Monday, May 19, 2008

A thought on atheism

I've mentioned before how many people at FSTDT assert, in insulting atheism and blaming it for basically everything, that atheism is a religion. My answer last time was, "So what if it is?"

I'm pretty well convinced that atheism is a religion, to the same extent that Confucianism - another non-theistic set of practices - is considered religion. In fact there are quite a few 'godless' religions, some of which don't even have a transcendent force involved. You could even argue that the hardcore fans of Classical Greek philosophies which rejected the gods and laid out the order of the world via logic were religions. I think all of these are religions.

Now it's obvious that the people at FSTDT hate atheists. They see atheism as a contagious and dangerous religion, which it is to them and their worldview. Since this is so, they might want to stop calling it a religion before someone in government notices.

Why? Because atheism is assumed to be non-religion, the government doesn't have to worry about calls for religious freedom when it interferes with atheist business. For example, at government functions that start with an invocation, the speaker will often make reference to 'god.' Now the point is that if atheism is recognized as a religion, then basically any invocation of God in a pledge, on US currency, in any speech, etcetera etcetera is the very obvious preferencing of one religion (probably Christianity) over another (atheism). This is not acceptable, and not allowed under the constitution any more than a public proclamation about the correct method of baptizing a new convert.

However, I'm willing to let this issue alone. Most atheists don't think their belief is a religion, and wouldn't dream of pushing for religious freedom on that basis. In fact, the only ones agitating for atheism to be called a religion are highly Christian christianists (they want the state to promote their faith more). What they don't realize is that if they succeed, atheists will have more rights and the references to God and faith in every single area that they've worked for will come under intense scrutiny to make sure it doesn't preference other faiths over atheism. If they succeed, it might be the greatest failure of the christianist movement since the Scopes trial.

No comments: