Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.


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

How did I become atheist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proof that Vegemite is god.

Proof that Vegemite is god.

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

How did I stay atheist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time. May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

Atheism from the perspective of a life long atheist.

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

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

Hug an atheist and feel the love :)

Hug an atheist and feel the love 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have been atheist by this definition all my life.

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

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

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

That guy who said,

That guy who said, “are you sure?”.

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

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

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

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

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

May your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and may your gods remain fictional.

The Antitheocrat.

The book is FICTIONAL.

The book is FICTIONAL.