The atheism fallacies compendium: Part II

I don’t accept the existence of God, and at almost 47years of age, I’ve not once in my life ever genuinely considered any religion being more than just fables, yet I’m told frequently that there’s no such thing as an atheist. This is the pompous, arrogant stance that many theists have developed in thinking that everyone really believes in God, and the claim of atheism is a person being rebellious as they’re angry with God, and what do they offer? They offer prayer, as obviously that’s been proven to work.

How brainwashed must someone be to believe that everyone believes in what they believe in, as it’s not just about people lacking belief in God, but people having faith in other religions, and deities. Below are a few perfect examples of someone who’s so indoctrinated that they can only see the world through God goggles.

Take Jim Jenning’s comments. He really believes that all atheists are really agnostic, but by his standards, so are theists. I can’t prove God doesn’t exist, and he can’t prove that he does. Agnosticism is a belief that nothing can be known about the existence of God, whereas atheism can either mean lack of belief due to insufficient evidence, or the harder approach of saying there is absolutely no God.

Whilst agnosticism and atheism appear similar, agnosticism is a claim, as it’s a belief that nothing can be known, whereas the most common definition of atheism isn’t a claim, as it’s disbelief due to insufficient evidence. There’s a difference, albeit a subtle one, that Jim Jennings clearly doesn’t understand.

People like David Foster Wallace don’t help matters when they claim that there’s no such thing as atheism, as everyone worships something. But this is absolute nonsense, as the definition of worship is very clear, as can be found in the highly respectable Cambridge dictionary:

“to have or show a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a God”

Yet, either Wallace is purposely ignorant, or is using his position as a successful author to promote the ‘atheism is a religion’ fallacy.

“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles.”

As I’ve already stated, and provided evidence for, worship is linked to adoring God/s, and atheism is essentially the rejection of God/s. The four Noble truths are the directions against preventing suffering in the Buddhist spirituality, and ethical principles are about doing what’s right, and also trying to prevent suffering. This is not, however you look at it, a form of worship. Some theologians are convinced that humanity are naturally homo adorans, (worshipping beings), but I couldn’t disagree more, as in my opinion, the need to worship is a sign of weakness, and it says to me that there’s something wrong with you if you need to adore a God to give your life meaning.

The religion of atheism

This is one of the most ridiculous and ignorant projections that I keep reading on social media, and it’s becoming more frequent. For something to qualify as a religion, it must meet certain criteria. Oxford dictionary has the following definitions.

“The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods; a particular system of faith and worship; or a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion”

So let’s analyse this, and come to a logical conclusion. Atheism is derived from the Greek word Atheos (ἄθεος), which means without God, that I’ve covered in this article titled Atheism: The Idiot’s Guide. Atheism is the rejection of God/s, so the first definition is now redundant.

The majority of atheists say that they won’t blindly accept something, especially the existence of God/s, until sufficient evidence is supplied, so they are without any doubt that they exist. With this in mind, there’s no faith involved, as faith is about accepting something in the following way, also taken from Oxford dictionary.

“The strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.”

Considering atheists require evidence, faith is now redundant. I’m sure you’ve all encountered a theist that claims that atheists worship science. I know I have, and it’s one of those ‘eye roll’ moments. Atheists don’t worship science, and the following is also taken from Oxford dictionary:

“The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.”

Not only is science NOT a deity, but it isn’t something that can be worshipped, as it’s not about setting or creating an atheist world view, which I covered in this article titled Is Atheism a Worldview? , it’s about scientists devoting their life to study, research and experiment, and the following is once again taken from Oxford dictionary:

“The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”

With this in mind, and acknowledging that science is an intellectual study, it makes worship redundant. So now we are left with a pursuit, or interest followed with great devotion.

Theist: God exists

Atheist: Prove it

Theist: I can’t, I just know it

Atheist: Until you can prove it, I will continue with my disbelief.”

Can any of you explain how lacking belief in God/s, or a deity, could become a pursuit or interest? It’s absolute nonsense to suggest that atheism is a religion, and anyone who thinks so is a complete buffoon.

Is atheism harmful?

As most of you are already aware, I’m atheist, and a humanist. I’m writing this as a response to what someone said on Twitter.

“Because atheism is harmful to health, life, society, & civilization”

I’m going to defend this comment without retaliation, as it makes me just as harmful as the person who wrote this if I do. Whilst atheists have no tenets, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being moral, and because theists have tenets doesn’t mean that they are incapable of being immoral.

Morality is about respect, and caring about other people’s welfare.

Morality is about doing the right thing, maximising happiness and trying to prevent misery.

Morality is about showing compassion, humility and empathy.

• Morality is about adopting the golden rule, which is about treating others as you want to be treated.

I will start by discussing ‘harmful to health’. What do atheists do that is harmful to health that theists don’t do? Muslims don’t drink alcohol, but many smoke, and some take drugs. Many Christians drink alcohol and smoke. Atheists can be promiscuous, but that doesn’t mean they have to be, or we all are. I’m 46 years old, and I’ve been in a relationship with all my previous sexual partners, and I’m currently in a monogamous marriage. Some atheists seek medical help for mental health, but many theists leave their religions due to mental abuse and are left mentally scarred. Many of my Twitter followers can admit to this, and this is why they became atheists. So the ‘harmful to health’ comment is nonsensical.

‘Harmful to life, society and civilisation’.

Humans are harmful to society and civilisation, and history proves this. It doesn’t matter whether we are with faith, or without faith, humanity has done horrible things. The slave trade, the Holocaust, the Ku Klux Klan, terrorism, war, the Inquisitions, the Crusades, Communist dictators. The list is endless and not restricted to any particular group or society.

As I’ve already said, I’m 46 years old, and I’m married. I have a job, as does my atheist wife. We both pay our taxes, and neither of us has a criminal record. We both support several animals charities, and have fostered dogs. And, I support Humanists UK, which is a registered charity with many campaigns. I’m a very compassionate person who tends to see good in people, and to my detriment, it’s sometimes too late when I realise there’s often more bad than good.

I come from a really small family of atheists, who all work hard, love animals and enjoy their lives to the full. I think the ignorance that engulfs theists with preconceptions about atheism is without excuse. Every religion claims to be about peace and love, but it seems that atheism is the one area of society where it seems perfectly acceptable to discriminate against, and in 2019 we shouldn’t even be discussing faith or lack of. Religion will be something humanity will look back to with regret that we were so gullible, as humanism and secularism is the only way we as a species can be equal, without discrimination or prejudice. Religion will die out eventually, as humanity gains wisdom, but I will never encourage anyone to take away the right to their religion, so why do so many want to impose their beliefs on others?

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

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

• 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.

• 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.

The atheism fallacies compendium: Part I

I’ve felt that I needed to compile a compendium that addresses the questions and fallacies that are frequently discussed regarding atheism and atheists. It’s quite a long read, and perhaps too long for your average theist who prefers projecting, and redefining what atheism actually is, rather than dealing with facts. I often encounter someone who provides Stanford as the universally accepted thesis on what atheism is, yet many people reach atheism many different ways and the reasoning behind it can be very different. Someone may have lost their faith and began to question their religion, they’ve found religion isn’t answering the big questions and they start to doubt god’s existence until they either don’t know anymore, are just aren’t convinced any of their prayers were ever answered. People like me see no logical evidence and it’s irrational to conclude that any gods exist considering there’s no interaction from any of them, and science is answering more questions than religion ever could.

‘Atheism’ has been around for as long as man has worshipped deities. The term ‘Atheism’ originated in Ancient Greece over 500 years before Christ was allegedly born, and it derived from the word ‘Atheos’ which means ‘Without Gods’ (ᾰ̓́θεος – Godless). As opposed to ‘Atheism’, ‘Theism’ is derived from the word ‘Theos’ (θεός – The belief in god/s who is the creator and the ruler of the universe’)

As we can see, there’s a clear distinction between the two words. One literally says a person is ‘Godless, without God’, and the other is claiming a ‘Belief in God’/s.

Now we move onto modern definitions, and there are several:

• The first definition of ‘Atheism’ is ‘A lack of belief, or disbelief in the existence of God/s, or deities’. This is an example of Negative/Weak/Soft Atheism, where there’s disbelief but the person does not assert that there’s no God/s.

• The second definition of ‘Atheism’ is ‘Not believing in the existence of God/s, or deities’. This is an example of Positive/Strong/Hard Atheism, where they do not believe in God/s, but additionally does assert that there are no God/s.

• The third definition of ‘Atheism’ is simply the rejection of ‘Theism’.

• The fourth definition of ‘Atheism’ is ‘Apatheism’ which is a person living their life as though there are no God/s, and using nature as an explanation for everything, but without questioning the nature of God/s. This is a term that some scientists claim to live by.

• The fifth definition for ‘Atheism’ is ‘Epistemological Atheism’ which is essentially ‘Agnosticism’ in which the argument is that nothing can be known about the existence of God/s.

• The sixth definition of ‘Atheism’ is ‘Religious Atheism’ which involves an atheist religion without a God, like ‘Buddhism’, ‘Taoism’, or the ‘Church of Satan’

• The seventh definition of ‘Atheism’ is ‘Axiological Atheism’ which is a rejection of God in which humanity as an absolute, and is a source of moral standards. ‘Humanism’ is an example of this.

So, to conclude, there are seven versions of modern day atheism that are accepted, and these will often overlap, but the easiest way to explain ‘Atheism’ without someone claiming it’s a belief, a faith, or religion is to just say that you are ‘godless’.

Is atheism a worldview?

We’ve all encountered someone on social media that suggests atheism is a belief system, a religion or even a world view, but is it? For something to be a worldview it must essentially be:

‘A particular philosophy of life or conception of the world’

So is atheism a philosophy?

No, is the correct answer. It’s simply a rejection of the belief that God exists. Ever been told that atheists believe that something came from nothing, and if we came from Monkeys, then why are there still Monkeys? This is because ignorance has replaced rationality. Somehow many theists think that if you don’t believe in God, then you must believe in the Big Bang and Evolution by default – and that atheists are responsible for 100 million deaths in the twentieth century.

It’s not because I’m an atheist that I accept Evolution. I accept it because the evidence is abundant. It’s also not because I’m an atheist that I think the Big Bang theories are more likely, it’s because it’s illogical and ludicrous to imagine that a supreme being created everything. Because atheists refuse to accept the supernatural, then the only logical way to come to a conclusion is by studying, researching and examining evidence ie: Facts over faith.

“Science can teach us, and I think our hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supporters, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make the world a fit place to live” – Bertrand Russell

For something to be a world view it has to dominate your thinking and affect your life decisions. Religion is a world view as it has dogmas, doctrines and an expectancy of how you should behave and how to lead your life. Atheism has none of this.!I live my life by abiding the laws of my country. It makes no difference to me what faith someone is. I work with several Muslims, and I would happily vote for a religious candidate so long as their policies respected the people. Atheists tend to want to protect the planet as we know we only have one life, and if possible, we want to leave the earth better for the next generation. Theists don’t tend to think this way. Their lifetime is just a stepping stone to the afterlife, so who cares if the planet gets ruined. They believe their future relatives will get to meet them in Heaven regardless of how the world is in the future. Atheists accept that we have one life and live in the moment. Is that a world view, or just accepting the reality we live in?

Does atheism lead to nihilism?

True nihilism is in essence a compulsion to destroy, as nothing has any value, and everything is approached with rabid scepticism and extreme pessimism. Nihilism is mostly associated with ‘Friedrich Nietzsche’ who claimed that the corrosive effects, lack of moral boundaries and the fact that life is meaningless will eventually lead to the downfall of humanity.

“Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing.” – Victor Hugo

Nihilism is derived from the Latin word ‘Nihil’ which literally means ‘nothing’, and is also the foundation of the word ‘annihilate’ which means to destroy and bring something to nothingness, so it’s hardly a human quality. Most people who identify as nihilist don’t believe in God, Heaven or Hell, and because of this also claim there’s no meaning in what’s right, or wrong, so anything goes, as there’s are no such thing as values.

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Atheists do share some nihilistic qualities in the fact that they think theists are attempting to push their subjective propaganda for the purpose of gaining power. I personally think that’s where it ends. Scepticism is a healthy stance, especially where the subject of God is concerned, or in the study of science, as evidence, and the ability to reach an unbiased conclusion, is the only way to seek the truth.

“Scientists are skeptics. It’s unfortunate that the word ‘skeptic’ has taken on other connotations in the culture involving nihilism and cynicism. Really, in its pure and original meaning, it’s just thoughtful inquiry.” – Michael Shermer

Political nihilism is a form of anarchy, which opposes political power, and is about bringing down tyranny and fighting for personal freedom, but at the same time it’s a revolt against public order, any form of religious, or state control. Philosophers claim that political nihilists agree that ignorance is the root to all evils.

“If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance.” – Albert Camus

The opposite of ‘nihilism’ is ‘existentialism’, which emphasises a person’s existence as free and in complete control of their own free will, and it’s an intellectual philosophy about the meaning of the human condition and being, and in this regard, it’s a form of humanism. It’s focus is on the meaning of life, personal responsibility, accountability, and not imposing religious doctrines on anyone else, and believe that people can give their own lives meaning, and it’s no less than what religious meaning can offer.

“Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. It is the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. It holds that, as there is no God or any other transcendent force, the only way to counter this nothingness (and hence to find meaning in life) is by embracing existence.” – Philosophy basics

Does atheism lead to narcissism?

Whenever I read this unsubstantiated generalisation, I struggle to comprehend how they come to this nonsensical and illogical conclusion.

“Narcissism – selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy,” – Oxford Dictionary

The above quote describes narcissism from a psychological viewpoint, and it’s actually recognised as a mental personality disorder, and is known as narcissistic personality disorder. People who are diagnosed with this condition generally have an inflated ego, and a belief that their importance is to be recognised and be admired, and if this isn’t achieved it can result in depression, and affect every area of their lives. Unable to hold down a job; unable to keep a relationship healthy; unable to keep their financial affairs in order, and this will often lead to the need of psychotherapy. Below is a general set of symptoms that someone with narcissistic personality disorder may suffer from:

• Have a sense of self-importance

• Require constant, and excessive admiration, and praise

• Expect to be seen as superior, regarding intelligence and social standing

• Excessive lying and unfounded claims of success

• Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally superior people, and look down upon others that don’t teach their high standards

• Take advantage of others to get what they want, and be ruthless to any extent to achieve their goals

• Have an unwillingness to understand, or appreciate the needs and feelings of others ie: lack of empathy, compassion and humility

• Be envious of others, and believe others envy them

• Have a tendency to be arrogant, conceited, boastful and pretentious

• Insist on having the best of everything ie: Car, career, home, clothes and accessories. It can lead to an extensive need for a materialistic lifestyle.

Narcissism is derived from the Greek word ‘Νάρκισσος’, who is a myth and legend about a young Greek man called Narcissus, who was a Laconian hunter which is where Spartans originated. He was a very handsome man, and many instantly fell in love with him. One day he was roaming the local woods and the nymph, Echo spotted him and instantly fell in love with him. Narcissus pushed her away, and said that he didn’t want to be disturbed. This made Echo instantly distraught and spent the rest of her life wandering the woods in despair.

Nemesis, the goddess of retribution was witness to this and it infuriated her, and she decided that Narcissus had to be punished. She led him to a pool and as soon as he saw his reflection he instantly fell in love. He was so besotted with his reflection he didn’t at first realise that it was his face, and when his lover didn’t materialise he was so desperate that he committed suicide.

Many people with narcissistic tendencies acquire the disorder through genetics, neurobiology complications, or over-attention, or under-attention during their upbringing. So how does any of this associate with atheism? As we well know, atheism is the rejection of belief in Gods due to insufficient evidence, or just not believing in Gods as they think it’s absolute nonsense. Not all, but many atheists adhere to humanistic principles and agree that secularism is the only fair way forward for humanity as a whole. To ignore the concept of a God usually means putting humanity first. I’d go so far as to say that theists are selfish, as they put their imaginary God, and their imaginary god’s rules first, and despite many of them being homophobic, and against leftist principles, which has them insulting people for their sexuality and claiming the moral high ground, they don’t care about hurting anyone’s feelings, just so long as their God is happy, as they don’t wish to upset him and they feel the need to constantly stroke his extremely fragile ego.

The Ten Commandments (עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת) , or the Decalogue, is a list of requirements, ethics and codes of worship, which are paramount in Abrahamic religions, and is found in Exodus 20.

“I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.”

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but are those commandments all about God’s need to be worshipped. It’s all ‘me, me, me’. If anything god is narcissistic, and unstable, and has the need to be loved above anything and everything else.

If atheism is true then …

 “If atheism is true, then you’re just bags of meat and you’ve no more purpose than a slug’’

How does a theist brain work when they say nonsense like this? If something is ‘alive’, and it’s ‘sentient’, and has feelings like ‘compassion’, ‘remorse’ and ’empathy’, how does it matter how it came to be? How is something that’s created have more ‘intrinsic value’ than something that’s happened, or come about naturally? Theists have just one purpose, and that’s to serve God by worshipping him and obeying his every wish and command. How is that giving your life meaning? Or how is being created by God giving yourself life meaning as opposed to everything beginning through a natural phenomena? Theists act all ‘holier than thou’, but they are told that all of the animals on God’s earth are for their consumption, although some animals depending on faith are forbidden. This takes away any value an animal’s life has to a theist, as it’s considered just food. Theists generally don’t tend to care about the environment, believe in the climate change debate or the general conservation of our planet, as not only do they believe everything happens as it’s God’s will, but this life isn’t as important as the afterlife, so who cares what state the planet is left in? It was ‘fucked’ when they got here.

I’m asked to define what being human is, and how can I give my existence any meaning or purpose without God in it. This is a very strange question, and one that shouldn’t have to be answered. The purpose of life is what you make it. Some people are meant to rule, some are meant to obey. Some are meant to lead, and others are meant to follow. Some are meant to study medicine, others are meant to explore. Some are meant to study law, others are meant to study the universe. In any species of sentient animal, a ‘hierarchy’ forms and a leadership contest happens, which is exactly what happens with humans. We form a society, we breed, certain people take certain positions and we prosper. Sometimes this doesn’t work and we have wars, or revolutions. This happens whether you have God in your life or not. It makes no difference at all how we got here, we are here and we have to make the most of the short time on this planet.

There are no atheists in foxholes

This statement has to be one of the most arrogant, presumptuous and irritating that I’ve heard, and I’m so sick of reading it on social media. It’s apparently a ‘aphorism’ which is considered an observational general truth, or principle. What it means is that in times of duress, where your life could be close to its end, especially in a foxhole during a war, there are no atheists as everyone will be praying to a higher power to save them, or protect them.

This implies that no one can face death with honour and dignity. It suggests that even the most anti-theist will disregard their life-long principles and suddenly ‘believe’ in the hope of being saved. I don’t know about any of you, but I’d rather stare death in the face with my head held up high, that go out like a weak- willed coward.

It’s a typical arrogant quote that’s come from Christianity, as they generally can’t accept that atheists exist. They think that everyone believes in God, and if they say they don’t they hate God, or they are living in denial.

Is it a direct attack at atheism?

Some may say it is, but if anything it just proves how disposable faith and religion is. I’m a life-long atheist, and I’m quite sure if facing potential death, the first thing on my mind would be to prevent it, and if it was unpreventable, I’d hope it happened quickly. The last thing on my mind would be asking a God that I’m quite sure doesn’t exist to help me. At the end of the day, if my death is imminent, would I want to spend my last few moments praying to a man-made God, and grovelling for forgiveness for not believing in him? Or would I stand up like a man, and face what’s coming? If I end up facing an eternity at Satan’s mercy, then that was always something that I was prepared to face.

“Maybe there are only atheists in foxholes. If the faithful truly and fully believe in a protective deity, why would they dive into a foxhole to protect themselves from the bullets whizzing by ? A part of their brain knows damn well that if they do not protect themselves, the bullets will hardly discriminate between those who claim faith and those who reject it.” – J. Anderson Thomson

This saying needs to stop. It’s making a mockery of the military, as they accept that there are atheists enlisted, and it’s mocking atheism as it’s suggesting that every one of them is a hypocrite, and it’s mocking faith, as it’s suggesting it’s a convenient ‘get out of jail free’ card when times get tough.

To be continued…

Are theists nihilists?

I’ve just engaged with someone on Twitter and the last thing I said was ‘if we are made in god’s image then his image is annihilation, making theists nihilists’, and this got me thinking about the amount of times theists have claimed that atheism is built around nihilism, and thus deem everything worthless as the universe appeared randomly. The first question that I’d ask here is how does anyone know for sure that the birth of the universe was random. How does anyone known that there wasn’t a natural chain of events that led to the primeval atom? Scientists can go back in time and roughly assert when the universe began, but whilst there are strong theories of why it happened, no one knows how and what led to it. We could get really deep into theories but instead I’m going to focus on creationism and how belief in that can allegedly give life purpose.

Theists who believe that their gods created everything from nothing centre around the Abrahamic faiths, and insist the universe and all life is created by an all-powerful, all-knowing supreme being that created us so that we can serve him. If you can find someone who’s suffered a life of slavery, ask if they felt their like had purpose or meaning by having to fear and obey their master, or upon judgement they’d be treated accordingly to their behaviour. This obviously leads to sin and temptation, and in the mind of the religious to lead a virtuous, sin-free life, then you must obey the rules set out, and resist temptation. Only by following these rules does it give you the illusion of morality as obeying the will of your master potentially leads to reward in the next life, or afterlife. Theists often see this life as a rehearsal for the next, and they don’t care about the state the planet is left in, as this life is just to seek salvation from Christ, or whoever they believe in so they have promise of fulfilment after death. Many theists don’t accept climate change, or many of the other ecological problems we face as they believe god has a purpose and as mere humans we are to serve not to question.

Theists are always saying that atheists believe the universe started randomly and everything we see came from random events. This means that if everything is without purpose, then it’s meaningless. What a miserable point of view to project onto people who aren’t willing to accept god created us. Even if life is random, which there’s clearly no doubt as evolution is only influenced by survival, what makes the birth of life, and the trillions of objects of life on the Earth without meaning? We still don’t know, however likely it is, that we might be the only planet that’s in the right location to harbour life. Just imagine we are alone in the universe, this makes the randomness of Earth building life have meaning, as it’s said that life is precious.

Regarding the title of this article, do I think theists are nihilists? Well, the evidence speaks for itself. We are all allegedly built in the image of god. God is vengeful. He brutal. He’s unforgiving. He’s jealous. He wants everything his own way and be the only god his flock worship. He’s destroyed the planet bar everything that lived on the ARK, yet theists are convinced that what he did in the Great Flood was justified as his perfect creation had gone rogue and he no longer had control over us as he allegedly gave us free will to be whatever we desired. This all-powerful god allows death and destruction spread throughout this world and never prevents any of it. We are in the midst of a pandemic that god could have prevented, but he clearly enjoys watching destruction and his servants lap it up and claim that wearing masks during COVID-19 is an infringement on their rights. If that isn’t a case for theistic nihilism I don’t know what is.