Thursday, 19 September 2013

How to respond when you are called an Militant Atheist.

Let's look at the militant handle shall we?

Militant Catholic - for this read most serial killers most notably Jeffrey Dahmer and Eric Rudolph who killed a great many people. A disturbingly high number of serial killers quote from the bible when expressing their motivation. Roman Catholicism was also the official religion of the Nazi Party despite the number of theist who (wrongly) claim Hitler was an Atheist.

Militant Muslim - Osama Bin Laden and his air crew. Not insane by any means, just viciously entitled by the power of 'God' to take the lives of a huge amount of innocent people.

Militant Atheist - Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens. Have civilised debates with theists and write books. The evil bastards.

Which of the above do we think are the least problematic to a civilised society?


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Atheist are not Communists

OK, so here is an argument that all theists will come out with when you refuse to accept their claims there is a God.

They will completely shift the burden of proof and tell you that you cannot DISprove their unfounded opinion and not only that, but your opinion and morality is inadmissible because once there was a genocidal maniac who also happened to be an Atheist - Joseph Stalin.

The suggestion is that because Stalin promoted Atheism and non-belief as the state (lack of) religious stance, therefore all Atheism is somehow tied to the same evils as were evident in Stalinism.

Well, that argument is ridiculous and it's quite easy to debunk.

If you boil down the essence of their argument it goes...

Joseph Stalin = Atheist, Joseph Stalin = amoral, therfore Atheist = amoral

so now let's do some more of those,

Hitler = Moustache, Hitler = evil, therefore Moustache = Evil

and another...

Protestantism = Reformation, Reformation = Genocide, Protestanism = Genocide

and another...

Dave Berkowitz = Serial Killer, Dave Berkowitz = Christian, therfore Christian = Serial Killer

(there are loads of christian serial killers that this can be applied to - Bruce Lee, Dave Berkowitz, Berwid, The Yorkshire Rapier, Miller, Sampson Kanderayi, Watts, Jeffrey Dahmer. All quoted bible verses as motivation - Dahmer was from a creationist family).

But back to Stalin.

Stalin did not remove religions from his state because he was an atheist. He removed religion because he saw it as a roadblock to the ideal communist society. The actual existence of a god was not central to this rather the organised nature of religion and churches which promoted belief and worship, which he famously described as an opiate of the masses.

He used Atheism which already existed and had done for quite some time, as a tool to discredit religious institutions in the country. It was taught in schools and terror campaigns were waged against religion.

What is VERY important to note is that this terror was directed at ALL religions AND all institutions , religious or otherwise that stood in Stalin's way. Also nationalities and individuals he didn't want in his country - Poles, Germans, Koreans.

Atheism was a tool he used to reach his goal, not a irrevocable tenet of it.

In fact during WWII, Stalin allowed the Orthodox Church a revival as a Patriotic organisation, not because he believed in God all of a sudden, but probably because he saw it use as a tool to shape and control the population much as he had seen Atheism in earlier years. Once the organised church had been subjugated, the religion itself was allowed a resurgence.

All of this though is moot to the argument, because to be an Atheist is one thing and isn't a lot of different things.

It is the rejection of god claims without evidence.

It is NOT stalinism

It IS NOT socialism (another matter because this is not the common belief - socialism does not = communism and many conservative people in the west receive socialist benefits)

It IS NOT communism

There are many Atheists living happily in a western capitalist society, I'm one of them and I still pay my taxes willingly to provide socialist benefits for the less well off. There is no danger of me converting to Communism, there is no danger of me eliminating all my opposition and consolidating power.

Do Christian really want to get into keeping a scorecard of death caused by theism and atheism?


I'm happy to do it because they've lost before they begin.

What you should always bear in mind though is that theists will generally keep up their denial to accept your argument even in the face of abject defeat.

Paul Clarke 04.09.2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Things Religion has stolen - Morality.

Morality does not belong to religion.
Religion is not required for morality to exist or to have morality on a personal level.

Christianity in particular does a wonderful job of taking what are natural occurrences of human existence and turning them to it's advantage. It commandeers sex to be used for its own ends - not for pleasure but procreation, banning almost all forms of non-reproductive sex. It's a wonderful way of ensuring that plenty of new followers regularly pop into existence.

It commandeered marriage, something that we believe existed before literature and somehow made it inextricably linked to itself. Most people now think of marriage as a religious ceremony, but it is not. Religion just likes to poke its nose into your life and control what you do and owning the copyright to marriage is an excellent way to do that.

But back to morality. Lets look at where morality actually came from.

Put succinctly current thinking is this...

Coming out of the last ice age early humans had begun living in groups. This had a number of huge advantages: the ability to share resources, group for warmth and stay safe from predators. These groups were the beginning of society in many ways. Hierarchies developed with leaders and followers, but the best and most successful members of the tribes were those that behaved in such a way as to uphold the common good. Female mates would be attracted to those that could provide stability and potential security for them and their offspring. This was achieved by upholding the common good and those that dissented, caused problems, stole, murdered would be ostracised from the group. In this event, that individual's chances would rapidly diminish, their chances of survival, their chances of finding a mate and their chances of easily finding food would reduce significantly.

So people, even Stone Age men behaved in a moral fashion within the group. This was the birth of morality, borne of intellect and necessity, no god or gods involved. No need for a god or gods to be involved. As societies grew, so did the scope of this morality to be more inclusive and the human intellect provided a capacity for altruism to extend beyond the bounds of social groups from within.

Note that some people and groups even today do not exercise this practice and are insular and selective in their altruism based on race, colour, geography or nationality.

Man's intellectual need to justify his own existence gave rise to mistaking perfectly natural phenomena for mystical or spiritual events - this was the early beginning of superstition and mysticism. Our unwillingness to accept death led to the development of shamanism and ceremonial burial - the idea of spirit realms beyond our own.

For me this is obviously the birth of religion and the idea that this is the common ancestor from which modern religions have descended makes a lot of sense to me. It explains a lot of the similarities in ritual i.e. most of us inter or burn our dead, not many make them into food, stuff and display them, make clothes from their skins, drag them behind vehicles, throw their parts into the sky etc.  The lack of diversity in these ceremonies suggests to me a common or at least similar source.

So for those of you that believe Religion is required for Morality, you are wrong.

Look at the morality endorsed by your Holy Books and you will see that YOU are more Moral than your God.

There are and were many non-believers who do and have not committed any evils.

Secular morality is in fact superior as it does not have to incorporate and justify the clearly evil content of a holy book such as the bible (more on this later).

Paul Clarke 03.08.2013

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Do you question the motives and morality of religion?

Welcome to the blog.

I am an Agnostic Atheist and Anti-Theist who takes the position, based on evidence that religion is wrong, evil and is ultimately a superstition that is harmful to human existence and development.

I do not single out any one of the main religions as being inherently more flawed than another in their foundational principles (although many splinter religions are worthy of more ridicule), but as I write you will see that I am more knowledgeable about certain religions than others.

I was born into a Roman Catholic family in England. During my formative years and throughout puberty and early teens religion was thrust upon me by my school, church and the elder members of my family. I attended an excellent school with good teachers who never let the incongruities of their different levels of faith impair their ability to teach fact. For this I am eternally grateful to them.

Science and evolution were taught, chemistry, biology, physics too by the wonderful teachers at the coal face. Only a few were very traditionally religious, only a few were literalists. These few unfortunately ran the school and were in positions of power. The church was influential on the board of governors and R.E. lessons (compulsory) and assemblies were very religious affairs.

My father and mother were of the first generation of my family that never really went to church. They would still to this day consider themselves Catholic, but they have not attended church in a serious way in over 30 years and I believe it's only the years of indoctrination (much harsher in their day) that ties them to these beliefs. When I was a child they rarely attended usually only when I had a school/church obligation, although they still baptised my brother and I into the faith, and still sent us to catholic school.

Whilst there I felt that the religious instruction was coercive. The things that I was being asked to believe were tenuous at best and when I finally did voice my doubts I was treated extremely unfairly by the R.E. teacher, a very devout young woman. I ultimately received a very poor mark for the course, a horribly perverse outcome as while other schools in the country allowed 5 elective subject choices, my school only allowed 4 as Religious Education was forcibly administered as one of them.

There was never a feeling of being connected to God or Jesus except in those euphoric moments encouraged by group prayer, nurtured by tone of voice and solemnity adding a perceptual grandeur to that which is insubstantial and worse, inconsequential.

The area was also highly Jewish and so I studied Judaism to some degree. I visited synagogues and had a number of Jewish acquaintances. Judeo-Christian relations were a big part of the school's (and church's agenda.

Despite all of the problems that I had in my youth and my eventual separation from faith, I now look back and realise that the school was in its own way progressive, if only because of the younger teachers there who did not hold with the generous application of religious indoctrination. I subsequently held a rosier view in the early part of my life of how intellectually developed human civilisation was/is.

With the advent of the prolific global expression which has now settled over our lives like a conductive blanket, comes the realisation that quite a lot of the world is disturbingly archaic in it's beliefs. My wonderful early optimism about the ability of mankind to endure, my hope for our bright future of invention, of solving all the problems that face us as a species and stepping into the cosmos together, of the strong supporting the weak has been neutered in the face of the horrors and reality of human opinion laid bare by the Internet.

The greatest of these evils are proliferated by religion and the followers of it. Never has such crime and horror of intent or action been committed in the name of non-belief as has been in the name of a deity. Many opponents of atheism claim Stalin's atrocities in this matter, but they are wrong and in the future I will enter a detailed post about why. Similarly I will enter a post answering those who (more incredibly) claim Hitler was an Atheist. They again are wrong and this is much more evident.

I can say one thing with almost absolute certainty on my part - whatever god or gods you claim, you have no evidence of it. You have no right to convey it as fact to other people.

It is superstition like any other. I do not believe it in the same way I do not believe in ghosts, telekenisis, astrology, Santa, the Loch Ness monster, Sasquatch, the Abominable Snowman, Alien Abduction, ufo's, crop circles, the Bermuda Triangle, the Easter Bunny,

The list - God, Allah, Odin, Thor, Zues, Hades, Jesus, Cthulu, Satan, Lucifer, Jehovah, Yahweh, Vishnu, The Horned God, Ra and Eru - is equally ridiculous to me when promoted as anything other than fiction.

Some people do believe these things though. Some people believe them so strongly that they wish to base social domestic policy on them. They want to base Government decisions on unfounded beliefs borne of fiction.

This is what this blog will be about. The evils that all religions plant and develop in the world today. there are so many it is difficult to know where to begin.

It is also important for non-believers to get in touch both with me, and each other.

The natural tendency of the skeptic, the secular, the humanist is to be unorganised but this does not mean we have to be silent. Although fewer in number, the churches organise people to force their opinions into legislation worldwide. This is a side effect of their collective worship which provides a reason for them to meet in large groups.

Eventually and by default we will find we are subject to laws enacted by a fanatical minority, simply through apathy.

It is for this reason I encourage, no beg you all to be vocal and conversational. The voice of the rational majority must be heard or we will find our world stolen from under us by dark ages dogma.

I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope you find the time to participate.

I still do have hope.

Paul Clarke 01.09.2013