Religion: A mental disorder?

Yesterday I questioned whether liberalism is a mental disorder, and made the claim that it’s obtuse and extremely facetious, but I shall today judge religion by its own standards. God is a delusion and man created the ideas of gods to control the common man, as it’s a useful weapon for the powerful, and the leaders. The Abrahamic religions especially fear their god, and the threat of facing him and not receiving their desired judgement, and through this fear they claim unequalled love for their god, where they put their faith before their own families. A delusion used to be referred to as being fooled, and this is still appropriate, but it’s more commonly known as an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder, according to Oxford dictionary. Religion is very much contradicted by reality, and rationality, as it takes a very ignorant person to ignore the evidence of known science; ie evolution, and claim that god created everything.

“The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.” – Benjamin Franklin

Is there a difference between religious fervour and mental disorders? Anything that can affect your judgement to make logical decisions is a mental disorder, and people believing that they speak to god, and he speaks back at them is not thinking like a normal person. The American Psychological Association claimed that after doing a five year study that extreme religious behaviour hindered one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters. If one claims to have a voice inside their head advising them of what to do, more often than not they are diagnosed as being a sufferer of schizophrenia, which is a form of psychosis, but when a theist claims to be engaging with god, or Jesus, this is perfectly acceptable in society. Take prayer as another example of an unhealthy form of delusion. Does prayer achieve anything, other than making a person look like they’re having a conversation with themselves, and has prayer ever been proven to be effective and give desired results?

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.” – Robert M. Pirsig

When people become fundamentalists regarding their religion, it’s a fine line between being obsessive about their faith, and needing to receive mental health care. Religion is about compliance, and religious leaders don’t wish for people to have their own unique individuality, as they want people who wish to obey, and people that are fearful of questioning the will of god. What better way than to control a society through the fear of a god that can become malevolent if you don’t do as he bids. Many Christians argue that their god is in opposition to evil, but if the flood mythology is anything to go by, he’s perfectly capable of mass genocide if he’s unhappy. You’ve got to have some form of psychosis to believe that it’s perfectly acceptable for god to wipe out the majority of life on Earth, just because he’s god, and he can give and take away as he pleases. You’ve also got to suffer from a mental instability to believe that god sent his own son, who’s really him in human form, to die for the sins of humanity.

“Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private ‘revelation’. – Richard Dawkins

Sigmund Freud described religion as a childlike neurosis, and suggested that it was unhealthy for the mind as it forced you to believe in what isn’t true. But if it makes a person happy, then who are we to judge? The issue here for me is that religious people are unable to keep their beliefs and condemnations to themselves, and have a habit of preaching to people who don’t share their views, and this is what creates the problems, as religion is about a personal relationship with a god, and it should not be forced upon people. Yet society is polluted by religion almost everywhere you go, and just because the majority of people on the planet have some firm of faith, it doesn’t mean that they are correct. Mark Twain once said that when you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time you took a step back and reflected. Whilst religion can offer comfort, and social circles which surround the church, or it can give someone a positive outlook on life, it’s still founded on deception, as none of it can ever be proven to be true. Especially for an extremely sceptical person like myself, who’s got to 46 years old without once ever experiencing a supernatural event, and if I’ve ever told a religious fanatic this, they often say that you must seek god, as he won’t seek you. Is this not just a little too convenient to be taken seriously?

Evolution of emotions

I was interacting with a user on Twitter who claimed that souls are real, and just because you can’t see them, or science can’t prove or disprove them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. He suggested that someone can claim love for someone else, but can we prove love really exists. My reply was to inform him that love is an emotion and emotions exist, but there’s no proof of a soul, and it’s a product of religious brainwashing. I told him that brain scans by neurologists have studied the effects emotions have for decades, and it’s actually become a science of its own.

“Human emotions have deep evolutionary roots, a fact that may explain their complexity and provide tools for clinical practice.” – Robert Plutchik

What is an emotion?

An emotion is a biological state that’s triggered through a variety of experiences, like thoughts, feelings, stimulants, experiences, or responses, and can be both positive, negative or ambivalent. Emotions are not only a mental state, but can also be physiological in the way the heart can speed up when you experience fear, or you can perspire. Your breathing can quicken and you may tense up. When you are embarrassed you can blush, and when you are angry your face can go red. Everyone suffers a variety of emotions throughout their days that can be from happiness to sadness, anger to euphoria, love to hate, and these can affect our decisions in a variety of ways, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. Emotions that are strong can affect our judgement and cause irrationality, like love for instance. Love can make people do very erratic things that under normal circumstances they wouldn’t even consider, and hate works in the same way. Psychiatrists often put emotions into three distinct categories and they are:

Subjective experience

Physiological response

Behavioural response

Emotions are subjective and different to each person. Take anger as an example. Two people could have their cars stolen, and both can be angry, but the first person is angry that they’ll have to report it to the police and take the bus home, so they see it as more of an inconvenience; whereas the second person could be in a fit of rage, as they’ve had their personal property violated, and that was their dream car, and if they get their hands on the thief who took it, they will tear them apart. Emotions can also be ambivalent which is mixed feelings. You’re going on your first date with someone and you’re extremely nervous as what if she doesn’t like you, or you say something idiotic and make a fool of yourself. But at the same time you’re extremely excited as she could potentially be the one, and her smile makes your heart melt.

The physiological response is butterflies in your stomach, dry mouth, sweaty palms, racing heart, rapid blinking, changing of facial expressions, tensing of muscles or posture. These are all involuntary changes that are controlled by your nervous system and are triggered by various emotions. You are going for the interview for your dream job, and you know that you will have to shake the hand of the interviewer, but your palms are sweaty, and you’ve already stuttered to the receptionist and you have the feeling of falling, and your mouth is dry. This is anxiety and nervousness as it obviously matters to you and you’re desperate to make a good impression, but your nervous system is betraying you.

Behavioural response is the actual feeling of emotion, and the ability to recognise emotions in other people as you’ve seen the signs from your own experiences. Someone you know has lost their pet and they are distraught, and you’ve been in the same position yourself as you lost your dog a year ago. You know they are very sad, they’ve lost a friend and their life will now have an empty space in it. You try to show empathy and be sympathetic, but you know that no amount of comforting will ease their grief, only over time will their suffering subside. There are also actions that can be taken when feeling an emotion. Anger can lead to violence, happiness can lead to dancing or hugging someone, and love can lead to sexual interaction, or intimacy.

“Emotions are a process, a particular kind of automatic appraisal influenced by our evolutionary and personal past, in which we sense that something important to our welfare is occurring, and a set of psychological changes and emotional behaviors begins to deal with the situation.” – Paul Ekman

Paul Ekman‘ is a psychologist from Washington, DC, and has a PhD in clinical psychology. He’s an expert on emotions and facial expressions, which he claims is an indicator of lying. Regarding his expertise in emotions, he clams that there are seven groups of universal emotions.

‪• Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility‬

‪• Fear – an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm‬

‪• Sadness – the feeling of being unhappy, especially when something bad has happened‬

‪• Disgust – a feeling of revulsion or strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive‬

‪• Surprise – an unexpected or astonishing event, or fact‬

‪• Anticipation – a feeling of excitement about something pleasant or exciting that you expect to happen‬

‪• Trust – firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something‬

‪• Joy – a feeling of great pleasure and happiness‬

Dr. Robert Plutchik‘ was a professor who studied psychology and psychotherapy, and was considered an expert in the field of emotions, and the above image is ‘Plutchik’s wheel of emotions‘. He was of the mindset that there are eight groups of universal emotions.

Can we prove emotions exist?

Emotions are observable in the mind and the body, so with them being visible, they obviously exist and aren’t a construction of the mind, and considering emotions are involuntary and are difficult to control, their effects are noticeable. If someone is sad, they will shown it in their face, and body language. They sometimes have a lack of attention, or concentration, and can struggle with every day tasks, like personal hygiene, or coping with personal relationships. Love can overwhelm some people as they don’t wish to be apart from the one they love, and they miss not being in their company. Love can make people over protective, or jealous, or not think straight as their mind is consumed by the one they love. If there’s a separation that’s one sided, the one who’s still in love will feel like they. Ant cool without their partner, and they’ll have a sense of loneliness and feel worthless. These feelings make a physical impact, as well as mentally, and can cloud a person’s judgement.

With emotions being controlled by the brain, the brain will change its activity. For decades, neurologists have been using volunteers and placing them in situations that can effect their emotions and studying the brain activity. In 1872, ‘Charles Darwin‘ published ‘The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals‘, and claimed that emotions have a universal character, and evolutionary history, and every human, regardless of race, religion, sex, or gender have similar behaviours. He expressed that all sentient being experienced emotions, and having four dogs I can testify that this is indeed correct. Their emotions aren’t as complex as humans as they don’t understand the concept of the world around them, but they express happiness, fear, excitement and the need for cuddles and kisses. Darwin was involved with several researchers hiked the was writing his book, and one was ‪French physician ‘Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne‬’. He applied electricity to people’s faces to stimulate the muscles to attempt to imitate facial expressions that were relative to emotions, and this was an area that Darwin was interested in as he believed that expressions were an important factor in the study of emotions.

Scientists have been using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain activity when a person suffers an emotion, and they claim that the brain has shown to give off neural signatures that have been shared by different subjects who have been studied.

“Despite manifest differences between people’s psychology, different people tend to neurally encode emotions in remarkably similar ways” – Amanda Markey

By using highly sophisticated computers, they were able to map out areas of the brain that were triggered when the subjects were stimulated into an emotional state. Modern psychiatrists, and neurologists are on the brink of being able to scan brains to seek out a problem, rather than self analysis which isn’t a completely reliable science.

Question everything

I consider myself a freethinker as I cannot accept authority, especially religious authority which is founded on dogmatic principles, and unfounded beliefs. Mark Twain once said that when you side with the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect. This is especially relevant when the majority of the human race believe in a divine power that dictates how they live their life, and this doesn’t sit well with me as we are individual, and unique, and whilst we are indeed social animals we have our own identity that we should preserve with honesty and dignity. Empiricism is the basis of freethinking and takes into account things that are discovered through experience through the senses. What you touch, smell, taste, see and hear, and your imagination, superstition, revelations or dogmas cannot be trusted, and scepticism comes into play.

“Empiricism is a philosophical belief that states your knowledge of the world is based on your experiences, particularly your sensory experiences. According to empiricists, our learning is based on our observations and perception; knowledge is not possible without experience.” – Source

Freethinkers compliment atheism by claiming that there’s insufficient evidence to support the existence of a divine authority, as it’s not passed the scrutiny of reason. The freedom from religion foundation say that we have everything to lose if we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. For me this makes perfect sense as I have to make decisions based off my own personal judgement as opposed to an authoritarian figure like a clergy, or politician as they were born to pass off false information. Many freethinkers go beyond atheism and approach religion from an antitheism stance, as whilst some good has come from religion, the harm and destruction far outweighs it.

“Freethinkers reject faith as a valid tool of knowledge. Faith is the opposite of reason because reason imposes very strict limits on what can be true, and faith has no limits at all. A Great Escape into faith is no retreat to safety. It is nothing less than surrender.” – Dan Barker

If you claim to be a freethinker to a Christian they instantly think you’re under control by Satan himself as without god we are free to enjoy sin. Freethought is an alien concept to the brainwashed members of religious faiths, as anything good is by the will of god, and anything evil is because of Satan’s influence, and these are adults making these claims. Adults who are free to vote, breed, carry firearms, or fight for their country. It’s a scary world that we live in.

In reason we trust

‪The words belief and believe get thrown around too often for my liking, and to believe something is not using one of your most important mental tools; reason. Reason is a method of making sense of something using rationality and logic, and reaching a conclusion through evidence. Reason is also a way of reaching a moral decision, as it’s using impartial thinking to give the most benefit to the interests of others.

‪Reason is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, as we can contemplate our decisions and select the most appropriate and logical action, where the rest of the animal kingdom rely on instinct and habit. If we are to believe in the concept of a god providing us with the art of reason, why do so many who worship him fail to understand its concept, and instead prefer superstition and fantasy over facts?‬

‪”Beliefs do not change facts. Facts, if one is rational, should change beliefs.” – Ricky Gervais‬

‪Reason is the basis of philosophy and the scientific method, as scepticism is the partner of reason, and doubt leads to questioning, and questioning leads to research, and research leads to answers, rather than accepting something on faith. This leads to critical thinking which is about dealing with facts to form judgement, and is an important aspect of science as it attempts to be unbiased and without ego, influence or prejudice.

“I don’t want to believe, I want to know” – Carl Sagan

Those nine words sum up reason perfectly for me.‬ To reason is to question everything, to study cause and effect, and find out why, not assume. Many theists use the following method to justify their faith:‬

‪’Allah is proven by the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is proven by Allah.’‬

‪Where is the logic, the reason, the rationality and the facts?‬

‪’Jesus loves me’‬

‪’How do you know?’‬

‪’I can feel it in my heart’‬

‪Love isn’t reasonable, and it often leads to people making terrible choices as their emotion overcomes their rationality. Love is far from reasonable when it’s claimed that some dude who’s been dead 2000 years loves you, but you’ve never met him. Of course emotions are a good thing as we wouldn’t be human without them, but emotions don’t lead to reason. Take empathy as an example. You view life from someone else’s perspective, and your conscience tells you to help them, or support them, which is what we should do, but at the end of the day, emotions are subjective and are based on personal feelings, opinions and experiences. Emotions can cloud your judgement as you’re making a decision that you think is the right one, and often disregard using reason. Reason is objective as it deals with views that are factual things, such as things that can be verified in experience without opinions attached. ‬

‪Reason, I think, is quite a complex subject and can cause contradictions in life. As above I wrote that reason can lead to moral decisions by being objective, but using emotions is subjective as is often without using reason, but empathy, humility and compassion are all key ingredients to morality and living an ethical life. What are your thoughts?‬

Belief: Why it’s irrational

There are allegedly two types of belief. One is rational belief that’s based on evidence, but no proof, and the other is irrational belief in which there’s no evidence. I personally think that there’s one type of belief, and it’s without facts. It’s speculation, and acceptance that something is true, even if it isn’t. To me, belief is completely irrational, and illogical, and something either is, it isn’t, or you’re without knowledge. I’ve just been accused of being a liar on Twitter as I made the claim that I don’t accept belief as a logical conclusion, and I expect evidence that I can scrutinise before I accept something. I write lots of articles about various subjects, and if I’m unsure about something I spend time cross examining evidence to reach a common consensus before I accept its legitimacy, whereas many people will go on Google, click the first link which is usually Wikipedia, and accept what’s written is the truth. This is why there’s are so many misconceptions, inconsistencies and wilful ignorance throughout the world, as gullibility and confirmation bias is rife.

Imagine being in a court of law, and the defendant is accused of murder. Upon being cross examined he claims that he’s innocent, and the judge, jury and prosecution simply believe him, and he’s free to go. This isn’t the way law works. A client is innocent until proven guilty, and whilst mistakes do happen, and people get wrongly convicted, or get acquitted despite being guilty, as a rule the art of presenting sufficient evidence is paramount to justice being served. Belief and opinion doesn’t come into it. Only after a decision has been reached does opinion come into it, and this is the severity of the crime and what the judge considers a suitable punishment.

Another area is the scientific method, which is about asking a question, creating an hypothesis from an observation, experimenting so that it’s repeatable, and sharing your conclusion so that other scientists can test the findings and come to a decision on its validity. There’s no bias, belief or opinion here, it’s impartial study, doubt and scepticism to reach a conclusion to form a scientific theory.

So let’s look at belief. Some may say that I would just believe that the Sun will rise in the morning. The first issue I have with this is the Sun doesn’t rise, the Earth is rotating and it gives the illusion of a Sun rise. The Universe is heliocentric, and the laws of relativity are in play. What this means is we are orbiting our star, the Sun, and the Earth is rotating on its axis, because of the gravity of external sources like the Sun and the Moon. Because the Earth is within a practical vacuum, there’s no friction, so the Earth will continue to spin indefinitely. So the only way the Sun wouldn’t rise in the morning was if it wasn’t there anymore, but that won’t happen for billions of years until there’s no hydrogen left to create nuclear fusion. So with this is mind, and the fact that there are several laws of physics in motion, there’s no need to believe the Sun will rise, as it will. Every day, for billions of years. The only thing that could prevent life from witnessing the Sun was if a catastrophic event like a giant meteor collided with the Earth and annihilated it. Whilst this is always a possibility, and there’s strong evidence in craters of vast proportions that this has potentially been responsible for the extinction of many species, there’s no direct proof, as of yet that this is true.

Occam’s razor is a way to teach a conclusion where the simplest explanation is often the correct one, and the more something is over complicated, the bigger the margin of error. Falsifiability is still in play here, as an observation can be proven wrong. I will give an example. You walk into your garden and everything is wet. The logical analysis is it’s been raining, and Occam’s Razor comes into play, but there’s always other possibilities. Do I believe it’s been raining? No, I don’t, unless I’ve witnessed it’s rained. I’m just presuming because it’s a logical decision. That doesn’t mean it’s a fact though, it’s just a case of probable cause, and it’s unrelated to belief. So the next time you claim to believe something, remember that belief is an assumption, and there’s a saying that suggests that assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.

America’s paranoia and conspiracy theories

It may seem like I have a tendency to attack America, but unfortunately they bring it on themselves with the abundance of ammunition that they provide to the casual observer. As a nation, they are incredibly paranoid and susceptible to propaganda, and seem, as a majority, to be extremely cynical about the politics of their country. As an example, if you’re not a Republican, who supports Donald Trump without question, and doesn’t think he’s the best president America has ever had, then you’re a liberal communist, and anti-America. Or as many MAGA like to affectionately call them ‘Libtard Demonrats‘, who work for Satan and their favourite hobby is killing babies.

“The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening – Nobody is in control.” – Alan Moore

So, I decided to look at the conspiracy theories that engulf the imagination of so many American people.

To put it simply, a ‘conspiracy theory‘ is an explanation for an event born from paranoia, and is usually involving a motivation, or agenda from political and social groups, ie: the ‘Illuminati‘, ‘Freemasons‘ or the ‘Cabal‘. A conspiracy theory is often founded on faith, or suspicion, rather than based on facts, and spread like wildfire across social media, be it blogs, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. A conspiracy theory is seldom positive, and is often a sinister explanation for something that either can’t be explained, or the agreed explanation is an ill-created plot to purposefully deceive. Common conspiracy theories include the ‘9/11 attacks‘, ‘COVID19‘, the ‘Kennedy assassination‘, ‘Chemtrails‘, ‘Flat Earth‘, the ‘Moon landings‘ or ‘climate change‘, and are often accusations of secret, hidden powers seeking world domination, or political advantage.

“Why do we love the idea that people might be secretly working together to control and organise the world? Because we don’t like to face the fact that our world runs on a combination of chaos, incompetence and confusion.” – Jonathan Cainer

Don’t get me wrong. It would be downright ignorant, naive and foolish to imagine a world where no political party, organisation or corporation was seeking ultimate control and power. The world is full of corruption and greed, where the majority of powerful people have become powerful by being ruthless, but how many of the so-called conspiracy theories actually have genuine merit? I’m a natural sceptic so I’m not easily drawn into conspiracies unless I genuinely think there may be some truth behind it, but one topic I’ve studied extensively is the Flat Earth theory, as I originally created by Twitter account in an attempt to educate and reform the misinformed.

Flat Earth

During my encounters with Flat Earth conspiracists I concluded that there were two main types that sometimes over lapped. There was the one who believed in primitive religious scripture, where many early civilisations, especially early Greece and Mesopotamia, who thought that the Earth was a disc, in a geocentric universe. Geocentric is where the Earth is at the centre of the universe and everything rotates around it. Some civilisations like the early Israelites believed the Earth to be encased with heavenly bodies like stars and the Moon within its firmament. Pythagoras in the 6th century BCE was the first to question to idea of a Flat Earth, and maintained that we in fact lived in a heliocentric universe and the Earth was indeed spherical. As you’d expect, this was met with much scepticism, and even up to the 16th century when ‪’Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaulti de Galilei‘‬ dared to go against the Catholic Church, he was charged with heresy and put under house arrest.

The second type of Flat Earth conspiracist is what you’d expect from someone who’s watched too many episodes of the ‘XFiles‘, and thinks world leaders meet up once a month in a dark, smoky room, drinking expensive scotch and discuss deceit and world domination. They tend to think that space doesn’t exist, and all of the world’s space administrations are fake, with the astronauts being actors. With space being fake, then the moon landing and America’s space shuttle missions obviously didn’t happen. The list of suspicions is literally endless as they are attempting to go deep down a rabbit hole that never existed.

One of the most common phrases that gets thrown around is ‘hidden in plain sight‘, and this usually refers to organisations that allegedly use a azimuthal equidistant projection of the world map, especially the ‘United Nations‘, and theorists believe this to be an admission of guilt. Little do they comprehend that an azimuthal equidistant projection is a map who’s points are at a proportionately correct distance from the centre, and is traditionally used in a war room to plan strategies. The Earth is proven to be an oblate spheroid, but many Flat Earth theorists think its one huge cover up to either hide God from mankind, or to hide something much more sinister. They believe that Newton’s ‘laws of motion‘, and Einstein’s ‘theory of relativity‘ as no more than mere pseudoscience and an elaborate hoax at humanity’s expense.

September 11 attacks

In 2001, the ‘New York World Trade Center‘ was ruthlessly attacked by ‘AlQaeda‘ as people were beginning their working day. Four passenger jets were hijacked by 19 terrorists, in which two of them were flown directly into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center which were located in Manhattan. A third passenger jet was flown into the Pentagon in Virginia, and the fourth was en-route to Washington D.C, but the terrorists were overpowered and the jet crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It’s currently the most catastrophic terrorist attack in history, claiming the lives of 3000 people, injuring thousands more, and caused billions of dollars worth of damage to surrounding infrastructure which had an immediate effect on the world wide economy.

Initially Al-Qaeda, and its leader, ‘Osama Bin Ladin‘ denied any involvement, but in 2004 he revealed that he was after all responsible for the attacks, and it was a direct result of America’s involvement and interference in the Middle East. This is when America announced its ‘war on terror‘ and invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban‘s presence. Despite Bin Ladin’s admission of guilt, many theorists are adamant that the American government had a hand in it, or was solely responsible. Is there any truth to this even though there were thousands of witnesses to the planes flying directly into the buildings, and much of it caught on film?

Many theorists claim it was controlled explosions that brought down the towers, or ballistic missiles, and the reasoning is to justify the impending war on terror and the insurgence of ISIL and ISIS, which was an excuse to enter the area and profit from oil. Specialists that have studied the collapse of the twin towers claim that undoubtedly the aircraft’s impact would bring down the buildings, but without additional assistance it wouldn’t have happened so swiftly. They also claim that the heat generated from an exploding aircraft was insufficient to melt steel sufficiently to bring down such solid structures. Surely this is just clutching at straws if the perpetrators admitted their guilt?

The Holocaust

During World War II, the Third Reich, under the leadership of the Führer, Adolf Hitler, systematically executed, tortured, starved and completely disregarded the human rights of the Jewish and ethnic minorities in Nazi controlled Germany, and surrounding states. Hitler’s aim was to destroy the untermensch (sub humans), and promote racial purity with the Aryan master race, and to continue what he believed to be God’s work. With this mind set he rounded up Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and anyone who dared to oppose him and shipped to neighbouring Poland where they were forced into concentration camps where their fate was so often uncertain. As the German forces spread around Europe, mobile killing units known as Einsatzgruppen were created, and during the invasion of the ‘Soviet Union‘, they mass murdered up to 500,000 Soviet Jews. Near Krakow, Auschwitz, the infamous killing camp, Nazis were experimenting with mass execution methods. They concluded that the easiest and cheapest way was to use the gas ZyklonB and this meant the building of extra camps to speed up the executions.

Despite all of this being recorded by Nazi officials, and eyewitness survivors, and allied forces capturing the camps, many still claim that the Holocaust was a hoax and no more than Jewish propaganda. This is where the separate theory that the world’s media was, and still is under Jewish control, and the Nazis never actually committed genocide, and the camps were built post-war. Many deniers wish to rehabilitate the Nazi regime, and the promote antisemitic agenda, in further attempts to cause the downfall of the Jews.

The Moon Landing

This is perhaps the most commonly discussed of all conspiracy theories, and we’ve all heard that it was staged in a studio, despite thousands and thousands of loyal NASA scientists strenuously working to put six crewed missions into space and to walk on the Moon. More than 40 years has passed since Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin walked for 3 hours on the surface of the Moon, collecting rock samples whilst Michael Collins remained on Apollo 11 orbiting the Moon and taking photographs.

In 1980 the Flat Earth society publicly condemned NASA, and accused them of purposeful deceit in creating a fake Moon landing that was sponsored by Walt Disney and directed by Stanley Kubrick. They attacked at a time when there was a high level of mistrust towards the American Government amid the Cold War, and many doubters claim that it was a hoax to literally better the Soviets in the space race as they were the first to send a cosmonaut into space, Yuri Gagarin.

Considering that this happened during the peak of the Cold War, and both America and the Soviet Union’s tensions were high, not once did the Soviet’s space program cry foul play, just like America never cried foul play when Gagarin was the first man in space. The Soviet Union had a more than sufficient intelligence network, and were competing to become the first nation to put humans on the Moon, but their missions had failed, so they had more than enough incentive to disregard America’s mission – but they didn’t.

There’s also the physical evidence that there’s been human activity on the Moon. During several of the Apollo missions and a mission by the Soviet Union in 1970 and 1973 entitled Lunokhod, retroreflectors‘ were positioned so that lasers in observatories could be fired at them to calculate exact distances that the Moon was from the Earth. Add to that photographic evidence of tyre tracks and flags that are still visible to this day, there can be no dispute that the Moon landings happened.

New World Order

The ‘New World Order‘ is as far fetched a conspiracy theory as it gets, and focuses on a clandestine world super power that controls the media, world governments and world economies, and consists of the world’s elite Cabal pushing for eventual world domination. Conspiracists maintain that the Illuminati (‘enlightened‘) position their agents in high ranking government positions to dictate political movements, and several presidents of the United States of America have been subjected to scrutiny.

The Illuminati did exist, and were a Bavarian group that operated 250 years ago, and were a secularist organisation that believed in enlightenment ideology. They were essentially a revolutionary group that opposed monarch and theocratic rule, who operated in complete secrecy. Whilst their ideology became influential, their existence was short lived, but their reputation clearly lives on, and conspiracy theories about their continued existence are rife amongst the paranoia. The only real thing that exists about the Illuminati is legend, and anytime a significant event happens, people in basements claim that the New World Order are responsible!

The Atheism Compendium

I’ve felt that I needed to compile several of my articles on ‘atheism‘ into one 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.

Atheism: the idiot’s guide

‘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.

It’s 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 one God 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 a God’.

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’ isNot 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‘.

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

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, it’s mocking atheism as it’s suggesting that everyone 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.

The so-called atheists

I don’t accept the existence of God, and at almost 46 years 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.

Below is a brief description of what agnosticism is taken from my article, Are we all agnostic?

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.

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. As an atheist I find this incredibly disturbing, especially as a vegetarian who fosters and re-homes dogs. I value them and consider them just as important as me, and I’d put them before my own well-being every time.

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 constantly 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!

Does atheism lead to narcissism?

It seems to be a current trend by people who are unable to think for themselves, that atheism leads 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,” – 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.

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.

What’s new about new atheism?

Why can’t people accept definitions without having to create new ones? An atheist is without God, and many of them are actually opposed to theism, and the doctrines and dogma surrounding it. This is anti-theism, so why do we need the ridiculous ‘new atheism’, or ‘militant atheism’, or ‘fundamentalist atheism’?

We’ve all heard about the ‘four horsemen’ of new atheism. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. They are all published authors, and are particularly vocal about their opinions, but is this not just a sign of the times, with social media and the internet being able to spread word around easier? They all share the opinion that there is no supernatural or divinity, and that morality is secular, and a social necessity, and belief in Gods is irrational. I fail to see what’s new about that.

One of the things that really makes my skin crawl is when theologians, and theists claim that new atheism is evangelical.

‘In Christianity, evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching (ministry) of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.’ – Wikipedia

Evangelicalism comes from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, and is heavily linked to the four evangelists, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, and literally means gospel. Evangelism is essentially warning people of sin, and its consequences. So what exactly has that got to do with atheism?

Everything that ‘new atheists’ stand for is what atheists throughout history have stood for. They are against indoctrination, or forced belief onto children, or the vulnerable. They claim that faith is blind obedience without any proof, and is unjustifiable. They also claim that due to the lack of reasonable, logical, and rational evidence, then obviously there’s a severe element of delusion, and that perhaps theists only believe in the belief of God. They think that every society should be secular, and that religious devotion is primitive, unreliable, and belongs in the dark ages, not modern society.

New atheists tend to rely on evidence based science to back of their arguments about theism lacking any genuine foundation, other than the Bible and speculation. This is just atheism. There is absolutely nothing new about it. They’ve just thought about it more than your average non-believer.

Atheism doesn’t have all the answers.

Perhaps the reason for this is atheism involves just one, single, sole, individual, solitary thing. It’s the opposite reaction to theism.

• It’s not a claim.

• It’s not a world view.

• It’s not an answer to the beginning of life.

• It’s not an answer to the beginning of the universe.

• It’s not an answer as to life’s purpose or meaning.

• It’s not an explanation for what happens when we die.

I’m tired of people preaching on social media that atheism is idiotic, it has no basis, it has no answers, or it gives life no meaning. Atheism can’t answer any of these questions, and it was never supposed to.

As I’ve already explained in my Atheism: The idiot’s guide blog entry, atheism addresses just one thing. An atheist is without God. How and why a person had reached that conclusion is irrelevant to what atheism means.

Why don’t people understand this?

Because someone conveniently put answer into the Bible, doesn’t mean for one second that they are the correct answers. If you look at the book of Genesis it doesn’t exactly go into any scientific detail as to how God allegedly put life on Earth.

Genesis ‘‘And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

Where is the evidence there?

He did it, and saw that it was good. Is that it?

That’s as much depth as a puddle in answering how he created life?

Is there any wonder atheists turn to science to try and get the answers? We don’t want to know why God created the Heavens, we want to know how. This is why astrophysicists are studying the universe, why anthropologists are studying humans, biologists and zoologists are studying animals, geologists are studying the Earth, and why palaeontologists are studying past life. They will keep on searching, discovering and researching until they have answers that are beyond questioning.

Religion claims to have all of the answers, but I personally find it a very lazy and convenient approach. There’s no research or conflicting theories like there is with science. There’s God’s word and theists are taught to accept without question. This is something that atheists simply cannot do. Faith will always fear facts, and that’s why theists fear atheists.

Is atheism a worldview?

We’ve all encountered someone on social media that suggest that 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. My wife is an atheist, but if she hadn’t been it still wouldn’t have changed anything. Whereas it’s very rare for a theist to want to date an atheist never mind marry one.

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?

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 atheism the default position?

For some reason, this is a subject that I’ve noticed appear quite frequently on Twitter, and many argue that Atheism is the default position, and that it takes indoctrination into a faith to turn someone into a theist. When a baby is born, it has no concept about the world around it. It’s essentially an empty vessel that’s ready to be supplied with information so it can begin to understand the world around it.

How can a baby be an atheist? To reject the existence of something, or lack belief, you must first understand the subject. Does a baby understand the religion of Judaism, and the God, Yahweh, or Islam and the God, Allah? Of course it doesn’t, as it doesn’t have the mental capacity.

You can’t have a Muslim baby, you can only have a baby who has Muslim parents. The child will grow up learning about the parents’ beliefs and cultures, and when it reaches adulthood it will either go its own way, or stick to what they have learned from their parents.

Only once a person reaches adulthood, and they understand both sides can they make a decision. It’s like saying a baby can be born a racist. How is this possible if the baby has no concept of race, or be homophobic if it’s has no concept of sexuality, or misogynist, if it has no concept of sex?

When someone says that a baby doesn’t believe in God, it can’t be disputed as they don’t, but they also don’t have a political conviction either. If a baby was allowed to vote, how could they come to a logical conclusion about who’s the better candidate, when they don’t understand the political climate they live in? There is no default position, and it’s ludicrous for anyone to claim that there is.