Why Atheism is important

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Nordic Fox's picture
Why Atheism is important

First of all, let me congratulate each and every one of you for the courage to step away from the self-labeled 'sheep' that still roam our little planet. You took a large, potentially very brave step away from fiction and towards the nirvana that is a firm basis in reason and reality.

[For those of you who do not wish to read the whole thing, let me summarize. Atheism is important because we live in an age where reason and NOT having a religious disposition should have equal rights to that of all the world's religions. The problem is, we do not have the same rights, the same voice, or the same kid-glove treatment as of the time of this writing that the religious institutions do. Change never happens immediately, and with so many non-theists oppressed into silence, THAT is why Atheism is so important. Right now, and forever. Silence will not close the door on ignorance, just as silence will not open a new door to knowledge.]

I have heard the same question recently more often than before;
"There are so many people that don't believe, why do you have to stand out and be vocal as an Atheist?"

Many people get questions very similar to this, in many countries where we live out our everyday lives. People who have beliefs have been the vocal majority for thousands of years (since Plato, and the days of the old Greek gods), and in society it is considered politically incorrect to offend those who hold religious views.

Where that becomes a problem is that just by saying we don't believe in the supernatural, the divine, or in the deities required for either... Many religious people tend to be offended. People get defensive, and those who sit on the fence of the issue tend to finger-point at Atheists saying 'you shouldn't say things about their religion'. But in a world where (completely) tax-exempt religious institutions are able to trespass on private property to protest things they don't agree with on religious grounds, they are able to send missionaries to bother people around the globe and tell them that they are wrong because they don't believe.... What is political correctness?

It's wrong to tell someone their religion is foolish, but it is perfectly fine to accuse those who don't believe in your religion of foolishness of being wrong, criminals in the eyes of the divine? And then religious zealots now like to claim that Atheists are 'repressing' them. Some even threaten to kill Atheists because that's what the bible says to do! (See Randall Terry)

I live in the USA, where 'In God We Trust' is printed on all of our money, posted in our courthouses, government buildings and on 'patriot' flags. 'one nation under god' had been added during the cold-war era to the pledge of allegiance, and just putting posters on a church is considered a hate crime, punishable as a felony. Yoga was banned in schools because it 'might teach Buddhism or Hinduism to the christian children', but many states still have the 'debate of evolution' ongoing. Religious zealots can vandalize, shoot at, or even bomb doctor's cars or clinic workers' houses and workplaces if they're even thought to have associated with abortion clinics, and that's not considered a hate crime. Protesting a church's views makes people out to be mean-spirited Atheists with an axe to grind, and yet a church protesting at a hero's funeral is considered exercise of the 1st amendment.

So why is Atheism important? Because when people have the right in our countries to walk around the malls, colleges, parks, and government buildings with a cross and corpse around their neck, then we should have the right to equally express our desire to be left out of the madness entirely. If a necklace isn't supposed to offend anyone, then my 'big A' t-shirt shouldn't offend anyone either. Double standards are the bane of a fair society, and that, my friends is why it is important that we have sites like this to gather in.

In a world that still can't shake 'faith healing' nonsense, I think it is reassuring to find a growing community of people who realize that your surgery going well has nothing to do with an invisible man in the sky favoring you for some unknown and unrealistic reason, but it has everything to do with your surgeon having paid attention through medical school and his internship!

...And perhaps having a steady hand. Be well, remain informed... And as always peaceful. Communities like this that encourage discussion and open-ended informative debate are the best possible thing for the Atheist movement: christians and their kin have the misconception that Atheists are angry, violent heathen people. We may be a little frustrated and grumpy, but they would be too (and perhaps were, once) if we actually had all the rights they currently enjoy.

See you around, Atheist Republic!

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watchman's picture


Why Atheism is important ......

This was a question asked on another forum some years ago..... (This was a UK forum ..so my answer is worded for UK consumption....) However it still remains true....

"why you think atheism is important in the UK today and what, for you, are the major issues.”

Atheism is vital in the UK today in order to fight against religious prejudice , religious presumption and religious privilege.

Prejudice ..

Religions practice discrimination against individuals of other religions and non.

Sundry and various minority groups within society currently women ,lesbians bisexuals and homosexuals.

Repeated calls for censorship or blasphemy legislation contrary to the exercise of free speech.

Presumption ..

Religions increasingly seek to have themselves viewed as above the law of the land.

The cover up of clerical abuse with out informing the legal authorities.

The several attempts to claim exemption from the anti-discrimination laws of the land.

The many cases of special pleading regarding an unwillingness to undertake their occupational roles in regard to certain individuals , (the registrar Ladelle, the counsellor McFarlane).

The presumed exemption from various uniform / corporate clothing policies on religious grounds , ( Ewida & Chaplin )

The inappropriate interjecting of faith related practices into the working environment as the nurse Petrie and the teacher Jones with their unsolicited offers of prayer to sick people who they came in contact with through their employment.

Privilege ..

The 26 unelected Bishops who sit in the upper legislative house of this country.

The assumed right to free transport (tax payer funded) to religious schools.

The Tax exempt status of religions and religious charities.

The assumption that the views of a high ranking cleric should automatically be respected , propagated and listened to.

The exemption of organisations and or religions from anti – discrimination legislation. (Boy Scouts , religious schools , Churches)

Worst of all these privileges , presumptions and prejudices are all based on supposed “Holy” writings that are demonstrably complete fabrications.

( I could go on but won’t)

Sorry …got a bit wordy there ….

but it is a difficult question …

well not such a difficult question …

but definitely a complicated answer."

Nordic Fox's picture
Agreed! You speak well,

Agreed! You speak well, watchman!

Pitar's picture
Schools of thought. Check.

Schools of thought. Check.

I understand the balanced reciprocity angle but also acknowledge human behavior as a philosophical penchant towards superiority for superiority's sake. Perception is everything. Atheists do not get counted into the good side of perception because no collective theism wants to be bothered with trying to understand their collective psyche. It's too new and old dogs don't want to learn new tricks. They want the conventional, archaic wisdom of old that needn't be learned all over again. Throw in the options such as immortality enhanced by hedonistic promises. That's, emotionally speaking, better than anything atheism is offering and therefore superior. As a result it's the religion itself that gains immortality status in the most secular of ways. Theists just perceive it differently.

The species is still relatively young and largely ignorant. By those measures alone it isn't a big leap to recognize it as wholly consumed by its own conjuring for the above. Give it time. Words, acts, deeds, education and/or salesmanship won't do what time alone can do. Religion is a wound that time is dutifully applying its healing power to.

Nordic Fox's picture
You bring up a very good

You bring up a very good point, as philosophy has been the backbone of reason and intelligence since even before these religions claimed to have been thought up... Works by Plato, Socrates, Marcus Aurelius and the like are all inspirational and encouraging to read upon!

When they aren't edited... I found a disturbing number of old philosophical texts that have been 'edited' throughout time to include things they never said. Oh well.

You also bring up a very encouraging thought that the future might just bring about a time where this is no longer an issue... And I can only hope!

Thank you for your wise words and contribution, Pitar!

science's picture
Great post, Nordic. I agree

Great post, Nordic. I agree 100% with everything you said. If something goes well in your treatment, or surgery, or whatever, it is always said that "God is taking care of you." I guess it had nothing to do with the doctors, and medical team...theists will say that the doctor's hand was "guided by God." Oh really?? But what happens when the surgery DOSEN'T go so well, or the treatments stop working...Did God decide that you suddenly weren't worth it because you are a "sinner," as one post dictates? ( I LOVE QUESTIONS) The people that terrible things happen to ( including children) DESERVED it because they were sinners. According to ILQ, the children dying dosen't bother him because they are "going to heaven." But the rest of us are ALL sinners, murderers, liers, and cheats, so we deserve to die? The people with mindsets like this should be institutionalised. God is supposed to LOVE EVERYBODY, no matter what... so why does He want to kill them? Dosen't make any sense...just another excuse to rationalize the ridiculousness of religion.

Nordic Fox's picture
Exactly! To me illness and

Exactly! To me illness and injury are perfect evidence for the absence of an all-loving, 'benevolent' god... If there was one, then why do five year old children get killed in horrific ways because they chased a ball into a street, or developed some form of leukemia? Whereas some drunken, useless and abusive old fart of a man survives several heart attacks and a double-bypass surgery, only to return home and abuse his wife/kids/neighbors more?

I also hate the word 'sin'. I think that's the worst word ever thought up by anyone, and its a sick excuse to hold power over others. People say "You're not getting gods help because of sin. We are punished for sin." ....okay, well, in that case what's all that nonsense about some dude dying to 'pardon all sin' 2,000 years ago?! It's a massive, gaping contradiction.

But, that is exactly why I am honored to be in the company of people such as you, reality, as well as watchman and Pitar on this forum post alone even! Reason is a superpower now, and it is people like ourselves that can at least see the world for how it works... See the forest for the trees, as it were.

I'm not against people who believe in stuff, but I'm against their beliefs entirely. To me, atheism is the difference in knowing when you're being pick-pocketed, rather than believing the excuse of "I'm just borrowing your wallet." in a sense.

I am very happy, encouraged even to find that there is a growing number of skeptics in the world... The only issue is so many people are quiet about their skepticism that the conservative religions still feel that they're 100% right.

Even there though, the seeds of reason are being planted, as even a pope has admitted that evolution has unyielding evidence in its favor; imagine that! Evolution is a fact, not a belief! :D

Thank you for contributing, reality. I am happy that you contributed to the conversation here! Be well, and stay safe in this crazy world of ours.

maberl's picture
Atheism is important to

Atheism is important to counter the crazy mess religion creates.

it is important to have someone to reason and realize that a stance is needed for the rights of those oppressed by religion.

Another very important need for atheism is the progress in science and technology without any unnecessary limitations as mostly set by religions.
As Neil deGrasse Tyson said that when you put god behind something you lose the need to learn how it works...

So the greatest need for reasoning critical secular minds is to undo the myths of the past and keep discovering what happened and why...

and also it allows people to live freely and make the most of this one life...

Nordic Fox's picture


That, and science is awesome for the fact that it can admit when it is wrong. Peers can correct and test theories, or point out errors. With religion, if you say anything is wrong then it cannot possibly be true.

Continual trial by evidence and observation is science, continual denial of evidence is religion.

Good response, stay safe out there!

science's picture
Hey Nordic... The difference

Hey Nordic... The difference between theism and atheism is that an atheist will see things for what they are...if someone is pick pocketing people, or someone has a scam ripping people off, or someone is involved with shady people and is mysteriously making tons of money without really working, or PRIEST IS MOLESTING CHILDREN,...you get the idea... an atheist will see it, and say it...they don't walk around with their"head in the clouds" as I like to say. Whereas, a theist will completely deny what is going on right in front of them..."oh no, they're not doing THAT." Theists are taught to completely ignore reality, and what is, for things that they WISH to be so...and thats the way they live.

Nordic Fox's picture
Exactly! We see the forest

Exactly! We see the forest for the trees, as it were.

And the examples you gave are also perfect ideas of what "Faith" means... Denial of evidence in favor of a comforting idea.

If a priest steals/molests/kills, ignore it and pretend that all priests are good, he was just pretending to be one.... Right?

But I think the importance of lack of belief lies in that we need to keep our convictions strong... And not fall prey to religion's power-grip on the world today.

If we stay strong enough, long enough, less people will believe in their own religions. Thankfully.

After all, if we keep pointing out that it was FIREMEN who saved a house from burning down, and not 'an act of god'.... Then maybe people will see the fiction in faith! Here's hoping.

science's picture
But Nordic, you just don't

But Nordic, you just don't GET IT!! It was GOD that guided the firemen!! What a joke!! Yet when something terrible happens, where is God's guidece then?? Suddenly He has nothing to do with it...People NEED to get a grip!!

Nordic Fox's picture
Haha, precisely!

Haha, precisely!

That is EXACTLY what I cannot stand about the circular arguments that religion uses...

The biggest hole in christian logic to me revolves around their messiah's supposed 'sacrifice'. Supposedly, christians are all supposed to feel guilty and bad because this guy died for 'their sins'......

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that sound like a pre-paid 'do whatever' scenario?
"He died for -your- sins".... Great! That means I can do whatever I want, right? I wasn't alive "when it happened"!

I mean, if someone entirely paid for a steak dinner for me before I ate... It'd only be rude not to eat anything! :D

...I'm gonna have to use that analogy more!

I really, honestly can't understand how 'educated' people can believe half the crap that's forced on them.
Especially if you've seen all the stuff I've seen in my life >_>

"Loving god" my ass lol

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