I’m not a moral nihilist

Have you ever been told that atheism is synonymous to nihilism and you can’t be one without the other? I have, and it’s happened more times than I can recall, but is it true, or is it another in a long line of baseless claims by theists? The Oxford dictionary defines nihilism as the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless. But to expand on that, true nihilists have no loyalties, no values as nothing is important, and in extreme cases an urge to destroy. Nihilism originated from the Latin word, ‘nihil‘, which means ‘nothing‘, which appears in the verb, annihilate‘, which means to bring to ‘nothing, or destroy‘.

Many theists use moral, or ethical nihilism to claim that without god then any action is without consequence or justification, as there’s no authority figure to answer to. They argue that from an atheists’ stance there’s no such thing as morality, so no action is preferable to another, so how can we suggest that murder is wrong? And if morality does exist then it’s artificial, and man made; thus subjective and meaningless. Because there are no moral truths without gods then there’s no right or wrong, good or bad, there just is, and something is not wrong, but it’s also not right.

“Error Theory holds that we do not know that any moral claim is true because (i) all moral claims are false, (ii) we have reason to believe that all moral claims are false, and (iii) because we are not justified in believing any claim we have reason to deny, we are therefore not justified in believing any moral claims at all.” – Source

Does anyone really know what’s right or wrong, and are theists correct with their claim that atheists have no moral compass? Moral nihilism claims there’s no natural value of purpose. If this is truly the case, then by definition morality has evolved in the human consciousness, as atheists don’t accept the higher, divine authority, so everything has come about naturally.

What theists tend to disregard in their argument that atheists inherently hold mo moral values is we are emotive, intelligent and social animals, that have to understand the nature of existence to mould into society, so I’d argue all day that despite morality being subjective to an extent, it’s intrinsically related to the human conscience. ‘Emmanuel Kant‘ explains it perfectly when he describes morality as good will, and you do something good as it’s your duty, as the actions of a compassionate human being, not because your actions can lead to promise of reward.

This leads me to the golden rule which can be found it most religions or ethical philosophies, which simply summed up means; ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This is a great philosophy, but isn’t without flaws.. What’s ideal for one person isn’t necessarily, ideal for all, so objective universal morality must be harmful to some, so we must use empathy and reflect on our experiences to make the most suitable ethical decision that’s most likely to minimise suffering, and maximise happiness.

We as a society must forget about this ridiculous notion of divine authority over morality, and consider the implications of our actions, and to do this the focus must be on reason and honest scepticism. What’s the best way to understand someone’s needs? It’s to ask them, exchange dialogue and use consideration to form a decision that benefits them most of all. In other words you need to use critical thinking as what’s good for you, may be disastrous for another, so ethical and moral decision making is unique every time.

Being accused of being a nihilist because I don’t hold belief in a divine authority is derogatory and a huge insult, as just because there’s no objective meaning of life, doesn’t mean that my life, and the lives of others has no meaning, as if nothing has value, what is the point of living? I have many reasons to live, many interests, a loving wife and amazing dogs that bring me joy every day. I’m passionate about many things, be it equality, science, history, philosophy, the arts and sentient life, and I’m a vegetarian as my compassion outweighs my culinary desires. Don’t you dare ever tell me what I am, as everyone is unique, and what one person values, another sees it as worthless, and vice versa. I cannot understand the idea that humans, like all other life forms, exist just to replicate. If that’s the case, why have we developed emotions and not just remained as empty, instinct driven vessels?

Is secularism an atheist ideology?

We live in extremely diverse communities where beliefs, and ideologies vary, and many people’s way of life differ. State secularism is about protecting everyone, being neutral, maximising equality, and attempting to prevent specific communities being either privileged, or disadvantaged by separating religious institutions from government affairs. State secularism’s key focus is human rights, and minimising prejudice and discrimination to minority groups who’s voice is seldom heard. Whilst most atheists support the ideology of secularism, it isn’t about removing religion, as it’s the exact opposite, it’s protecting the freedom of practising all religions regardless of what the majority faith is in society. Secularism is freedom of religion, as well as freedom from religion.

“Secularism is categorically not saying that the religious may not speak out publicly or have a say in public life. It is about saying that religion alone should not confer a privileged say in public life, or greater influence on it. It really is as simple as that.” – Richard Dawkins

1. Separation of religious institutions from state institutions and a public sphere where religion may participate, but not dominate.

2. Freedom to practice one’s faith or belief without harming others, or to change it or not have one, according to one’s own conscience.

3. Equality so that our religious beliefs or lack of them doesn’t put any of us at an advantage or a disadvantage. – National Secularist Society

Whilst secularism ensures that religions don’t interfere with government affairs, it also protects religions from government interference. The problem is religions are often selfish, and so long as their religion has priority, then fuck everyone else. Abrahamic religions especially wish for their country of residence to be theocratic states, where the emphasis is put on their god as the divine authority, and religious leaders are the god’s representatives. This will obviously benefit them, but any other religious minority is denied freedom of rights, justice, equality and value in society.

‪”But the West is trying to weaken Islam from outside and inside. They attack our people and invade our countries from outside, and they weaken us from within with ideas like secularism, liberalism and democracy. This is all designed to contaminate our pure Islam.‬” – Abu Bakar Bashir‬

The above quote is exactly why I’m confident that religion, especially Islam is oppressive, and is designed to remove equality, human rights and freedom from society, and viewing liberalism, secularism, and democracy as a threat proves how brainwashed they are, and how they believe that mental slavery is the best way to live. I’m quite extreme in my antitheism, but I know that if every country adopted secularism then my distaste for religion would be significantly reduced, as it wouldn’t have as much of an influence over society in regards to education and politics.

Is atheism a cult?

I’ve seen this claim floating around social media for some time now, but is it just another ignorant copy and paste claim, or does it have any legitimacy? Oxford dictionary defines a cult as a ‘system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object; or, a person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society‘. A cult is more often that not a sect of a religious, philosophical or political group, that’s outlandish by appearance, and unusual in its beliefs, and displays an excessive devotion.

The word cult’s origin comes from the Latin ‘cultus‘, which essentially means ‘worship‘, but in modern times it’s become a derogatory ad hominem attack to imply some belief that’s considered beyond the norm. A cult is often related to some form of ritualistic practise involving a deity, a monument and/or sacrificial offerings, which perfectly sums up early Judaism. Whilst not exclusive, cults can lead to studying the occult, which is the study and practise of the supernatural, witchcraft, alchemy, which all attempt to manipulate natural law, and studying the occult can lead to the creation of cults.

Cults are often groups which centre around extreme ideologies, and brain controlling leaders like Charles Manson, or David Koresh. Atheism lacks a direction, a purpose, a criteria, an agenda or a doctrine. Most cult members are drawn in because they are vulnerable, but atheists tend to reach their conclusion of disbelief due to insufficient evidence, and very often leave a religion that has a cult like mentality that they needed to break free from.

Cults, like most religions, trap people through indoctrination, and the tactic of shaming if someone dares to leave. Atheism isn’t a organisation, a sect or a cult, it’s just people who used reason and scepticism to reach a conclusion independently. There are no cult leaders, no communes or dogma. When theists claim that atheism is a cult, or more frequently a religion it’s a failed attempt to drag it down to their level, as in how can we make a claim that religion is ignorant, when atheism is just another religion. But this is a miserable attempt to accuse atheists of being hypocrites, and I know first hand from speaking to many atheists that most lack belief as the evidence doesn’t match their sceptical scrutiny, and until it does they’ll take the stand that gods probably don’t exist, whereas religious people have faith, and are confident that their gods exist, and usually aren’t prepared to consider otherwise. Atheism is as much of a cult, or a religion as not believing in fairies is a political ideology.