By Francis Nye
Just a few days ago I was on one of my favorite atheist fan pages on Facebook. Someone posted this question:
“I would like to post something. SOO CAN I HAVE ALL ATHIESTS AND THIESTS ATTENTION?! Ok athiests quite oftenly ask thiests to prove that there belief about religion is correct. Am i Right? Well now I ask: Athiests can you prove your belief towards religion/s is correct? Thank you.”
Other then this person's woeful deficient spelling skills, gross grammatical errors and their need to butcher the English language in ways that are utterly barbaric they asked an interesting question; Can a person that is an atheist prove that their belief towards religion is a correct?
Although I do not speak for all atheists, I am sure that most would agree that they would not use the word “belief” in describing how they feel towards religion. This “belief” is more of an “attitude” that atheists share towards religion in general. This whole line of questioning really boils down to this statement;
Can an atheist prove that God does not exist and therefore proving that their attitude is indeed correct towards religion? The answer is, since no one can prove a negative, in this case proving that God does not exist the question itself is not a valid question in any sense.
However, an atheist can provide evidence and therefore justification in their attitude that religion in of itself is oppressive, cruel and dangerous. Even if one could prove that God did, or conversely did not exist, one can prove that the top two major world religions, Christianity and Islam alone have killed, murdered, and butchered millions all in the name of their religion. And that their modus operandi is to set up an “us verse them dynamic.”
One example of this us verse them dynamic is the hatred that has been directed at homosexuals that is without precedent. Also religion has become very patriarchal in nature. Excluding women from key roles in the practice of the faith and making them subservient to men in general. Some religions like Islam for example view woman as nothing more than chattel and therefore without rights.
Yet surprisingly millions still rally to the call of religion. They themselves have become a sort of 21st century holy warrior crusading to keep these us vs. them dynamics alive. These holy warriors of sorts have poured millions of dollars into their churches and political campaigns with a common goal of recruiting or converting the masses to their particular brand of hate and hypocrisy.
There is no room for rational or logical thinking in the world of religion either. Religion cannot be questioned in its version of historical events. Religion refuses to embrace science even though science has time and time again shown it to be right though evidence and observation. Religion is like a leash that is not only holding our species back in advancing but consistently strives to drag mankind kicking and screaming back to the Dark Ages when religion reigned unopposed by logic or reason.
Religion thwarts all efforts of humankind from living a free and happy existence. Everything that brings pleasure and enjoyment is considered to be a construct of evil even when done in moderation. Never mind that their holy books are silent on many of these restrictions that are imposed by the religion itself.
While I am on the subject of holy books; there is the belief that their holy books are pure and infallible. Never mind that the Bible and Qur’an are riddled with errors, inconsistency and pseudo-science.
Religion is the opposite of liberty. Religion is devoid of true compassion and understanding. It is rigid and unbending to the point of absurdity. It is a heinous ideology that promises ever lasting life with a vengeful selfish god that no one can prove exists. Yet this question that was posed above wants to lay the burden of proof at the feet of the atheists. And if atheist cannot prove the nonexistence of an imagery being then they are labeled immoral and homicidal. Never mind that people who talk to invisible people are delusional.
These labels are unjustly branded upon atheist in general. The sole purpose of these labels is to again create those us vs. them dynamics thus dehumanizing atheists. Once dehumanized then they can be dispatched in whatever means fancy the religious. Us verse them dynamics are very powerful weapons in the arsenal of hate. History is replant with such examples. One that comes to mind is how Nazi Germany persecuted the Jews and the atheists with equal vigor causing million of unnecessary deaths.
Just last week I had the opportunity to see this us vs. them dynamic in action. It was targeted at atheists in debate over the issue of the 9-11 Memorial at Ground Zero. Many Christians called for the death of atheists over the lawsuit filed by atheist regarding the proposed cross at the 9-11 site. Christ who was a man that espoused peace and love for his fellow man was ignored yet again. His words of compassion and understanding fell on deft ears over this issue as his followers of mercy said things like:
“Nail them [atheist] to that cross then display it.”
“I think we should hang the leader of that group [the atheists] on the cross with nails through their hands and feet, place a crown of thorns upon their head, RAM a spear through their side all after being whipped and beaten publicly! Just so they can endure what Christ did so they understand the sacrifice behind what that cross symbolizes”
“Stupid atheists. I hope God kills them all.”
This kind hate speech went on and on for pages and pages. All this hate while they contended that the cross at the 9-11 site was not a religious symbol and therefore did not cross the constitutional line between separation of church and state. To that I say, liar, liar pants on fire.
What is really amazing about religion is the lack of ownership for one’s belief. When called on the carpet to answer that kind of hate speech every person I have ever spoken to says, “I am not like that. I would never say or do anything like that. It’s not me but just a few bad apples in our faith.” This is laughable. Religion would not be capable of murder and oppression on such a massive scale if it did not involve a super-majority of followers to either be actively involved or complicit in these actions. Even if one is silent one is condoning these actions through inaction. In other words if you find out that your organization has been killing and oppressing for thousands of years and you still retain your membership and loyalty to them without fighting for change then you are in fact giving your blessing to their actions. It is not just a few bad apples. It is nearly all. Just before the civil war only the upper class of the South owned slaves but yet the entire South was complicit in the bondage of the nego. They believed whole heartedly that slavery was just and correct. In fact the Southern society of the mid-19th Century went as far as to say that it was their God-given-right to own a person of color. That the African was not even a person. Again the, us verse them dynamic used to dehumanize a segment of the population and thus oppress it. It wasn’t until the South left the union and North forced the issue did slaver end in the
and only then after a terrible cost in human life and suffering. United States
It is not a question of atheist needing to prove that their attitude is correct. It is a question that the religious need to prove that their faith in their religion is justifiable. They should prove that their religion is a force for good. So far all I can see is all the sadness it brings.