exposes crazy messages as easily as it opened new outlets for atheism and reason to present a counter proposal.

If we are not to blame who is? Electronic media?

Rather than take up another pointless argument I will draw the obvious conclusion, the only people to blame for having

Book 1 of the priest initiation series.

Book 1 of the priest initiation series.

there arsehole opinions crushed are the people committing the arsehole acts or voicing the arsehole opinions. Atheists may have risen up out of silence with new media and found their voice but we didn’t make the crazies crazy. Electronic media may have put the stupid on the world stage and made them the heroes in their own downfall but electronic media didn’t make them say or do the things they do. I guess they could blame their parents or their peers but that would be cowardly and not absolve them of responsibility. I myself am not the model of my parents ideals, I have questioned my parents teaching and even discussed with them the reasons why they were wrong about certain things (like being respectful). I have several times changed my social circles rather than maintain friendships with bigots, haters and idiots. You have to take responsibility for you own life at some point and the crazy evangelists have no more excuse for not growing up and evolving their attitudes than anyone else in this information age. Self improvement, for anyone without personal internet connection, is as close as a public library for anyone seeking to be informed.

I will close this discussion here – I don’t know if I can justify calling it a document – and hope it helps anyone who made it through to the end to understand why it is important to continue to voice our opposition to religion. Our respect and silence do nothing and offer no benefit to human society. Unless we are prepared to go back to a world that allows blasphemy laws to control our thoughts and actions we must stand up and fight for recognition and respect. We are not to blame for religion being in rout, religion created it’s own problems and has to resolve it’s issues or face the fact it will always be in rout. Our job is only to remember how long it took and how many it took to get to where we are and out of respect, keep fighting until we have crushed religions unwarranted position in modern society. We need to fight until the day we make secularism a durable world wide phenomena.

For our children and their children in turn we must never accept the blame for a fight that was imposed on us and was due to it’s nature ours to fight.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

A little while back I wrote a post about atheists siding with the enemy and why we shouldn’t (https://antitheocrat.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/siding-with-the-enemy/). I don’t generally tell people how to atheist (as if there could be a “way” to atheist) but as this blog is about how I, as a life long atheist, view atheism I will freely express my own views on things I see as problematic. This post follows on from the previous document as the danger of siding with the enemy is again on my mind; as it should be with anti-muslim/white supremacists/pro-nationalism protests again making news.

A group called Reclaim Australia came out at the time of my original post and are out again with their nationalistic anti-sharia message, playing again to the scaremongering of the press, government and special interest groups. Last time the anti sharia message Reclaim were selling hit home with the few atheists taken with the over dramatised and (im)possible takeover of Australia by radical islamisation. Some who went out and marched expressed so much pride in their days actions that they got defensive and angry when other atheists were critical of their action. Reclaim, an obviously christian white supremacist group (though less obvious the first time out than it is now) turns out to not be a popular atheist cause for a number of reasons.

I myself am always very careful about not taking sides in inter-religion battles and was extremely wary of Reclaim when they first surfaced. I do generally look for the christians behind vocal anti Islam groups before taking a side, they can often be found polluting the anti sharia message with their theological nonsense. Equally I could never join a white supremacist or nationalist group even though I am happy to be one of that privileged group I will refer to (because who cares) as Australian honkies. Quite simply I don’t believe the act of being born is significant cause for pride or discrimination, I cannot see how someone else procreating (my parents, not some mythical god) to create me was an act of that much pride. For me racism and nationalism are like tattooing your kids names on yourself, a very low standard to judge your life by. Well woohoo look at me I can breed. I would sooner tattoo my eduction and qualifications on myself (if I were to get any at all), the things I know I can say I achieved in my life. For religious and race reasons I could never join a group like Reclaim in anything they do or promote.

So when Reclaim marched again up went the flag, out came the people screaming about how wonderful the things they stand for are and best of all out came more information. For this reason I became aware of their policy statement which confirmed my suspicions about the groups real intentions and who they are and that is the focus of this document.

Reclaim have a white-supremacist christian evangelistic message behind their anti muslim call to nationalism. A group called Catch the Fire Ministries are a large part of who they are. The Reclaim crowd, having vented much of its nationalism first time out, were this time down to their evangelist core, a support and a contingent of christian Asian wives to make them look multicultural (before the racist accusation comes, my own wife is Asian), and finally the neo-nazi bikers who were this time less prominent. As a predominantly pro christian evangelist group Reclaim is surely a group atheists should never stand by. As an atheist you could be one of those individuals who thinks the achievement of having parents of a certain skin texture is a significant achievement, I couldn’t fault your atheism on that, but when the group is also a hard-line Christian outfit the cause is lost to atheists. To evangelist christians we are as much the enemy as any muslim if not more so. They will use us while it serves their devious ends but we mean no more to them than a means-to-an-end that sees them holding all the cards.

To make my point about why we shouldn’t support groups like Reclaim here is their policy statement, in full, taken from their website 25/07/15. I found this because someone on a forum told us – angrily – to “get educated” and though I suspect educated was not something required to write this document I am now going to show that I have read it. My commentary is in italics section by section for anyone interested in how I found it.

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WHAT WE ARE RECLAIMING:

– Exactly, I want to know what was lost. What right, privilege or legal status has any christian white Australian actually lost? Has any individual from Reclaim had to change their lives because they lost a legal right? Nobody from Reclaim can tell me what they personally, or their family, have lost. It seems they are reclaiming only the right to repress other people and force them to not outwardly express who and what they are if it is not properly christian (#19) and they need non-halal Vegemite.

1.Our right to peaceful assembly.
This Commonwealth right was denied to Australians at the April 4th Rally in Melbourne

– I don’t know anything about this April 4th thing but if the problem was a vocal and expressive counter protest you may need to work out why you find yourself in this position. Just a suggestion; as christians with a message of hate and repression, your anti homosexual stand (#19) and demand for religious freedom to be denied to other theological groups you may just make a few people unhappy. If the 4th was a problem with the law, it is within the scope of the law to protect you and the general public from harm and I remember some news of violence (not sure who from and don’t care). I have to assume this is the reason for your being stopped if there was a legal one. That is unless you went to some other length to upset them that I have missed.

2.Australia’s interests first, over all other nations as stated in our Residency Agreements and our citizenship requirements.
Australia’s interest sits above religion and dual passports. Muslims may not go to Syria and fight for ISIS when Australia’s interests are against it. It must be a case of Australia or Ummah—choose.

– Was it necessary to single out muslims? I wonder if they apply this to christians who put god and the bible before all else? Reading on through this document I think it becomes clear that putting christianity first is quite acceptable. Christianity is given plenty of special consideration in this document.

3. Equality at Law. (No more “cultural considerations”)
As Australians we embrace equality and care for all our people equally regardless of religion or ethnicity…but the law is the law and it too is equally dispensed, regardless of how long you have been in the country.

– Who can argue with this, other than the fact the law is meant to respond to cultural change that is. BUT, who was missing out on equality under the law? Do they think muslims get special consideration for their religion? I have myself reason to believe christianity has been given much special consideration in law. Look at the push for SRI in public schools and the hoops our federal government have jumped through to continue this predominantly christian program, this government even did away with the last governments secular inclusion to ensure christian privilege was looked after. I know this is about sharia law being used in muslim communities and it is a concern but I wonder if Reclaim are prepared to police and stop christians putting church/god/religion before law, jewish communities doing the same and also maintaining own legal systems and then there is the legally allowed tribal courts that exist in some Aboriginal communities. I have found most reclaimers are blind to these other cultural/religious issues.

4. Democracy over Political Correctness.
Our political system allows one person to have one vote and the majority opinion rules. “The right to freedom of opinion is the right to hold opinions without interference, and cannot be subject to any exception or restriction.” Political correctness infringes on Australians Constitutional rights. We reclaim the right to hold opinions without interference.

– Political correctness has not been made law to my understanding and thought policing is as yet in its early stages with data retention laws just coming to play. Hate speech, political correctness and having ideas are not the same thing. If you are thinking things others may find offensive I’m pretty sure at this stage you are still safe from the thought police. If you put a point forward and it is hate speech or defamatory you may find the law interested in you. If people respond to you with strong criticism that bothers you, you are not actually being stopped from saying what you want. Asking that criticism be stopped you are in fact the one/s asking to have others legally given freedom of expression taken from them.

5. Freedom for service people to wear uniforms in public, safely—on and off duty.
Any attack on the service uniform of the commonwealth of Australia is an attack on the nation of Australia. Hiding our uniforms whilst off duty is not a leadership solution. An attack needs to be considered as an act of war on the Nation of Australia and treated accordingly. Only when we respect our uniforms will others follow. Same goes with our flag—an attack on our flag must be made punishable at law.

– I’m not sure why anyone should wear a uniform off duty; a uniform is a sign of being on duty. If you attack someone wearing a uniform there are surely laws pertaining to assault and damage to property which already cover this. As to nationalism and flags, I would burn one tomorrow – they’re all made in China anyway – to protest in favour my freedom of expression for or against any aspect of my nation. If you value a piece of cloth over an individual’s right of expression – as given in our constitution – you are not being the best Australian you can be.

6. Freedom to attend our public functions without threat or fear of terrorism.
Stop all forms of radicalisation within our shores until it stops. If that means removing imams, Korans and closing down all mosques and Islamic schools then so be it. Australian public safety is a primary mandate of our Government.

– Christian evangelism is a form of radicalisation; I guess they don’t think so. If we close all mosques, I propose we also have to close all churches and religious schools, not just evangelist churches and schools. Again they managed to single out muslims without once addressing the fact that churches and temples are found in many denominations and all have the potential to create people with a weak grip on reality. They also missed the fact that the majority of private schools in Australia a christian and that we also have cultural schools such as Greek and Italian schools. All of these schools and places of religion/culture could be creating extremism, shut them all down.

7. Our food to be free of religious taxes to other nations, blessings and certifications.
Imagine if the Vatican issued an edict that said only Catholics could eat Vatican Certified or blessed Food and went around and made every Australian food manufacturer pay for Vatican compliance and further, decreed that only Catholics were able to kill, bless, transport and store the food. It would be considered discriminatory to the rest of Australia, even if Catholics are 25% of the population. Yet today, 2% of our population have this sway. Food supply is a matter for the “state”—not religion. We certify for quality and health reasons.
If manufacturers want to state “contains no pork or alcohol” that is their business.

– For all that I am against funding religion in any way it has to be noted that we fund religion in many ways and this is maybe the smallest way. The fact that religion is not taxed should be of more concern that halal certification. The only certification these people are really worried about is islamic, maybe because this is one tax christianity cannot claim due to their long history of ignoring biblical food laws. As somewhat noted in their example, if it were christian certification being questioned they would scream for it to remain in place. From a manufacturer point of view, certification is just a way to open up more sales, a right they have, just like labelling if something has pork or alcohol in it. There is no law stating halal certification is required and no law stating it can’t be used, this is a purely commercial decision. As commercial as the consumers decision on which products they purchase or avoid purchasing, nobody is making you buy halal certified food. I personally buy anything using a halal label as its primary sales criteria, that is my option as a consumer.

8. Equality of Gender.
This year in a press conference in Sydney, female journalists were asked to go to the back of the room in deference to the culture giving the conference. The male journalists said nothing and the female journalists did as requested. Equality of Gender is enshrined in Australian law and is one of the values that makes Australia the great country it is. It’s up to all Australians to protect these values in everyday day situations including press conferences. On Australian soil women have equal rights to men and that includes where they stand.

– Again, who can deny this. The example given however addresses a particular situation and again it focuses on muslims. It has to be noted that many christians believe in women being subservient to men, especially evangelistic christians. Many Christian groups believe women should cover and I have even come across women who sit in the back seat of the car behind their husband as a christian observance. It is only true of christians that if they tried to pull male superiority over a group of random christians, no one christian in the room would agree to what degree this should be allowed. Islam is very clear on the place of women and has not been as watered down by cultural change so it is possible they will require women to adhere to certain rules more readily. In a public place this would be against the law and there would be reason for complain but in a private event you participate in the way the event organiser wants or you don’t participate. I have walked out of church events rather than pretend to pray and if you are going to be upset at my eating while you talk to your imaginary friend don’t come to dinner at my home. I as a business owner have a right to dictate the nature of my business and who I allow as a client (as long as I simply deny the service and not express any isms, then it becomes a legal issue). So it is muslims can also make the rules when it’s their shop, their event or their home. The only choice you have to make is whether or not you want to attend and submit to their conditions. As Reclaim mentioned it I wonder what they make of gender variations other than male and female, I know they have a passion for radial christianity which leaves me thinking it’s not the their thing.

9. Individual Sovereignty.
In Australia we enjoy the freedom of choosing who we are going to marry, who we mix with, where we go, what job we do and what we wear. But not so for all those born here. This year we have learned about girls growing up inside of Australia but being forced to marry outside of Australia and under-aged. Individual sovereignty is a freedom given to all Australians regardless of culture.

– With data retention and anti-terrorism laws I’m not sure any of us have the personal sovereignty we once had but again this one is about a few muslims breaking Australian law and women – for whatever reason – choosing to cover themselves in cloth. We have seen child marriage going on but then we also have a royal commission into child abuse which has focused most of its attention on religious institutions, mostly Christian ones. In one specific case of child marriage I have heard Reclaim cite, a man was indeed arrested and has been given prison time for the crime of marrying an under-age girl in another country. Though people may do these things the law is in place to protect children and it has for some time recognised that the abuse of children in other nations by Australian’s is still an offence under Australian law. Prosecutions started in this area quite some time back and helped clean up the Thai sex trade (again a largely white christian issue Australian issue). Yet again we have Reclaim focusing on muslims with the intent of making them a focus of hate and totally missing the fact we do have child protection laws. They have also missed the fact that for generations many groups identifying with a specific nationality have sent their children away to marry. How you police this I don’t know or particularly care. As an atheist I can no more stop a parent indoctrinating their children with fairy tales than stop them teaching them to stay in their cultural ethnic group.

10. Equality and tolerance of races and religions.
This also includes Aussies and Christians.

– I didn’t know Aussie was a race and I know Christian isn’t. Nice job here singling out of the most powerful religion in Australia – and the world – for special consideration and making out it is in some way a victim in need of protection. As a group that cites nationalism in their arguments I have to question their differentiation of Aussie and Christian. Do they see christian as something separate from Australian? Can you not be both christian and Australian? Do you put Aussie or christian first? I don’t understand how this works with all the nationalism, I can only guess they thought they needed to stick the word christian in one more time and this cockup is what occurred. It also seems someone needed to ensure christianity got special consideration in the document, being the poor innocent victim minority they are.

11. Separation of state and religion.
Religions must respect and adhere to all the laws of the land if they want to practice here. When religious teachings conflict—in order not to break the social cohesion of Australia—we must insist that our Laws dominate. Social cohesion and ability to comply with our laws, must also be a strong selection criteria in determining which people are suitable as refugees and immigrants for Australia. If people find themselves unable to keep our laws because of their religious or cultural practices, then they will need to be considered as unsuitable as immigrants.

– While I agree with the premise I suspect Reclaim mean all religion but their own which they consider to be an integral part of our society. I wonder if we pushed Reclaim would they see the laws pertaining to Special Religious Instruction (a mostly christian programme) as selectively allowing religion a privileged place in our society. Especially with two high court losses against it and the long fought for secular option again being removed from the system. I am yet to meet an evangelist christian who believes that their god comes after the law even though jesus himself said it was how things are. To paraphrase jesus he said obey the law while you live and make yourself right with god for when you die. Again I know this is about muslims having sharia justice in their communities but all religions have always seen themselves as above the law. Are we going to ask christians what comes first, god or law, before we let them in? It sounds like a good idea to me.

12. Freedom of Speech.
How absurd it is when “speaking the truth” becomes secondary to “not offending” someone for stating the facts. At the moment this is just where 18C has placed freedom of speech in our legislation. Truth is an intrinsic value of our culture and our legal system therefore offence legislation 18C just has to go. Truth must always prevail in our culture.

– This is something idiots always get wrong about Australian law, we are not the USA and your television education is not serving you well. Australia has “Freedom of Expression” not “Freedom of Speech”, there are differences in how the two work in law and in some ways expression is the better. They go on about facts after this but basing a statement on a fact and making misleading conclusions is not actually remaining true to the fact. 18C protects people from false, misleading and defamatory speech which we have never had freedom of and does not counter our Freedom of Expression. Fact is truth can be deceptive, fact is fact, truth is subjective. For instance religions always claim to know truth but not one has as yet proven a god or that they are the one religion speaking with said gods express permission. There is no fact in religion but many accepted claims of truth. Which religions truth is the real truth? Fact would be a better solution but if factual statements were made law politicians would run out of things to say and churches would be forced to close. Perfect or not Freedom of Expression seems to serve us well and changing it would take a great deal of forethought and care.

13. Freedom from intimidation for being “Australian”.
This includes showing patriotism to Australia, it’s flag, Anglo and Christian heritage, cultural customs of dressing, speaking, drinking and eating.

– I see we managed to slip in not being allowed to criticise christians, special consideration again. Regardless of the heritage, of our national founders, why is it not our Aboriginal Dream Time heritage cited here? Maybe this about the fact that I live about 60km from Bogan Shire (yes there is a Bogan Shire in central NSW, I didn’t invent it) and I make jokes about bogans every time I pass the shire sign? Could this be special protection of anyone regardless of their message, if they stand under an Australian flag and claim to be nationalists they can say anything, anywhere, any time? I would protest both concepts any day of the week. For now now it seems the one thing we are Australians are good at is laughing at ourselves, is this going to be stopped? Our federation was formed as a secular one specifically to keep Roman catholic christians taking control and for generations we have been a nation of many religions and notably, even in my grandfather’s day, non-religion. We are not a christian nation.

14. English as the primary language for schools and public events held in Australia.
Minorities have been found to use hate speech and inciting hatred in a public forum but avoid prosecution by speaking another language in front of the police. It is a one law for all argument. English Interpreters should be part of any public political forum in Australia where English is not the primary language spoken.

– I love living in a multi lingual country. As someone who has travelled and known many people with different nationalities I love hearing other languages being used. My own son is being raised bi-lingual and I hope his Chinese is as strong as his mothers and that they feel free to use it. Equally, at an event where Chinese people were the target audience I would not expect them to always use English or feel threatened for not doing so. We have a culture of multiculturalism going back a long way, my own mother is Dutch born. Now government documents are being provided in a multitude of languages to cater for our multiculturalism. Why should we not extend that to all things in our multicultural nation, why not become a multilingual nation with one core language. I have always wished I could speak more languages. For me this one stinks of White Australia policy. Abusive language is cited here as if it was a problem but if nobody finds language abusive who is to say it is, who judges what is abusive? I may call my mates fuck-nuts but if they don’t find it abusive your dislike of the word fuck should not play any part in my use of it. If I call you a fuck-nut with intent to offend then and only then may you decide what is offensive, but, if I called you a cheese-sandwich abusively which one would you more want me arrested for? Get over yourselves, stop trying to limit my Freedom of Expression.

15. The right to revoke citizenship, exile or deport traitors.
Our UN obligations has now made this extremely difficult. Social cohesion is our Government’s responsibility to its people. If we have have made a mistake in immigration policies we reserve the right as a nation to reverse them and expel unsuitable immigration candidates and traitors.

– I already worked out that as an atheist I may be in breach of our “Anglo and Christian heritage” (#13) protections so I guess I have to submit myself to the law and be deported. Wonder where I have to go, I have been to Europe and lives a short while in China but I wouldn’t call them home, I am an Australian and always have been. We already have a government that wants to decide who is a traitor and what outside causes you may be considered a traitor for supporting with the intention of striping a persons nationality. I wonder which activities Reclaim wants to add? As an Australian who does not stand for the raising of the flag or playing of the anthem because nationalism holds no interest to me, in fact I find nationalism revolting. Does my not wanting to support radicalisation through nationalism – especially a false christian nationalism – make me less proud to be Australian or worthy of the title?

16. The right to celebrate our traditions and Christian Holidays.
Our National Public Holidays are New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

– What are our traditional holidays? I see a list of religious holidays and 2 days of nationalism but none of the holidays we should have as a nation, days such as May Day or Federation Day, holidays our country could claim with pride having worked for them. Australia has a number of secular holidays, I don’t think anyone is trying to stop us having these days but then I didn’t know we were not getting the christian preferred holidays listed above, I may be out of the loop. I’m really not sure why Reclaim think they are not getting their christmas, it is still a public holiday to ensure we all have to submit to their pagan observances. Did they not get their chocolate eggs or presents? Did they think without our enforced pagan holidays we would all take up fasting and flagellating ourselves for ramadan? Then again, why shouldn’t we celebrate ramadan? I have celebrated passover with Jewish friends and have had christian ritual forced on me all my atheist life. Nobody ever asked if I wanted to celebrate Science, Darwin, Big Bang or No-Religious-Nonsense day. Nobody is trying to stop the religious having their little festivals but why does that mean the rest of us must have them enforced on us in the form of public holidays. Lucky for the christians, I recognise the pagan ritual behind their important dates and can laugh at how stupid they are crying about their precious pagan holidays. I love pagan presents and chocolate eggs too.

17. The Constitution and true representation in Government.
MP’s are to represent the concerns of their community first—not their party. We are a democracy and MP’s are our voice into the Government. Petitions with 2 million signatures are currently being ignored and referendums by passed when the people should be consulted. Minority parties hold major parties to ransom. The two party system at present is not serving the people.

– “The constitution”, may as well state “the alphabet”. This statement doesn’t tell us much about what they want with the constitution, it’s a good thing they clear it up. Unfortunately their clarification only shows a limited understanding of the democratic process. Yes we have a two party system which does not always seem democratic but to then dismiss third party options and their influence on government is to ignore the first concern about party politics. Parties are answerable in a democratic way when third party options achieve enough votes to hold the balance of power. Doing deals to pass policies is extremely democratic, one party holding all the cards is not democracy and switching between two parties with all the cards is not far short of a two party dictatorship. Party politics may not seems democratic but it is meant to provide a method by which government is not always stuck in petty one-on-one debate. A party can make a decision and push as one voice to the resulting policy. Our system may not be ideal but it is a workable system and I have no better alternative, nor do Reclaim. I tend to agree that the two party preferred system needs to be changed but as it becomes apparent third party options are growing in strength the way to change things is not to simply crush all opposition or try and make government a rabble of ineffectual individuals. Is it any wonder our democratic system seems broken when people who make simplistic statements like this are given the vote.

18. Australia’s sovereignty at law, over all other nations including the U.N.
Our nation is adopting legislation in line with UN agreements. If the UN is able to exert this level of power on Australia that leads to the introduction of new laws then perhaps we need to have a referendum to belong to it.

– This is simply stupid and I feel it is aimed at the idea of all people trying to seek refugee status in Australia are muslims and given too much protection under our agreements with the UN. It seems these people don’t want us having humanitarian concerns for refugees. I can’t think of any other way in which the UN is having a great deal of impact on our laws. Given the UN’s reports and condemnation of how we treat refugees it may be said we don’t do anything we have agree to anyway.

19. Separation of Religion and State
Whether we are religious or atheist we have a right to act and speak according to our own moral compass. That is the true test of a tolerant, free and democratic society. Political correctness is today’s sign that “the state” is incorrectly interfering with the individual’s moral compass. In cannot legislate on matters of conscience like gay marriage, abortions and religion. These are matters of personal conviction for every individual and cannot be legislated on in order to stop uncomfortable debates.

– I am all for this copy of #11, as much as I was at #11, but suspect Reclaim don’t mean “stop enforcing christian holidays on non-christians” (#16). I have a real problem with this statement, “Political correctness is today’s sign that “the state” is incorrectly interfering with the individual’s moral compass” because it indicates that these people believe our laws are not a reflection of our countries moral compass and their morals are better. In effect, because they want to discriminate the law must let them or the law is wrong. It also tells me they know nothing of how morals are formed and acted on, I have to assume they think it was some god what did it.The examples they use are signs only of bigotry, not a moral compass. Gay marriage is only marriage, an ask for equality for all people who want to make a life together. Abortions are not being enforced on anyone and people are free to decide their own moral stance on how they use the service provided. The government providing a safe service for those who choose abortion is a health issue not a part of any “national moral compass”. I had not realised people were being refused their right to have a chosen mythology, it would actually seem to me that our government have a wish to ensure everyone has a religion – if possible, their religion – and atheism is not allowed. The current SRI in state schools issue is clearly not about government taking gods away. I am certain that there is no law saying I MUST believe in a god or not and I would defend anyone’s right to believe or not (even though I am an anti-theist who would if I could rid the world of religion, I would never want it made law).

20. Recognition and respect of Australia’s indigenous community and their requirements.

– Maybe they don’t know enough about Aboriginal Australia to elaborate. While they push the cause of “Anglo and Christian heritage” they are not really that interested in indigenous culture. “Christian Holidays” are cited but where have they expressed any interest in impossible holidays with an indigenous feel? They want to dictate our clothing choices which I take to mean loin cloths and/or bare breasts are out (where such things are the norm, not all Aboriginal nations are the same and I don’t mean to imply so). Reclaim want English as our one and only national language with not one word of recognition to the fact that many Australians, who did not come from other nations, speak a native language of our nation as their first and foremost language. I can’t take Reclaim seriously on this one, this is just vote buying, they care not about the Aboriginal people.

21. Self-sufficiency in oil, industry and as a food producer for Australia.
The Lima Agreement pushed Australia to drop its tariffs and allow for a global marketplace for food and manufacturing. As a result we have lost our self sufficiency in manufacturing and farming and are now dependant on a global marketplace. This places Australia in an vulnerable economic position.

– I would support the position of a sustainable Australia myself and in may ways we are. What this very simplistic solution to our national debit and/or job markets means is these people have little knowledge of how Australia did manage to maintain its self-sustainability for as long as it did. It ignores the diminishing quality of our ground water resources and our dried up river beds. It ignores the possible changes that may occur with climate change and population growth. It ignores the benefits of international trade. I don’t have a position against sustainability, I am a sustainability activist where and when I can be but I am also a realist. What I do have is a position against yelling for sustainability without real solutions and an understanding of the problems and benefits.

2. Australia’s land from 100% foreign ownership.
Currently vast tracts of farmland are being bought up by overseas countries. There may come a time when our land produces the food for other nations yet our people have not enough to feed them, what then?— will our security forces be used to protect foreign interests against its own people.

– Fair enough. Make Australia separatist. I am to some degree all for national ownership but I don’t think discussion of the benefits and principles of Fascism is everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t want another nation buying the nation out from under our feet but being a realist I also have no concern that is what is happening. Corporations could not technically be considered countries (though legally they are people I guess and as such must have nationalities..). I don’t know this is a big issue I am not ready to address in a short reply. This simplistic demand for a broad reaching concept is not as simple as Reclaim would like to make it sound. On the topic of defence forces, they already protect other nation’s interests; the USA has had bases and troupes here for some considerable time. I don’t for one second believes the USA has our interests in mind our put our interests first. The UK tested nuclear weapons on or soil with our troops and our government have still not backed a claim for compensation for victims. How are we not already protecting other nations interests with our military?

23. Australia’s regional and rural voice.
We grew fat of the back off our primary industry. If changes need to be made to long term policies of procurement then they need to have a voice and be compensated, especially if Government changes the ground rules for long term investments…like dropping tariffs.

– Citing the past is always good nationalism. Our country, the world, our economic realities have all changed. I live in Outback Australia so I know what it means to have no voice. Our local representative flies in a couple of times a year (less now we have no air service) to have his photo taken with someone who received some pitiful grant and yet somehow manages to get elected time and again. When it comes to tariffs and trade agreements there is room for concern but putting this down as “Australia’s regional and rural voice” does little to address the problems of hospital services, government representation and general services, access and transport or even getting an air service back in a number of regions. My (and 5000 others in my community) local hospital is 300km away, Ambulance or flying doctor are not free, fuel and accommodation are murder on a family budget, transport claims are often not paid and accommodation is limited to 2 people at $60 a night, I know about not being represented. This is just another simplistic nationalistic statement from Reclaim with no substance or thought behind it.

24. Respect for our history, culture and ideologies, needs to taught in our education system and in our public media.
Our Judeo-Christian foundations are being eroded and our white heritage is being rewritten by cultural marxists trying to belittle our nation’s beginnings—using aboriginal genocide to hit back at todays Australians. Many brave settlers died making our land habitable for the cities and classrooms that now benefit from their courage, money, beliefs and hard work. We owe it to them to respect their efforts in allowing Western Civilisation to flourish. Free Market Enterprise, imperialism, socialism, democracy, christianity, immigration, indigenous Australians and capitalism have all played a part in making Australia Australian. We are a mongrel nation and ALL parts need to be recognised for what they added.

– I have watched Play School recently, I didn’t feel I was getting taught Chinese culture. Did you know white history was being rewritten? “Ideologies” was the key to where this was going and yes, the first line of explanation says it, “Judeo-Christian” and “white heritage”. So much for “Recognition and respect of Australia’s indigenous community and their requirements” (#20). I guess what they mean is treat them like they’re special, subhuman maybe, treat the little dears with a kind hand and make cooing noises at them as we drive them to their out of the way communities. It’s such a great favour we did them bringing them “Western Civilisation”, by force. My white Australian family are from Gippsland in Victoria near the 90mile beach. I went to school in Melbourne in Victoria, yet it was not until I was in my 20s that I learned of stone hut Aboriginal settlements having existed where my family are based. It is time our “white” history was rewritten because it is a lie. This country was founded on the work of many nationalities and people of many religious backgrounds. The Aboriginals, Europeans, Chinese and Afghanis all played a part in our nations identity. The problem without nation is its “white heritage”. Our “white heritage” crushed and destroyed everything that did not meet its picture of how this country should be. I am white and I have no love or want of a fixed and false “white heritage” reality. This one is what Reclaim is about, making us all christian and white (which is odd given how many of the members of the evangelist group behind it have Asian wives). For the sake of my own Asian wife and half Asian child, and for my White Australian family I hope we never return to a time where our history is hidden from us or people try to push their bigoted vision on the rest of us. The only thing I take issue with in the line “Free Market Enterprise, imperialism, socialism, democracy, christianity, immigration, indigenous Australians and capitalism have all played a part in making Australia Australian” is the fact that they leave out the buddhist Chinese, muslim Afghanis and the fact that all of my nearly 50 years I have grown up atheist (third generation of Australian atheists that I know of, my kids and my brothers make four generations) knowing this was one of the world’s least religious countries, not a christian nation. I’m not sure why they focus on profit motive and forget socialism and unionism, repression and slavery. We white Australians do not deserve special consideration of our cultural heritage, we forced it on this nation and everyone in it and it was not a good time. The wonderful nation we now have is due to the breaking down of that “white heritage” and our embracing multiculturalism and the equality it brings. We have grown up and learned to care, where once we intimidated and tortured we now work to accept and integrate. The only thing we keep from our white heritage worth keeping are the legal and political systems that show they can adapt to change, the very political and legal system Reclaim wants taken back to a time when we lived off the sheep’s back and repressed people. Finally they make the only completely true statement of this document, “we are a mongrel nation”.

We are a mongrel nation and trying to make us anything but a mongrel nation is not very Australian.

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Last time Reclaim came out their most prominent face was that of a white supremacist but the pro-christian message was loud for anyone looking. After this public outing the primary person behind Reclaim is being noted as an evangelist christian preacher from the group Catch the Fire Ministries. I have always taken care not to support inter-religious war, I am an atheist and antitheist and I see religion in all of its forms as a problem for humanity. When the pro-christian message is also tied to race hate and white supremacism I have no problem saying these groups are our enemy, not our friend against the evils of islam. I prefer to fight on my own in my own way than side with the enemy.

May your gods remain fictional

The Antitheocrat

Before I go into this topic I will try to explain my secularism because I am very much an anti theist, some people may think the two don’t work together. I am maybe best described as a secular realist. More than anything in my life I am a realist and the idea of antitheism being a real end game scenario does not play well with the reality of my life and experiences. Antitheism, in my view, is at best a way to water down the influence of religion on society so it becomes the least important aspect of human decision making. Because of my realism I accept that secularism is the best outcome my antitheism will achieve, people it seems will always believe crazy shit. So though it may seem an odd, at this stage in my life I am an antitheist atheist with a secular vision. I thought it important to elaborate on this point so people understand as I write about a secular world view from an anti religion perspective.

I am sitting in a church hall writing this blog and realise that there are things we atheists and secularists need to achieve before religion can be retired from public service.

Though there are halls and rooms not owned by churches in my small town they are not in regular service to the general public. Clubs, masonic halls, government buildings simply don’t have the funding or commitment (official or volunteer) to be offered for public use. Insurance and management are two of the larger problems that need to be considered if we are to make halls and rooms available. Secular society doesn’t have the budgets, priests, ministers and a raft of indoctrinated volunteers waiting to open a door for public access. Even achieving a tax free status is harder for community organisations.

Community work and volunteering has long been part of my own life and I know from my experience serving with as many as 7 groups at a time that I have been part of a small group who sit on multiple committees stretching our abilities and time very thin. I myself ran our local cinema for a time having purchased the lease just to provide a public service (and a personal debit) I have that much passion for community. As a venue with great potential I tried to make it available to the public and community groups but slow uptake, uncooperative local government, lease limitations and finances didn’t allow for me to push on with this community plan. Having served on committees I finally tried on my own and yet again watched an opportunity vanish due to a lack of support, at least on my own there was nobody else to let me down. This is the advantage churches have that is often lacking in community organisations, that one person being paid to manage a group that will always produce willing volunteers (or employees).

Secular society can’t hope to compete with the religious organisations and their funding levels in small backwater towns like this one but what we are not doing it at this level makes us a good isolated example of what is happening at a large scale in cities. I have lived in cities, I was born in a state capital, my experiences in the city were very much the same. The strongest community group I ever participated in was a government funded community band, the secure and serious funding made a serious difference between group on the edge of collapse and thriving community activity.

Right now I am at a playgroup with my wife and baby son, that is why I am in a church hall. The support of a church with its venue means a small, low funded, community group can find a public space. In your community is it any different? My eldest was living in a smaller town when he was a baby and his playgroup was at a kindergarten, a secular option but not always available in large towns as they have more kids requiring of them to provide their services more days of the weeks. The range of secular venues and venue managers and funds able to support groups is simply not there in many places.

In this town, as in many others, the secular option for seminars and events can be clubs funded through alcohol and gambling. Sometimes this is not a problem but it is still not the same as the bare hall with an urn, kitchen, some folding seats and tables that is suitable for so many other activities.

This is where the secular world has to compete if it wants to be seem as a serious social option to religion. Venues, management and stable funding (not just project grants, the current problem with relying on government funds is the focus on short term projects).

Secular groups around the world are doing great things for people but we are not meeting the needs of everyone. We will never separate people from churches while we have these limitations, it is a strength churches have over us.

There is much to do working out how we resolve these problems. Without tithing and long established buildings we have a great deal of catching up to do if we want to offer a logical option to all people. Do we rely on government or like the churches of old do we seek benefactors who pour their own lives into the community for a plaque commemorating their life? Without the hope of buying eternal life we are short one selling point for benefactors. Do we tax the many and hope government comes up with a sound plan for community funding? I myself, on a quite low family income, have spent thousands and been thousand in debit supporting my community to little effect. Without long term funding and planning how do we hope to compete in a market flooded with churches and church halls. How do we achieve anything like a funded community?

For a secular society to ever exist we have so start thinking about how and where churches exist. Where is it they spend their grants and public project funds? How do they meet the social needs of so many people? Churches don’t spend their own money but public funding can be difficult to obtain for smaller less organised secular organisations, how do we get more public money for secular activity? If we can tap those funds and manage similar services in our communities we may be able to fully enact, not just envision, a secular society.

If anybody has an idea how to fund projects, I have some ideas I still want to make reality. Crowd source funding for our local community radio station failed miserably and I have spent every cent I myself can afford on the project. I don’t think I will bother push the community garden idea any time soon. Right now, having paid off my cinema debits and a few thousand more for a community group (just call me sucker, I have been accused of profiting from my volunteering, at least I won’t get angry about being called sucker) I have to go back to running my own business and looking after my family. I will have to simply be antitheist but not secular because my antitheism changes the world where my secularism seems impossible to fund and offers religion a continued place of privilege in society. I will for now have to accept that church halls and church groups offer what I have been unable to do on my own with my own funds and hate every minute our society remains under the influence of fairy tales.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat

This week in Australia, in my current state of residence New South Wales, our government is taking the entire state 3 steps backwards for the benefit of their christian beliefs. Over the past 2-3 years many problems with state indoctrination classes – sorry, Special Religions Instruction or SRE – have been addressed, not all, but many. Though this situation is far from perfect and change has not happened without considerable fighting and legal action, the implementation of things like opt-in rather than the old everyone-goes-until-the-parents-find-out system and the inclusion of secular ethics as an alternative were great improvements on the old system.

So now we have it, the Christian lobby couldn’t stand to loose fee tax funds when parents were given a choice and didn’t take it. This backwards step should not have come as a shock, the greatest shock should be that with so much criminal action and fraud in the party last term, with so many MPs resigning or on charges, this lot still got re-elected for another term. Now they have another term our very christian and not shy about his religion premier and his chief of staff who believes he is gods own chief of staff are showing their true colours. With the government over riding the education department and reinstating SRE books banned for not meeting the standards required by the department it was clear that secularism would be outside their limited abilities. Then things got worse when to the shame of our state, nay country, the senates balance of power was given to Fred Nile, one of Australia’s longest lasting preacher bigots and state MPs (shame NSW, shame).

Oddly enough, everywhere I have lived in Australia NSW has been looked at as a forward thinking and progressive state. With the current trend I find I may as well have stayed in Queensland and wished for the clock to go back 20 years.

“Why all the song and dance”” you say. The state government look set to try and hide any secular option and possibly revert to a new form of opt-out system for SRE in which as a parent you don’t even get all of the options presented until you opted-out of all of the religious offerings first. As it is presented on the ABC’s website “Current enrolment forms give parents a clear option for picking ethics classes as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) for their child, but under the changes being considered by the Government, parents would only be asked what religion their child is”.

This effectively means all kids will get religious instruction unless their parents are wise to the loophole of not choosing a religion. I am not sure if they can offer every denomination their own instructor as Fred Nile has suggested be done. Is it possibly the instructors or schools will decide what they believe is best given to represent the various belief and non-belief options that will be registered. I have no doubt that christian SRE instructors believe they can offer a secular religious instruction to atheist kids if they need to and if the tax money starts rolling again. I’m sure jesus was secular and god loves us all, even atheist kid who will burn in hell. Maybe they can even teach the hindi and muslim kids, who will also burn in hell.

Secular Ethics already had enough hoops to jump through to even get in to the offering. Fred Nile and his ilk had their hats in the ring when ethics classes were established. They and government made a deal that suited them best when forced to offer a secular option, one that made it so difficult to get an ethics class up and running that I myself have been registered to be overseer or instructor in my region for 3 years without it happening. Finding a second person willing to undertake the hours of “volunteer” work and reporting required was not something that proved easy. With the overseer requirement it was also as if they expected us to all suddenly turn into priests and put children at risk, even the teacher in the room wasn’t going to be enough. What this meant was that ethics was harder to get off the ground than the well funded and taxpayer assisted religious options available. As it is, much harder in a small outback town of only 5000 people.

If anyone is confused at this point about what is happening Fred Nile did a wonderful of clearing the entire topic up for us on his ABC radio interview (https://soundcloud.com/702abcsydney/rev-fred-nile-mlc-talks-to) in which he insisted we parents are idiots and SRI participation went down when we had a choice because the form confused us. He also insisted that we all supported him making our choices for us and that the education charted insisted on religious education and did not including any secular options. Parents shouldn’t be offered any secular alternative until they have be forced to deny EVERY other religion on offer.

If this is the thinking behind the governments move to change the school enrolment forms I can’t see how every parent of school aged or nearing school aged children should not be deeply insulted. I for one am a parent and not an idiot. I understand quite well that I can choose not to have my child indoctrinated at school and I do not need the government hiding my options from me when it comes to my child’s education. Who do these people think they are? Fred Nile commands less than 3% of the states votes, what makes him think he has rights over my child when more than 97% of the state think he should pull his head in?

If as Fred suggests, 50% of parents (I don’t know the figures but have heard they are significant), have not opted-in to a religious indoctrination course what business of the government, regardless of votes, to force 50% of parents back into some form of indoctrination of their children. Surely 50% of parents choosing not to have schools indoctrinate their children is a clear statement of our wishes for our own children. Even if some part of this group were unable to understand the forms – possibly under 3%, Fred supporters maybe – why is it the other 47+% of us should be treated like idiots and have our options removed from view so we don’t know they are there to be utilised?

As parents we should all concern ourselves with the indoctrination of our children. We should not let the state employed evangelists to do it for us. This must be as true for me, an atheist, as it is for parents from any of the various belief systems that are truly concerned about what their children believe.

Having vented my anger at yet another government full of twats being elected in this once great country of our I will have to take my leave. Good night all and may your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat

This is written after a short break while a new member of our clan presented himself to the world. It is written on a sleepless night, one of many as I am the night shift person. This writing may contain some of the frustration of being a new parent but with no actual malice towards my son.

This is not my first time as a parent but there has been enough years between for it all to have been forgotten in the haze of time. I don’t remember my first having midnight screening sessions like this one but maybe we just dealt with it differently back then.

Sitting here wondering what stops me from dropping this screaming child on its head gave me cause to write again, so maybe there is value in being a frustrated sleep deprived parent.

No, I have not dropped my son on his head and have no wish to do so. Although I have often been accused of having no moral guide and so no moral values something in me say there is no possible reasoning or lack of theist morality that would cause me to drop a baby. I have also been accused of not having any reason or ability to care or love without a god as my reason for living. Without god I could do anything I want to stop this persistent crying. I know that without a god needing to be invoked, that I love my son and nothing outside the realm of insanity would cause me to hurt him. I care for his health and welfare and know it to be my job to push on through the sleeplessness and cranky nights.

I have knowledge of my love, I have no knowledge of gods, I still can and some times have odd but not driving thoughts. In have thoughts, knowing they are nothing but sleep deprived crankiness. I feel the wish to write when my mind runs wild, not act out in a way that could only be classed as insanity.

The people I worry about at times like this are those who have god but believe not having one would give them a free hand. I have heard much worse proposed than dropping a baby from people who insist I have no morals. Only this week I viewed a video of a theist I have heard them propose things that would never cross my mind, even in the state I’m in. What would these people do if released from their bonds? How many babies would be dropped? How many people raped? How much death and destruction?

The only thought I find comforting when thinking about those who would question my morals, is that they may never find their way to reality. If they do I hope very much they find it through reason and a realisation of just how wrong they were.

My son is settling having cried himself into a manageable state. The crying actually bothers me less than the fact that I am the one doing nights to allow the rest of the family to rest. Tonight nobody gets a full nights rest but soon we will feed him get what’s left. There is always tomorrow night for sleeping.

Through all of this I didn’t find my morals or my ability to care tested to breaking, even though I am godless. Tomorrow I have to work and as always I will pull myself together and manage one more day on minimal sleep. I never was a sleeping sort of person and my first son still made it to 17 years old. Give or take an “act of god” (you have to love those fictional insurance clauses 😛 ) this one will also make it to a grand old age.

For all of those theists who would question my morality and pose examples of the harms they would enact on the world, think hard about your own morality and your mindset. To me they both your morality and mindset seem very fragile things. Consider this while you consider my flippant thought and consider how evil I may or may not be. Consider the number of christians in this world currently exorcising demons from their children (to death in one case this month) rather than struggling through the normal tasks of parenthood. Consider the muslim and hindi parents killing their own young daughters to protect family reputations from real and imagined crimes. Consider the theists who disown or worse their sons for loving someone of the same sex. Consider the doctrines that give these people cause to act on the thoughts that I consider flippant.

At least I know my thought was flippant and have no doctrine on which to base any dangerous act.

In finishing I wish to ask that you please excuse the rant like nature of this post. I think I myself will put it down to that ever present new parent sleeplessness 🙂

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

This topic is one I look forward to covering because stupidity is something I have always confronted head on (not quite the bad personality trait I may have once thought I was, stupidity requires confrontation). Being atheist all my life and not ashamed to say I don’t believe has often led to people trying to convert me with some simplistic and incorrect breakdown in their own beliefs. The title mentions the two most prominent, from my experience, of the gods that have no value (well less than the other nonexistent gods).

We atheists love to ask for evidence of god and with sound justification. We humans learned not to guess answers like god into existence some time ago, we leaned to study or environment building layers of evidence on which to further our knowledge. Evidence is important in improving our knowledge of the world if possible, of gods. I doubt very much that without evidence many theists would believe in the orange invincible invisible tide directing monkey god, the one who rides on my back (should I claim one). They would demand evidence of the monkey, they would demand proof it made the tides, they may even cite scientific knowledge to dispelled my tides claim. Why then do their gods not require the same level of scrutiny? What we ask is nothing they themselves wouldn’t ask of a great many irrational claims. Denial of other peoples gods is a favourite of many religions, few if any blindly accept every god as being possible.

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

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

Denial by the religious often goes one further extending to a denial of science. Selected science, not the ones that make computers and social media possible. Science, which in modern times has in place a complete system for reporting and retesting its own findings, is popularly refuted by some theists. These theists demand evidence but are generally unwilling to accept evidence when it’s given or in failing to understand it cite their ignorance as the case against it. Denial of scientific evidence is not the same as denial of some guy who owns an old dog bone he says disproves evolutions without ever allowing it to be examined (but wheels it out for religious congregations). Science asks to be refuted because people failing to disprove finding is far more powerful than a million people simply accepting findings. In denying science you are denying the work of people who were on your side, those trying to find fault in the work. The untested dog bone is very different and stands only as unsubstantiated nonsense and hearsay, it can be denied without further consideration.

In asking for evidence of god we atheists do have to be willing to consider or study any that is presented. This is not the same as requiring us to simply accept anyone’s word that a dog bone disproves one of the most powerful scientific theories of all time. Of course we can’t test everything for ourselves, the beauty of science is that it offers us a way to read the work done by others and find discrepancies should they exist. We can even repeat the work if we have the resources or have someone else do it for us. If you want to deny science at least read a review of the research, people review papers for a living to save us all reading all the unimportant detail. A good way to get a feel for a scientific paper is to read the reviews and peer comments. There are many ways to learn something of science and it’s workings. If you want your dog bone accepted as evidence against science, submit it for testing. If you have evidence you should be proud of it, what harm is there in our asking to see it?

I’m all for demanding evidence of god, we should do it more and argue pointless theism less. We shouldn’t stop at evidence though, we can take this whole argument back one step and demand a definition for “god”. What is it? What is it you want us to believe? What are you trying to prove? Present evidence, of what? Even if theists presented evidence it may prove useless if we don’t know what it’s evidence of. If someone presented a tea cup and you had no knowledge of tea or access to tea, proving tea from the existence of the cup may prove impossible.

395303_10151287858150527_247700905526_23081195_467410619_nThis is where the god of love, hunger, the need to pee and other synaptic impulses finally comes in. When pushed for definition my experience is that love is now the most common one given. “God is love”, it seems is the best definition of god we have in this modern era, an era in which we have the ability to measure and study the bodies most intimate processes. What we know of love shows it to be a completely natural process, explainable through evolutionary terms and completely free from supernatural influences. It’s not just we humans that have positive reactions in response to others of our kind, it is a well known process in many if not most living organisms. In ourselves we know full well the electrochemical reactions that take place when we interact with others of our species and we understand it. We react in some way to most people but when we bond to others that reaction becomes the more powerful positive reaction we call love. We know what love is and we have a name for it, we call it “love”. Why do we need another meaningless term to describe a known and named reaction? Why do we need god, we have love? Why is god never “the need to pee”?

Only this week I had this argument extended to me personally. “Who am I? I am god, god is me”. No I am a human animal from Earth and my mother gave me a perfectly good name. These thing describe something about me but calling me god is useless and adds nothing to our knowledge of who I am. This is nothing more than a rebuild of the love argument. For some reason theists love to change the subject of their argument, keep the core of the argument intact and treat it as a new revelation. If you call god “toenail growth” it has no more meaning than “god is love”.

The second claim is the inevitable next step in the “god is love” argument. Deism is as strange as theists argue nihilism when they most certainly believe in their own existence as creations of a fictional god. Deism describes everything as god. My keyboard is god, a rock is god, I am god, our every action is god . We can give a name for everything deists call god, a keyboard is a keyboard, a rock is a rock, I have a name… Like love why do we need to give everything a meaningless additional definition. Calling my keyboard god does nothing to explain god or make my keyboard anything more than a keyboard.

a realityBefore god had to start sliding back in to the gaps in our knowledge god was defined. God was very like us. Buddha was a well to do wealthy fat man who became a supergod by contemplating his navel and telling people it was okay not to be wealthy and well to do. The Abrahamic god was the mould we were drawn from, he was a man who made things and wrote rules but immortal and living in the sky. If you go to the many other religions of humanity there are numerous images and models of gods to be found, even tree spirits at some point had human or semi human form. The point is that we used to know god, we didn’t have to give god wishy washy meaningless definitions. As our knowledge of the world grows and the places to hide god diminish, our knowledge of god seemingly vanishes and now even the believers can’t describe what it is they believe in.

As I have previously pointed out, if we had a definition for god we could start working to prove or disprove god. Calling god everything still leaves us with no foundation for working out what god is. Using the tea cup analogy, trying to fit an elephant, a peach and three pairs of underwear (or everything) into a tea cup will not bring forth tea. Even if you stumbled across tea you would only have one possible use for the cup, not evidence of intended purpose. The cup could as easily be evidence of whiskey unless you were to find the words “this cup is for tea” inscribed on the cup. “God is everything” means nothing and has no value.

I will cover one more angle of deism because deism is often cited as the religion of some of the worlds great thinkers. The call to authority argument. It is just as likely in many cases that the god of deism was a way to shake off the god question without needless social reprisals for not believing. Would Albert Einstein have suffered any form of reprisal if he said he was atheist in the era that saw the words “in god we trust” added to the US currency? Would it have caused some difficulty coming up against his jewish upbringing? Maybe and maybe he really was deist but reading some of his notes on theism it would be very easy to consider him an atheist. His supposed deism reads as a fascination of the universe more than a spiritual journey. Many supposed deists before him were it seems of a similar mind set and finding spiritualistic beliefs in their writings is not the task of a historical and literary layman like myself. The way I see it is that if a nobody like me can break down deism, surely the great minds of the past could. Deism and the god of love are equally useless concepts and easily tossed aside.

Getting back to the lack of definition for god, it does have one drawback for atheists. Atheism is a lack of belief in god/s, whatever gods are. If however we remember that gods are only hypothetical it doesn’t matter that they lack definition, the lack of definition only makes it easier to deny such a poorly constructed philosophical argument. The problem then is not so much about god/s but that atheism should maybe be redefined as “denial of the philosophy of god”.

I often use this philosophy argument though it often goes over the head of theists or they want to avoid facing the truth of their beliefs. Sometimes you have to resort to other methods to get past the barriers. It doesn’t hurt however to remind atheists that god is pure philosophy. Some atheists argue god as if it were something based on evidence or existence. Philosophy doesn’t come to life just because someone wishes it so and we should remember that in our own arguments.

The lack of definition may be a negative but it can be a positive in our favour. In creating their arguments theists do use some common terms to describe their gods and the most commonly used and meaningless word used is supernatural. Supernatural is everything outside the natural, no more definable than god itself but common to other irrational claims, claims sometimes based on theistic concepts but not automatically considered theism. The final result of this line of thought is that god is supernatural and all claims of a supernatural nature are god or god like. This is that it allows me to deny the entire collected range of crap called spiritualism which can only be described as supernatural or god like. With no definition of god coming from believers I can’t but think it justifiable that I define their belief for them based on the limited information available. At least I know what I deny (sort of, everything not natural, whatever that is). On this basis my atheism may be better defined as denial of supernaturalism, which as pointed out, includes gods.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Though my title applies to the nature of theism rather than atheism it has relevance in how over the years people have dealt with their atheism and failed to have it recognised as a social and political force.

I will start by getting my initial statement about the title out of the way because it is very simple to explain and will save confusion later. Theism is indefensible for the simple reason that without irrefutable evidence of a god any and all arguments for a god remain pure philosophy. Arguments for a real existing god are meaningless and doomed to fail. Theist often argue the problems they perceive (or are instructed to perceive) in science and atheism as if it in some way justified or proved their god, what they fail to understand is that if all of scientific knowledge was to be overturned tomorrow we would still be no closer to proving a god unless they could show a god did it. Trying to discredit scientific findings and theories is a waste of time they could better spend trying to prove there was a god. When pushed for evidence theists will often say they have faith but the doctrines of faith exclude any need of evidence and fails to meet the requirement. The very nature of god as supernatural also excludes evidence because evidence would make god part of the natural and easily proven by scientific means. Defending a philosophy is always possible (though theism fails there too) but defence of a real god entity is and will forever remain indefensible.

ExplainAtheism is indefensible in an entirely different way. Atheism fails to have any beliefs or doctrines of it’s own to defend. This creates a problem if you are trying to defend or promote atheism. Only this week I saw a preacher had written a book on the premise that atheists “need god” to make their case, the problem is that he has a point (though not the one he was trying to make). Atheism does rely on god, a philosophically constructed argument for god must exist for atheism to exist. This does not mean we accept or require a real existing entity as I am sure the theist writer proposes. Without the philosophy of god there would be no reason to be atheist, we could all get on with our lives in peace free from other peoples imaginary friends, ridiculous doctrines and attempts to subvert our political systems with religious agendas.

The point I want to make with this article is that idea of promotion is hard for atheism we’re always on the back foot. Atheism exists only to deny theism. Being heard or seen as a significant community has long been a problem and not having a doctrine or doctrinal organisation voicing our side of the deity philosophy has left behind us with generations of silence and oppression.

Atheism is not new, it existed in ancient Greece. I alone am the third generation of recognisably atheistic men in my family. This being atheistic in fact makes my point, we were atheistic because as non-believers the word atheist was not on our radar. I learned the word atheist in my 30s and it took another 10 years to fully accept it as the best and least confusing word to describe who I am. I know of religion, I wasn’t insulated from the world and who gets through life without a church funeral or wedding or at least one door knocking evangelist. In my case both of my parents had given any pretends of religion up before I was born. Years before I was born both had identified as members of christian cults (anglican and catholic). When I came into the world I had the luck of being raised with no religion at home and being allowed to discover it on my own. I did some religious instruction in primary school and even went to Sunday school for a while. In my later years, the years where morality becomes an issue, I did a far more comprehensive study of as many religions and doctrines as I could to find anything of value. I knew early on that all that god stuff made no sense and that I had no requirement for it. All my self discovery and learning only solidified my non belief and yet, I never recall learning or discovering through community involvement, the word atheist. Discovering the word atheism was part of a search for parents like myself who were seeking an end to stealth indoctrination of our children. Without that search I may never have identified as atheist or become a part of a community.

I am lucky in some ways that I was born and live in Australia. Australia has always be an irreligious country and though statistically many people will identify with a religion Australia it is a cultural religion not a belief in deity they lay claim too. All my life I have heard about how Australians don’t attend church, of late that has focused on the fact they don’t even go for the religious festivals any more. My home country has always been the sort of place where saying you didn’t believe in a god was possible and had a reduced impact on you life. Growing up pubs (public bars) were more important to the people around me than churches and it was not all that important to identify as atheist. My blood relations are a measure of religion in my life, my grandmother was raised as an orphan in a convent and was catholic, I had one nutter christian aunt and one of her sons now runs his own commune, if there were more it was unknown to me or cultural. That makes 3 people suffered from religion amongst my blood relations, an almost insignificant number amongst my 4 grandparents, 12 aunts and uncles and 50 cousins. Because of this low incidence of religious infection I have lost only a few friends and opportunities for my non belief and never family or even my life as I may have in other places in the world.

It was before the advent of modern social media, 15 years ago when my son started school, that I became a vocal atheist and yet still no under that label. As non believers my wife and I took on religion in state schools and had school prayers and creeds (our sons said “trust in god”) abolished in our state and still we had no organisation or community to identify with. Had we had a community we may have won more of our battles. It was a few years after these events that I accepted atheism and it took my wife another 10 years to accept the atheist label, not because it is wrong for us but because we had little to no understanding of the term, it simply wasn’t in our vocabulary.

The big problem with a country of people who culturally accept religion, they continue religions political and social power. Cultural theists see no great harm in identifying as something they may in fact not be. They believe saying you are one religion means another less desirable religion never takes control of our country, they never consider no religion as a valid option. Countries like mine also don’t discuss religion in a proper manner, meaning, we never get to know of atheism or other options to the one we see as our birth right. Having a religion is accepted as a cultural norm, if you say you have no religion you get asked your parents religion and you get associated with that rather than atheism. Cultural theism means nobody needs to say or even think you can live without religion. We non believers never get to know other non believers on anything but a passing level while religion uses it’s wealth and numbers to influence our political and legal system. Without doctrines and organisations we have no power or funds and no promotion.

This lifeIf it were not for the advent of modern social media (I used to Grex and admin on IRC so I know the now and then) atheism may still be individuals fighting personal battles against religion. As American style evangelism slowly take the place of traditional religion social media has benefited atheism beyond any other form of media. It has taken technology to promote and drive atheism forward and yet we still struggle to have the words recognised in the greater community. It is still easy to go through life not knowing what the word atheism means or recognising one of the symbols used by atheists. People like myself still go through life not knowing there is an option to cultural religion. People like I once was can still feel alienated and left out. As I myself have said, being the non believer in church is is like being sober at a party where everyone else is drunk. People in this world still feel that way, our voice is not being heard in the regular media and not everyone thinks to google their social issues.

I love the fact that within my lifetime atheism has lifted itself up high and become something theist preachers and organisations fear. I do however think we need to do more to be heard in the crowd. We need to become a culturally significant part of society driving for change and showing ourselves to be people. We need to diminish the stigma and hate theists have loaded us with so that even when new non believers hear the word they don’t fear it and can associate with it.

I started a Facebook group with two intentions. Initially we had to take on some theist bigotry in our community being spread through social media and then we had to offer support and community to other non believers in our community. Though we (largely I) are active in the international community on-line we are still only an offer of coffee and a chat if anybody wants one locally. This I believe is where we have to start, we have to be willing to give ourselves to help people who need a friend or someone to discuss their belief issues with. It is through our actions at the most basic levels that we take atheism from being the unspoken poor cousin of theism to the powerful doctrine breaking philosophical power house it is.

Atheism needs to promote itself wider, we need to be seen and heard. We need people to understand that there is an option not to be feared. My eldest will be the first generation of atheist to say all his life “I am atheist”. He will defend his atheism knowing he has legal protection and community but will he promote his atheism and voice it as often as theists do? How will atheism find it’s place in society if we don’t find ways to promote? It is important for the future of atheism that we, as individuals, embrace and defend our atheism publicly. Groups have limited function because they splinter and diminish the impact of causes. We need groups because humans are sociable animals and groups are in our nature but we need to work beyond groups. As individuals with our one common factor we should still work together but not shy away from the idea of atheism being able to be racist, homophobic and generally bigoted. This has to be our truth rather than demand people be humanist, atheist+ or not be atheisting wrong (trust me, you do not have to like everybody to be atheist or humanist). It is only from that position, the position where every non believer is happy to admit their lack of belief regardless of their choice of bigotry, that we get to discuss our bigotry, work it out and be free from doctrine. Only when we do this will atheism be a valid option for all people, something we can promote to everyone and make a very real social force.

Atheist_symbolFor atheism to push forward it needs to be visible and viable an option for everyone. We need to promote our negative philosophy and lack of doctrine and make it appeal to people. We need to work out who we are and who we want to be if we ever want to draw theists and non atheist non believers to our side. We need to promote or compassion and show our bigotry, we need to be human with failings and emotions. We need to show we can do what everybody else does but do it without gods. We need to make the negative of denial a positive of life and show how atheism improves us and our lives.

Having said that, I don’t for one second think we should all agree on everything or not argue amongst ourselves. We need to make our individuality a positive as much as we need to turn our message of denial into a positive. I look forward to more discussion and argument with my fellow atheists, I don’t need us to all be like me. I look forward to being wrong and being corrected. It is important to atheism that where we can we show how these things are positive things resulting from our atheism.

Atheism has enough people wanting to dirty it without our assisting them. It’s time we took an active roll in promoting rather than always being on the back foot refuting some new nonsense from yet another ignorant theist.

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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 😀 ).

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 🙂

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.