The Condemnation of Religion by Atheists
I'd like to start by saying that I am an atheist, however, that does not mean that I am against the concept of religion - I simply do not believe that there is a God in any form. Personally, I have many reasons as to why I don't believe in God, but that is certainly not what this hub is about.
Anyone who has visited any website, forum or discussion board on the internet that is based around religion will most probably have encountered some form of hateful post condemning people for their religious beliefs. Unfortunately such people do exist, and yet again the actions of a few have reflected badly on the majority; as with almost every religious group, atheism too has its extremists and occasionally they too commit violent acts (albeit a miniscule number and on a very rare basis), although, it would seem that atheists are far more vocal about it over the internet.
Why do they do it?
The reason why this select group of outspoken atheists is so vocal about what they think is indeed a tricky question. Some are just of an argumentative nature, some are perfectly normal people who happen to disbelieve in God and try to start a civilised discussion on religion only to have someone misinterpret their intentions and launch a counter argument that enthuses the former to reply in a slightly more hostile way. This being said, many can simply not take the fact that people are convinced of what they believe to be completely incorrect, and feel the need to disprove them.
On the flip side it could be claimed that, in the same way
an atheist saying the god doesn't exist is contrary to what theists believe,
theists saying there is a god is contrary to what atheists believe and could be
considered equally offensive. This is, however, a very flawed logic - on the
surface it seems plausible, but in reality when a theist attempts to persuade an
atheist to believe in god, generally they - confident in the existence of a god
- are making a genuine attempt to do something they think would improve that
person's life and help them get to heaven, Nirvana, Shangdi, Paradise etc. or simply to lead a more meaningful and enjoyable life. On
the other hand, atheists merely try to dissuade theists from believing in what
often forms a substantial part of their life while not offering any form of self improvement as a result of this conversion. That is not to say that some theists don't attempt to forcefully convert people despite a clear disbelief in God - for they do, and it too is also a common cause of religious debate and can incite hostilities.
Another large cause of arguments over religion, and what is often the foundation upon which ideas such as the abolishment of religion are based, is the damage that it has caused to society. It is an undeniable fact that many wars have been started under the pretence of defending one's religion and countless numbers have died as a result of it. Throughout history, from the persecution of Christians by the Romans to the current actions of Al-Qaeda, this has been the case and it is unlikely to change any time soon. However, while this may be the case, mankind itself is, by nature, a violent species and war has and will continue to feature in our history.
Religion is, contrary to popular belief amongst atheists, not always the actual reason behind many wars fought in its name - it is instead used as more of an excuse. The crusades, for instance, were supposedly conducted to reclaim Christian control over the Holy Lands. What few take into consideration is that nations back then were controlled by their religious leaders - the Christian ones by the Vatican. And so, by creating 'soldiers of the church', what was actually happening was that the Vatican was seeking to extend its sphere of influence in the world - and what better way to do it than in the name of God? (Note: this is not to say that religion didn't come into the reasons behind them at all.)
Without religion wars would continue, terrorism would continue, and suffering would continue. Religion offers hope and meaning to millions of people's lives; religious texts have laid out a set of morals and examples which have been ingrained inside each and every country and culture's history - and were used to create the fundamental laws and constitutions under which we all live. There is no telling what form of anarchy people might turn to without religion as sometimes it provides the restraint that they themselves could not.
Whether you like it or not, religion is a part of modern society - its destruction could only be detrimental.
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