- Religion and Philosophy
Militant Atheism: Taking Facts to a War Against Fantasy
Nobody ever expressed my ideas quite as well as Mr. Hitchens. It is often a daily struggle for me, and i'm sure it is for my fellow atheists as well. Do I hold my tongue and ignore the stupidity around me, or do I lash out at it? Oftentimes when I express my atheistic viewpoint I am met with some form of criticism or another from a religious persom from one corner or another. Likely because the very idea of atheism is abrasive toward the idea of spirituality and God.
Growing up free to choose what I wanted to believe, there was never a time somebody wasn't disturbed by my lack of faith, and surely some wanted to force-choke me across the room to demonstrate just how "wrong" I was.
As an atheist you live a life of almost always being the odd one out in a room full of people. One wrong word and you'd be better off setting yourself ablaze. It can be rage inducing from this world view to have your logic based, scientifically substantiated stance frowned upon by the general population. It makes you think "What is wrong with these people? Why don't they get it?"
So why is it that reacting in frustration, aggressively toward the dismissal of evidence based thinking considered to be militant and bad? In my opinion it is not anything comparable to the ways of theists. "Militant atheist" may as well be replaced with the title "aggressive realist." Our position is not one that holds the burden of proof, we are literally frustrated with the lack of critical thinking from our fellow theistic humans. We literally have nothing to prove to them, but they still have EVERYTHING to prove to us.
When we go back and we look at the way all faiths treat each other in the grand scheme of things, I feel a sense of relief that im on this side of the fence. At the same time, it's rather ridiculous to think that the worst thing I've ever done to a theist is tell them they are wrong (perhaps with some colorful language attached.) Thats all. That is the extent of what I've done, yet in their eyes, because of the way I believe, I am meant to burn in a lake of Fire for all eternity after my passing. And I DESERVE it. That's why I don't think there is even a shred of shame in arguing and even aggressively shaming religious bigots.
Fighting for what you believe in is always something people of religion often pat each other on the back for. The moment someone fights for a contradictory position, they play the victims of some weird form of persecution. I'm going to hell in every possible religion, and in some places in the world my fellow atheists are beheaded for what they DON'T believe.
TL;DR: Telling you that your worldview isn't substantiated is not a crime. Aggressively criticizing unreason is not a bad thing. Reprimanding the push of harmful ideologies into federal institutions is not persecution. There is no shame in combating stupidity. This is Roy, patting all of the warriors of reason on the back. Keep fighting the good fight.