Atheism, reason and freedom

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Atheist Jogger's picture
Atheism, reason and freedom

I am atheist because I value reason in my thought processes. If you give me a better answer than the one have, I'll change my viewpoint, eg if you prove that god exists.

I am anti theism when it infringes on my rights. I have no problem with anyone doing what they wish in their own house, but when it overlaps into government laws, eg you MUST NOT teach evolution even if you want to, or churches WILL be subsidized from my money, it bothers me. Now, I'm sure that many atheists feel the same: that our freedom is being infringed and reduced because of someone else's religion. 35 years ago in my country liquor stores were not allowed to open on a Sunday because everyone had to go to church. Sport was not allowed to be shown on TV after 6pm on Sundays because everyone had to go to church.

My post is not about religion, I'm just setting the scene. My question is why are some atheists, who use logic and freedom in their reasons for being atheist, supporters of restricting my freedom in other areas, specifically the area of economics? I don't want to debate why you may be right or wrong, I'm just interested in understanding your thought processes that suggest that socialism or any economic system that restricts your/my freedom to run my own life, my own business. From an atheist perspective why should I not be allowed to operate on the basis of willing buyer/willing seller? Why must government get involved in how I live and what I do?

I know atheists who are Marxist and they justify their "faith" in Marxism by showing us his book, not dissimilar from a person proving the bible is true by showing us the bible.In both cases religion and Marxism it results in less freedom. Please don't tell me that the bible gives you freedom to worship god or that Marxism gives you free lunches without giving the same reasons for both.

Just to repeat, why do some atheists want freedom from religion, but want to restrict other freedoms?

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Cognostic's picture
No idea! And well put. My

No idea! And well put. My guess is that they do not connect the freedom of thought with the freedom of action.

The smoking ban is one thing that really pisses me off. The fact that the government can tell a person when and where to smoke is absolutely absurd. If I run a bar and I allow smoking in my bar, YOU DON'T HAVE TO F GO THERE. The same thing for a restaurant. Just keep the hell out if you don't like it. (And I am a non-smoker.)

Number 2 on my list is Marriage. What in the hell business is it of the governments to dictate who can marry whom and for how long they have to stay together. I think the whole system should be converted to legal civil contracts. If someone wants to get married let them. Renewable civil contracts the divide assets and responsibilities between any couple is the way to go., When the Churches were all in a huff over gay marriage I just wanted to slap someone. Church has nothing at all to do with marriage. Nothing. Get married 20 times in a Church and you will still not be married until you get that little license filled out and submitted to the government.

Shall we move on the the war on drugs, policing for profit...... We are losing our rights day by day. I hate it.

algebe's picture
@Cognostic: If I run a bar

@Cognostic: If I run a bar and I allow smoking in my bar, YOU DON'T HAVE TO F GO THERE.

I'm right with you on freedom of the individual, but if you want to allow smoking in your bar or restaurant, you'd f'ing well better make sure the smoke doesn't seep onto my property or public spaces next door. How you do that is your business and your cost. I really don't care.

The same goes for smokers who live in apartments and allow their poison to drift into other people's space. Your rights stop at the boundary of your property. Actually, the technology to prevent smoke drift doesn't exist.

I also hate noise pollution. I used to live near an Anglican church in London. Every Sunday, and every time there was a wedding we were deafened by the cacaphony from their blasted bells.

arakish's picture
I agree with Cognostic. I

I agree with Cognostic. I think the "building a wall of separation of church and state" needs to be thickened and heightened. IMHHO I feel that the religious bigots have taken over politics. The separation of church and state has ceased to be a separation, excepting the free ride bullshit. I say tax the churches. They are nothing but a business themselves. If they ain't then why do they need those fleets of limousines, airplanes, private security forces, mansions, etc., etc. If not tax them, then make it illegal under penalty of death for them to lobby.

As far as I am concerned, we here in America need to tax the crap out of these multi-billion dollar organizations and use that money to pay for college education of ever person in America. As Neil deGrasse Tyson is always saying (paraphrased), "An educated people is an informed people who are truly capable of making educated choices." Additionally (paraphrased), "All political office holders should also have a 4 year degree in a physical science on top of anything else they learn. Only political office holders properly educated in the physical sciences are capable of making truly educated choices in the further advancement of any country, particularly the United States of America. If we are not careful, America shall fall behind the rest of the world as it passes us by."

And I see this happening everyday. Hell, both Russia and China are set to surpass the United States as the most technologically advanced nations on Earth within the next century. Why? Because we are spending next to nothing on science and its advancement. Next to nothing on education. Instead, these dumb ass religious bigots the stupid idiots of America have elected into office are more interested in promoting the ignorance and illiteracy and stupidity of their faerie tales.

Sorry, I am ranting and getting angry...


LogicFTW's picture
It is fair to be angry about

It is fair to be angry about it. The US, as the far and away the economic victors of the last world war, along with the rise of a powerful, well represented middle class in the US, USA rose to the very top, even Russia with all it's vast resources collapsed. Leaving the US as the sole world super power.

And then, slowly but surely, the unabated human nature of a few that desire power slowly pushed the US back towards oligarchy like countries of the world and USA's past used to operate. The US is pretty far along in that path now, with the once mighty social services and protections of the many falling away, consolidating power back to the few. Unions are a near extinct, highly endangered species, unlimited campaign financing by powerful corporations and people are now a thing. People have gotten to the point where they accept ever increasingly extreme inequality, many even vote against their self interest in this or do not take action to take the power back.

Not enough people are angry about it in the right way. Getting educated, learning the real issues, not letting themselves get distracted and having people in fancy language slowly strip away their protections and rights.

Anyone not obscenely rich should be very against the idea of obscenely rich people, instead lots of people vote for them, admire them, support them.

arakish's picture
Thanks Logic,

Thanks Logic,

A lot of you said was what I wanted to say. however, i realized i was letting it get the better of me and i was getting really angry at the stupidity of the American populace as a whole. Hell, taken as a whole, religion is the richest corporation in the world. Why not take back some of what they are stealing? Tax the hell out of all religions. hit them with a 25% tax rate, no tax credits, no tax breaks. Then as i suggested, take that money and pay for everyone who wants to go to college. it is perhaps the only way to ascend the human species where it truly needs to ascend.


Sushisnake's picture


Re: " i was getting really angry at the stupidity of the American populace as a whole. "

Not stupid- misinformed, disempowered and ignored. Vote for Thing One or Thing Two- they're both essentially the same, pick the lesser evil. The Page and Gillens study showed just how little power the American people have.

I'd always liked the idea of taxing the churches, too- but someone pointed out to me years ago that taxation equals representation. Taxing churches would make it harder to keep church and state separate.

arakish's picture


And George Carlin explains why I no longer vote. it does no good.

And the only problem with the "bright" people, is they are too "bright/smart" to get harassed into politics.


Cognostic's picture
I love that routing. Also

I love that routing. Also the one about Jesus "He loves you!"

Sapporo's picture
It is lazy to associate all

It is lazy to associate all political ideologies you oppose as Marxist. I do not consider myself a socialist or a Marxist, but I am in favor of policies that increase social mobility. I think such policies are good in themselves, but also improve society as a whole in terms of economic growth and peaceful coexistence.

If society is run with the "veil of ignorance" principle (which I consider as good a maxim as any), it is a better way of maximising freedom than simply allowing those who are most influential to do whatever they want at the expense of everybody else.

Glacier's picture
"35 years ago in my country

"35 years ago in my country liquor stores were not allowed to open on a Sunday because everyone had to go to church."

35 years ago? Here in Canada Sunday shopping was banned in two of the 10 provinces until recently. The last place to lift the ban was Prince Edward Island in 2010 I believe.

algebe's picture
In Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand you still can't open your shop on Good Friday because somebody nailed somebody to a piece of wood 2000 years ago, maybe.

LogicFTW's picture
@OP and Thread

@OP and Thread

Freedom gets sticky when it is not clear cut. You have to very carefully look at when one person is exercising their freedom, is it undercutting someone else's in an unfair manner. And quite often freedoms are not clear cut.

It is easy to say: "what you do in the privacy of your home, you should be free to do." Unless of course it is making a bomb that even if denoted within a person home it levels the entire neighborhood. A more accurate statement is: everyone should have the freedom to do what they want as long as it does not impinge on other's freedoms.

Lots of freedoms end up impinging on other people's freedoms.
Separation of church and state is definitely a good start. Even for religious folks. If the current religious majority does not uphold separation of church and state they are going to be real upset when they will inevitably one day not be the religious majority.

Economics and buy and sell: The freedom to buy and sell how you want sounds real nice. But if there was no government / will of the people to help control, truly free "willing buyer/willing seller." You will find truly free "willing buyer/willing seller." quickly will not be the case. and more the opposite ends up being true.

Methods of controlling and abusing a completely open unregulated market are well known at this point, and it only takes the tiniest fraction of people willing to utilize those abuses to be able to completely control the market. Our current capitalism based economy certainly has lots of issues, and it is easy to hate on regulation, taxes, laws, rules, but without them you will find yourself living in oligarchy.

A balance must be struck, and I think it is very fair to say in the US the balance lately has been tipping a lot more towards oligarchy then socialism. We need to be far more worried about an oligarchy like system right now then a socialism type system. The trend has been solidly less government, less control, more free market abuses for the last 60 years or so.

The 2008/2009 economic crash in the US was from loosening of regulation on banking and bank trade, moves that could be argued were an effort of more free "willing buy willing seller." That led to the banking crisis that nearly destroyed the world wide economic system. The 2008/2009 crash not from oppressive socialism like rules and control. And led to the loss of millions of jobs in the US. As the increasingly unregulated gambling spree by wall street bankers went unabated and inflated a huge housing bubble.

Sapporo's picture
The outcome of democracy

The outcome of democracy should not be confused with socialism simply because you disagree with it.

Aposteriori unum's picture
If you're equating atheism

If you're equating atheism with Marxism I can assure you that it's not true. I, for one any not a Marxist. I believe in capitalism and democracy. While I understand that it has been done wrong, I do think that they are the best modes of government and society that we have thought of so far.
But I agree with your anti - theist attitude. I'm a militant atheist and an anti - theist to the core. Religious rights end where mine begin And the minute they encroach I fight for my freedom.

Atheist Jogger's picture
Thanks for all your comments.

Thanks for all your comments.
@aposteriori No, I'm definitely not equating atheism with Marxism. I used it only as an extreme.

Personally I'm atheist and I support a free market economy because I have an Objectivist philosophy. Ayn Rand used the terms "Mystics of Spirit" to denote those who blindly follow a spiritualistic approach, ie theists, prophets, fortune tellers, tea cup readers, and "Mystics of Muscle" to denote those who use force to remove freedom and implement they way they want society to live.

Both types of people substitute reason with the irrational.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Atheist Jogger - ...why do

Atheist Jogger - ...why do some atheists want freedom from religion, but want to restrict other freedoms?

Perhaps with the exception of living in a cave; there are going to be restrictions.

Atheist Jogger's picture
I know that. I hoping that

I know that. I hoping that those restrictions will be based on the same standards we (atheists) set for theists. ie based on evidence (prove it), reason, logic, not blind faith.

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