SHOULD ATHEISTS HAVE MORE SPACE?

A week or so ago the CBC National aired a documentary on Canadian atheists showing them meeting in small groups in Whitby, Ontario.

Now the god-bashing Oxford professor, Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) is setting up an organization to help atheists around the world. In a speech in the U.S. he put his case this way: “When you think how fantastically successful the Jewish lobby has been [although fewer in number than American atheists] yet they more or less monopolise American foreign policy. So if atheists could achieve a small fraction of that influence, the world would be a better place.”

What does Dawkins hope an atheistic bloc in the U.S. would achieve: I would free children from being indoctrinated with religion. I would like to free everyone from the assumption you have to be religious in order to be a decent person or be moral. Obviously the whole creationist interference with education should stop. I would like to see people rejoice in the world in which they find themselves and to take full advantage of the tiny slice of eternity they have been given.”

Does Professor Dawkins make sense?

Even if there were no God, does this world make sense?

Should atheists come out of the closet and be given more space?

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14 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Atheists like Dawkins and the otherwise wonderful Christopher Hitchens tell us that religion poisons everything. The reality is that within a 50 year span of the 20th century more people suffered (over a billion) and were killed (about 150 million) under the name of a philosophy that has atheism as its official “religion” than all religions combined were responsible for during the entirety of human history.
    That philosophy was communism.
    I have no problem with atheists spouting their beliefs whenever and wherever they want; that’s freedom of speech. I do have a problem with atheism or anti-creationism being imposed upon anyone — school children or otherwise — as some sort of requirement of law.
    Let local communities and schoolboards decide what their curriculum is going to be and let Supreme Courts and federal governments stay the hell out of it, as was the original intention of the U.S. Constitution (“Congress shall make no law…”).

  2. 2

    Tony:
    Good point about the ravages of “God less communism.” One of the knocks on religion is that it is too dogmatic. But when it comes to their judgements about God and religion do you know anyone more dogmatic
    than the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens?

  3. 3
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    I definitely believe that laicism and atheism are the religions of those who pretend not to have any. And they can be just as integrist as the the other integrists of all kinds and as ready to kill as any others to prove their point.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    “Does Professor Dawkins make sense?”

    Eminent sense. Children are not born with religion. Like any other social program whose aim it is to divide people into “us versus them,” they have to be indoctrinated. They have to be steeped in a history that convinces them they are better than other human beings who do not think the same way their own tribe thinks, and that it’s okay to make war on others because those others are not quite human, after all.

    If left alone to discover religion for themselves, if they ever do, there would be far fewer wars and skirmishes among human beings. Religion is an artificial excuse to hate your neighbor.

    “Even if there were no God, does this world make sense?”

    What do you mean, “even if”? None of the gods actually exist. They’re merely a way of explaining what man has not yet figured out how to do for/against himself. And sometimes, even when explanations are made available, people who disagree often turn back to a god to take the credit or blame.

    “Should atheists come out of the closet and be given more space?”

    I haven’t noticed too many closets full of atheists. It’s no longer considered to be heretical or seditious to be an atheist.

    Communism can’t be the true antithesis of religion. The so-called “true” communist claims not to believe in any god (at least, according to those who call themselves “true” communists). But a disbelief in gods is not the only hallmark of a communist.

    There are far more similarities than differences between communism and religion. Just for starters, both philosophies insist on absolute obedience to a “higher” authority — an artificial one, at that. You could apply everything I said above about religion to communism and not be off the mark.

    Atheists, like most others I know, just want to be left alone to live their own lives according to their own philosophies without being pigeon-holed, categorized, and herded into camps of “enemies” of the “religious.”

    And as for the school thing: Religion does NOT belong in taxpayer-funded public schools. Period. Private schools can do what they like, so long as they do not draw funds from the taxpayers.

  5. 5

    By God, Chimera, that’s quite an indictment.
    “None of the Gods actually exist.”
    Isn’t that as dogmatic as its reverse?

  6. 6
    Chimera Says:

    ““None of the Gods actually exist.”
    Isn’t that as dogmatic as its reverse?”

    I don’t think so. It’s just my take on things. My own philosophy, if you will.

    And I should probably say (before anyone gets the wrong idea) that I’m not an atheist. I just have a whole different way of looking at things from most people who follow a religion.

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    Children are not born with religion. Like any other social program whose aim it is to divide people into “us versus them,” they have to be indoctrinated. They have to be steeped in a history that convinces them they are better than other human beings who do not think the same way their own tribe thinks, and that it’s okay to make war on others because those others are not quite human, after all.

    Atheism does that, too. I know that you attribute religious persecution to communism, but it was the fact that they were atheist that made that persecution a necessity in their eyes.

    Atheists are not “entitled” to space. They have to “earn” it (or make it) like everyone else.

  8. 8
    Chimera Says:

    “Atheism does that, too.”

    Whence came this little gem?

    “I know that you attribute religious persecution to communism…”

    I do? Where?

    “…but it was the fact that they were atheist that made that persecution a necessity in their eyes.”

    Who you talkin’ about? Who is “they” In whose eyes? I don’t want to have to decipher your syntax before I can understand your argument.

  9. 9
    SUZANNE Says:

    Militant atheists believe that it’s okay to “make war” on believers because they don’t believe the same way they do. Just look at Communist China. Look at any communist regime.

    “I know that you attribute religious persecution to communism…”

    I do? Where?

    Okay let me rephrase that: I suspect that you would attribute that persecution to communism rather than atheism.

  10. 10
    Chimera Says:

    Militant Christians also believe it’s okay to make war on unbelievers. Also militant Muslims. Militant anyone, in fact. It’s what makes for militantism. Look at the entire world.

    I don’t tend to attribute any persecuation to any specific religious or social structure — just to certain elements of that structure: the militants. Unfortunately, the militants, being pushy, loud, and aggressive, tend to be the ones in charge, and they like to speak for everyone.

    I know lots of Christians (and atheists, and Muslims, and others) who are perfectly happy to leave everyone else alone to live their own lives as they see fit. They are not the ones who get their names and deeds noted in the news, however.

  11. 11
    Bill Olsen Says:

    The American Jewish lobby, whatever that is, may be influential in American foreign policy. I may or may not dispute that. But far more influential in American foreign policy is a a blind protectionism aimed at protecting US oil and economic interests which has engendered the hijacking of our collective outrage over the terrorist attacks of 2001 to fuel a bloodthirsty pattern of military conduct. Jews did not create this situation. I suspect that a lack of Atheists with political influence did not create this situation either. What created this is a society that was somehow capable of electing the government that it has and can only be described as lost and searching.

  12. 12

    Bill:
    I am hoping we can have a discussion on “the Jewish lobby” later this week. What is astounding to many Canadians is that the American voter elected Bush not once but twice. Incomprehensible.

  13. 13
    Chimera Says:

    “What is astounding to many Canadians is that the American voter elected Bush not once but twice. Incomprehensible.”

    Ah, but did they? There are lots of Americans still firmly of the opinion that the Bush machine rigged the polls in a couple of states.

    Besides, we can hardly talk. We got Harper!

  14. 14
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Even if there were no God, does this world make sense?”

    I’m with Chimera here – change the ‘even if there were’ to ‘since there is’ and that sentence makes sense. 🙂

    But seriously – of course this world makes sense!

    There is absolutely no need for gods anymore – we’ve outgrown the need, and the sooner humans realize this the better the human race will be.


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