Atheist Victory?

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Rabble Rouser's picture
Atheist Victory?

So I have a serious question. If the present trends continue, and the atheists eventually predominate and gain the power to control society, what will happen to the Believers in Christ...and there are always some when these things happen...who refuse to reject Christianity?

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Travis Hedglin's picture
They will most likely be

They will most likely be treated with the same ridicule people use against Scientology, other than that, not much would change.

Andrew Arons's picture
Beats me. They're too generic

Beats me. They're too generic-looking to make decent sex slaves.

ThePragmatic's picture
I think you actually mean

I think you actually mean "Anti-theist Victory", as atheism has nothing to do with fighting against theism.

There is no problem with people having faith, if they just don't try to trample all over everyone else with it.

As long as people...
...don't indoctrinate their children.
...don't try to make political and educational decisions based on superstition.
...don't try to justify their immoral behaviour (like discrimination) with faith in antique scriptures.
...don't proselytize in a manner that is disturbing. (Knocking doors, screaming in the streets, etc)

Lots of believers already live their lives like this today. The are respectful, they use common sense, and they don't destroy other peoples lives with their faith.


What I mean is that there is no need for eradication of religion, there is no need to tear down all the churches, no need to remove all bibles. People can still go to church and have sermons, they can pray, they can put a "I love Jesus" bumper sticker on their car and a cross above their bed.

But those who cannot adapt to living in peace with the progress of society, education, science, etc, they will most likely be viewed as members of a dangerous and destructive cult.

Pitar's picture
Anti-Theist victory, not

Anti-Theist victory, not atheist.

I don't see that happening as a victory, first off. It will happen in an evolutionary manner. That much I feel pretty sure about. There's no victory in that. There's only natural selection and nature doesn't typically mock what it can't use. It simply sheds it unceremoniously.

In that age of mankind theists will be viewed with humorous curiosity only.

ImFree's picture
The religious will be

The religious will be naturally marginalized just as smokers are presently in the United States. Not long ago, smokers were in the majority and were able to force others to inhale smoke from their habit. That is no longer the case, today it is common to see small groups of people outdoors at their jobs smoking and not subjecting others to their personal habit of choice. Religion will treated more like it is in the secular Nordic countries. Here is a video of American pastor Marty McLain’s glance into the future:

ThePragmatic's picture
Just as a side note, if you

The metaphor with smokers, is actually not bad. :)

Just as a side note, if you watch the video.
Kopimism is a spoof religion: It's an attempt to use the rules for freedom of religion, to circumvent the rules against copyright. It is however registered as a real religion, and I think they more or less act as a real religion.

If you watch the full episode, the Finnish Church that plays heavy metal during services, is just a single experimenting church. It's fun to watch the American pastor though...

The older generation in the Nordic countries is still full of people who regularly attend church and get upset about homosexuality. There is also a lot of youth activities, but I don't think it's that common among the young to be religious.

Mitch's picture
If that were to happen, then

If that were to happen, then Christianity's favored status would end. Christmas, and other associated holidays, would stop being paid days off. Religious symbols would be removed from public office, totally, and real impartiality would be in place. "In god we trust" might come off American money, and public figures might stop saying "god bless".

Most importantly, however, religious charities and efforts would come under greater scrutiny, and religious non-profits would not be allowed the degree of assumed trust they currently enjoy - ditto the church. Also, Church property would be taxed.

In other words, Christians would start being treated the same as others.

ThePragmatic's picture
I actually don't see that

I actually don't see that popular traditions like christmas would be removed. People are used to and enjoy the traditions around it. There is no problem in embracing the good parts of traditions and discarding the nonsense. And thereby having secular christmas. The rest becomes history and myth.

Mitch's picture
The tradions would still be

The tradions would still be there, they just wouldn't be paid stat holidays. Maybe, instead, employees would get 5 days a year to use to celebrate tradition as the please. Every person would pick the days most important to them. Of course, Christmas is not a meaningful tradition to everyone.

Luther's picture
"As long as people...

"As long as people...
...don't indoctrinate their children.
...don't try to make political and educational decisions based on superstition.
...don't try to justify their immoral behaviour (like discrimination) with faith in antique scriptures.
...don't proselytize in a manner that is disturbing. (Knocking doors, screaming in the streets, etc)"

I know most atheists are offended by these things, I get that. But, aside from screaming in the streets, it hardly seems realistic to me to ever expect believers to put aside these activities, and, I get that as well. From their perspective, it only makes sense, and it's a matter or morality. Think about it - if you absolutely believed that your religious "truth" was necessary to living a happy and wholesome life, not to mention obtaining eternal life, how could you not teach it to your children? From that point of view, it would practically seem like child abuse if you didn't. And of course you would make political and educational decisions based on your faith, because to you it's not superstition, but the ultimate truth of life. And, I doubt most believers consider their behavior, even discrimination, to ever be immoral, but to be just, as their scriptures are not "antique" in their eyes, but timeless and the basis of all truth. As for evangelism, for many believers, it is a necessary work of love and faith.

What I am saying here is that these kinds of activities simply cannot be separated from the lives of a great many believers. It's a package deal. And to me it is perfectly understandable. I respect conviction and people acting on conviction. If their actions are offensive by all means we should tell them that and tell them their religious beliefs are bunk, as we have every right to our convictions as well and to speak out, and the more of us that do that the more these religious beliefs will fade over time. But I can't expect, or even respect someone having religious conviction and then not living their lives accordingly. I guess I take Penn Jullette's view (an atheist, in fact arguably an anti-theist), that if someone really believes others are going to hell, how could they not try to proselytize.

Pitar's picture
There's a very thin line

There's a very thin line between representing religious doctrine as truth to your children and an outright act of deceiving them. The indoctrinated will not recognize what they are doing to, rather than for, their children. They just don't think in terms of truth. They think in terms of faith that they've been deceived to be the truth by their forbears and subsequent association with that culture.

My wife is a theist. We do not bash heads because I learned a long time ago to live and let live. But, I revealed that thin line to her and she agreed to meet me half way. We exposed our two sons to theism and atheism. Neither were baptized at birth. Once they reached the age of reason we carefully laid it all out for them with the intent of letting them decide for themselves which direction they would take. They independently chose atheism. My youngest son outright remarked that "church people" make him uneasy. It was at this age when I began to teach them to live and let live with the world they've been brought into. Respect it and it will respect you - golden rule stuff.

I understand your "package deal" (below) is a natural extension of the indoctrinated mind but you must realize we are a species that checks itself out of an innate curiosity. The believers have been indoctrinated away from this natural inquisitiveness and beckoned to surrender themselves before an alter of imagined concepts that have no place in the natural world in which we dwell. This is the rub that, in turn, beckons the atheist to anti-theism.

"As long as people...
...don't indoctrinate their children.
...don't try to make political and educational decisions based on superstition.
...don't try to justify their immoral behaviour (like discrimination) with faith in antique scriptures.
...don't proselytize in a manner that is disturbing. (Knocking doors, screaming in the streets, etc)"

ThePragmatic's picture


You have a valid point in consideration of others feelings and their rights to believe, and the clip with Penn Jillette is a great clip that tells about respect, kindness and understanding (I've seen it before). I like your input, and respect your opinion.

However, if all religious people would act in such a respectful manner, there would be much less disagreement. What I'm talking about is the problem of the consequences of acting upon superstitious and ignorant beliefs.

The cold hard truth is that it doesn't matter if the faithful are respectful and kind if they cause harm. It is the end result that counts.

That is the whole point of the subject I started: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

I recently posted there, about the "Harrises", who with good intentions and strong faith adopted to girls who had been in a horrible abusive situation. But because they ignorantly and superstitiously believed the girls to be possessed by demons, first tried exorcism, then they turned the kids over to "a friend" who raped the older girl.
I'm not sure about the nature of how "good" their intentions actually were, but even if that is really true, it doesn't change the fact that they put the children through even more hell.

Just a few examples of the top of my head:

- Trying exorcism on sexually confused teenagers, or even throwing them out of the house, is unacceptable.

- If a teachers think that homosexuality will send their students to hell, so they scold them for such behaviour, they cause harm instead of good.

- Making decisions in politics and education based on ignorance, is unacceptable.

- If a politician believes that the End Of Days are upon us, that person is not mentally fit to make decisions that affects a lot of people.

- Helping people in poor and unfortunate places, by telling them that condoms are a sin and they will go to hell for using them, is just plain stupid and totally unacceptable.

Andrew McArthur's picture
Just keep your gods off the

Just keep your gods off the couch.

Luther's picture
Very well explained Pitar! I

Very well explained Pitar! And very interesting the way you and your wife did things with your kids. Which, goes to show, that most kids probably won't choose theism if simply presented as a practical choice of reason (especially if they are a bit older). Instead it takes some rigorous indoctrination (and manipulation - even if the parent doesn't quite see it that way) to accomplish it.

Luther's picture
Adding to your list - The

Adding to your list - The Pragmatic - are parents who refuse their kids medical treatment because they believe in treating sickness with faith and prayer only, or they refuse a blood transfusion. Fortunately western societies mostly recognize the need for the state to intervene when the basic physical welfare of a child is threatened due to parental religious beliefs. Where the battle lines seem to be most strongly drawn is when it comes to education. The homeschool movement is thriving in the U.S., but is completely forbidden in many European countries. Meanwhile the Amish won the right many years ago to restrict their children to an 8th grade education.

ThePragmatic's picture
"The homeschool movement is

"The homeschool movement is thriving in the U.S..."

Horrifying! Should be outlawed immediately!

"...but is completely forbidden in many European countries."

And rightly so. At home, without any outside supervision, any insane nonsense could be spoon fed to the children.

"the Amish won the right many years ago to restrict their children to an 8th grade education."

That is a bit disturbing.
On the other hand, (please, correct me if I'm wrong) the Amish has chosen to live completely outside of normal society and do not attempt to influence the rest of society through politics and education, and they do not try to undermine science with distortion and lies. I also get the impression that it is quite possible to leave if you really want to. As a group, they are keeping their religion to themselves.
Given the power to do so, I would make some changes about education, but for the most part I would allow them to continue to live that life. I can respect the choice to want to live that simple life, regardless of belief.

As you added to my list of bad outcomes of faith based decisions, I take it you understand my point.
I'm interested in hearing if you have any insight or ideas as to how this kind of unhealthy level of faith could be remedied, in a respectful manner?

Luther's picture
Yes, the Amish are

Yes, the Amish are isolationists, sort of. (There are actually many times more tourists to Amish communities each year than there are Amish. Somehow people are fascinated by them. I've done the tour myself). And the kids can grow up to leave the Amish world, but, being so heavily indoctrinated, and under-educated, I understand that it is very difficult to manage it.

How to remedy an unhealthy level of faith? There is no one answer to that question, and often no answer at all. Belief is a complicated psychological matter and different people have different reasons and emotions behind their beliefs, and different ways of defending challenges to their beliefs.

The steady progression of scientific knowledge has clearly reduced belief and extreme beliefs in countless people. We can take comfort that this will continue to be the case in the future. We can also take comfort to know that although many people will never ease back on their beliefs, their kids will, and even grow to reject faith altogether. Kids grow up today to be more independent than ever from their parents' beliefs.

What did the trick for me, and what I think would do the trick for lots of others, is getting an outsider's view of one's own religious beliefs. Once I did this everything became very clear, very quickly. However, it took me a long time to do that, and I did so with great hesitation. Many religious people won't dare. I've tried with people, and most simply refuse to even consider looking at themselves through different eyes. I'm reminded of that book "The God Virus" and how just well the virus can defend itself.

ImFree's picture
I’m guessing the internet had

I’m guessing the internet had an impact on your talking to people outside your circle of friends Conor?

Luther's picture
Yes, but books and travel

Yes, but books and travel were the most important.

Nyarlathotep's picture
A Theist - "what will happen

A Theist - "what will happen to the Believers in Christ...who refuse to reject Christianity?"

soylent green

Just kidding; I don't see stupidity being a crime any time soon.

Travis Hedglin's picture
If it does, they will have to

If it does, they will have to get in line behind some of the atheists I know, because religion doesn't have a monopoly on stupid either.

ThePragmatic's picture
I think (hope) that the

I think (hope) that the modern society where communication, information, travel and so on, has become such easy access that we are about to have an avalanche of atheism. I think there are millions and millions of people who are just afraid to come out as doubters and non-believers, due to social pressure (or worse).
This is the "End of Days" the believers talk about. When they loose their status over the course of a generation. At least in the Christian part of the world.

mykcob4's picture
What are you afraid of. I am

What are you afraid of. I am an atheist and I have lived in the EXTREME minority forever. Let's see, humans being what they are, I would expect a fair amount of persecution, maybe even murder. To be sure it won't come near what christians inflicted on humanity, but there will be some. More than likely christians will be faced in living like I have to live every day. They will have to bow down to the majority no matter what the law is.

MCDennis's picture
Nothing. Atheists don't care

Nothing. Atheists don't care what theists do. We have problems with the way they infringe on our rights

Jeffrey Patten's picture
Why do you believe that, if

Why do you believe that, if atheists become the majority in our society, Christians would be required to reject Christ? Your question makes some completely unfounded assumptions.

Sky Pilot's picture
Random Sample

Random Sample

Maybe they'll change his title like other people did?

xenoview's picture
You not talking about an

You not talking about an Atheist victory. Atheism is a lack of belief in any gods. I bet your Atheist to all other gods but your god. Religion needs to get out of politics, public education, science, and leave the LBGT people alone. I don't care if people are religious, just don't try and force it on anyone else.

The_Hyphenator's picture
What "victory?" Christians

What "victory?" Christians are always talking about their faith using "victory" and "soldiers" and "war." I've got news for you guys; you are the ONLY ones who are involved in, or aware of, this "spiritual war" of yours. The rest of us are just trying to live our lives as best we can without assholes mucking it up for us too badly. So I guess in that context, an atheist "victory" would be the "Christian Soldiers" giving up on this nonsense and just letting the rest of us live our lives in peace without harassment or meddling.

Frank Atkisson's picture
Same thing that happens to

Same thing that happens to adults that still believe in Santa.

Mike O'Hara's picture
Anti-Theist "Victory". I don

Anti-Theist "Victory". I don't think it's really about victory. It's more of attrition if anything. Eventually, it's my hope people will wake up and realize the futility of the idea of religion, or specifically organized religion. Eventually, there will be zero need for it. Those who keep trying to use it as a weapon will be marginalized and their credibility eroded by logic and reason. There will be no arms, no guns, and hopefully no violence. Just the slow death of outmoded beliefs and their replacement with logic, reason, and discovery. This will take a long time. A very long time. I believe as we move towards the stars, and begin to see what exists beyond our damp little rock, that reality will be faster coming.


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