Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fake Atheists

A real atheist cannot help but be skeptical about everything. I was raised in a Presbyterian church which is a nationally organized but moderate sect of Christianity that is abnormally tolerant relative to predominant Christianity. Church just didn't get under my skin. My parents attended church more for social appearances than anything else.

I can't remember how I reacted when I found out Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were not real. The Santa issue probably was the turning point when I decided to focus my attention on other claims than merely whether-or-not someone existed or if magic was real. I wanted to know how truthful people were generally.

Recently some individuals expressed annoyance at my insistence that atheism is more than just not believing in a god. I think it's important that everyone who claims to be an atheist thinks about everything in their lives that was created, either directly as a result of religious influence, or inspired by the notion of supernatural intervention.

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Illinois. There I learned much about cultural influence, social engineering, marketing, public relations, propaganda, psychology and behavioral conditioning.

Religion has infused itself into every culture over so many generations that we have been conditioned to take many things for granted, such as leaders who claim divine justification for activities like Manifest Destiny, imperialism and the Crusades, activities that were rationalized as efforts to "save the savages by conversion to Christianity," or to take property divinely entitled in scripture. This is the tip of a very bloody iceberg.

Religion is responsible for more deaths in the world than any other cause behind which people organized. We behave in our daily lives in ways that really don't make sense if you think about it, but we do them automatically. I still cannot identify most of them, but I do know that Groupthink, organizational hierarchy and marriage are just a few parts of society that have been manipulated by religion in one way or another. I'm sure there are many atheists out there who can identify even more and please add comments of you can.

Now the fake atheists which are really no better than the Unitarian Universalists I covered in a previous post. 

Atheism is defined in a revered document created in our culture as simply not believing in a deity. If you want to follow the literal meaning in that document and ignore all the baggage that came along with generations of belief, then maybe you really shouldn't consider yourself an atheist.

The revered document that so finitely defines the word "atheism" also contains thousands of definitions for words that have nothing to do with reality. I also  find it strange that people say they can be atheists and not be skeptics. You cannot have one without the other. Atheism and skepticism are not optionally exclusive. These statements raise a red warning flag that agents provocateurs from religious-based organizations are suppressing the exercise of free inquiry by claiming that your lives are just fine and all you need to do is not believe in a deity.

Really? Arguing that atheism is nothing more than not believing in a god sounds like something a creationist would say.

No comments: