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When Atheism becomes the majority view

Updated on January 6, 2015

Eventually it will

Obviously, the popular view, at least in America, is in the Christian mythology that is associated with the belief in the illogical supernatural. The non-religious group has been growing for some time, and I believe that eventually, the majority of people will hold the view that more closely relates to atheism.

I have no idea when it will happen. Probably not for a while, but with the way ideas are spread quickly and effectively through the web and technology, it could happen faster than I would think. Ideas develop and spread much faster today then at any other point in history. But America tends to move slower than most other countries, so it will most likely take much, much longer than it should.

So, for me, the question is much more less about "if" but about when atheism will be the dominating world view in the U.S.

The world as we will know it

I think there could be positive changes associated with the decrease of people who hold the views of a current mythology, but I don't believe the effects will be as far reaching as I would like them to be. After all, the rejection of a god or gods says nothing about someone's world views, but simply says they have accepted the fact of their existence. That it is finite and not externally controlled by an illogical being of any sort.

The government and the policies associated with it will hopefully improve by the time that atheism "takes over," but it won't be as a result of atheism becoming the prominent viewpoint, but merely a different progression that societies go through in order to get to the best possible system of living out their singular lives.

The changes

I think most of you can probably imagine the positive changes that would be a result of the movement. I'm sure I won't be able to think of them all, but a few do come to mind.

Evangelists will lose what power hey haven currently. No longer will they have a societal influence they are able to have in today's society. They will be looked upon how we look at anyone that is involved heavily in some weird cult. Because they really are just bizarre.

Christian evangelists in particular are some of the most bizarre religious people. They share more in common with fundamental Islamic people, but will be aghast if the accurate comparison is brought up. They claim to be so in-tune with their holy book, but only selectively follow they parts they like and ignore the rest.

But that's what will be cool when the non-religious are in the majority. The vast majority of people will hold my views or ones that are similar to it. At the very least they will ignore these people and at the very most they will look at them like they are crazy.

There will be less churches. Less money will be given to the church as a result. More money in people's pocket means that money can go towards things that actually benefit themselves, their families, and society as a whole. All that extra money that is paid to the church can be used to by books, feed the poor, pay for an education, or to survive.

Smaller communities will be able to stimulate their economies to grow and improve instead of letting the churches put a damper on the type of society and economy that could be possible.

History education will be more complete

When current religions are put on the same level as past ones, they can be integrated into various history classes, which will help them to be more complete than they already are. When the majority of people currently still believing in a myth, it's hard to study that myth as one because people get offended.

And if there's one thing people can't stand, it's being offended by anything ever. But once the modern day religions are in the forefront of people's mind, people won't be getting offended when the historical influence of various myths is discussed. And these religions can be talked about on the same level as Roman or Greek religions, since they are both equally true, completely false.

They are a lot of past and current things that are caused by various religions. Examining these in a classroom will allow students to get a fully complete understanding of history. Religion has played a big part in many different parts of history past and current. it's important for students to understand the effects of religion, so they have a full understanding of history.

Pete Stark-the first open atheist in congress
Pete Stark-the first open atheist in congress

Non-religious in government

Right now, it would be nearly impossible for someone that isn't religious to be elected to the Senate or to the House. I think eventually that will change. And it won't just be a person who is a former member and says they are not religious once they leave office, but someone that is non-religious throughout the process.

When it eventually happens, i believe that it can only help the promotion of typical secular ideals.

I hope that eventually it will become a regular occurrence for atheists or non-religious people to be elected to congress. But even more than that, I hope that it will eventually be a regular occurrence that people's religion is a non-issue either way in the elections of people.

Since the U.S. has, in theory, has a secular government, people's personal religious or non-religious views shouldn't be on anyone's platform to their election.

Better social policies

The vast majority of people that are against equality for various groups of people tend to be religious. If most people rejected religion, they would be more likely to support things that are traditionally only fought by people who use an ancient book to mask they non-accepting views of other groups of people.

I also believe that people will be much more open to allowing people to be more free to do what they want with their bodies in regards to what substances they put into it. So things like marijuana will be universally accepted and legalized. Maybe other traditionally frowned upon drugs will also be legalized, similar to how some European countries treat drugs, but America tends to lag behind in a lot of areas.

So that could take much longer. Maybe even longer for the non-religious to become the majority.

There was an interesting poll that was carried out by the Washington Post about torture that showed the non-religious were more against torture than the religious were. It's kind of scary that people can support such horrible things.

Washington Post Poll

And there is a poll from 2009 that also shows this divide on torture between the religious and non-religious.

Pew Forum Poll

A more open society

When I tell people I'm an atheist, a lot of people are surprised when I tell them I am. There are people that I won't tell and will hide my atheism from. So I can't be open and myself around some people, and I hate that aspect of society.

I'm not someone that is obsessed with talking about religion. I don't care when someone says "bless you." Or mentions "god" in some way. Those kinds of things don't bother me. I'm not someone that has to point out every time someone brings about anything religious.

When most people are atheists or non-religious, conversations about religion will be more easily and openly had. Instead of people trying to defend religions at all costs, people would be more open to talking about the effects that religions have. And to talk about what's wrong with religions and what's more wrong with certain ones.

People like Sam Harris would be able to criticize Islam and what the most extreme of what it does and not be called racists or Islam-phobic because people would be able to recognize facts when they see them and not be blind to objective realities.

Your thoughts

When do you think being non-religious will be the majority view in the U.S.? When do you think an openly non-religious person will be elected to the House or the Senate?

Leave you opinion below in the comments.

And, as always, thanks for reading.


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    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oz,

      Anyone who is of sound mind should be able to kill themselves in a humane way. But people should be screened to see if they are of sound mind. Obviously, depressed people shouldn't be allowed to kill themselves legally because they can be helped.

      But if I was suffering from a terminal disease, I would have to think really hard whether it was worth the suffering to live a little longer. I have no problem with anyone who chooses to not live in pain.

      But that is a whole new debate on a whole new topic.

      And you are bringing up the slippery slope argument. I won't comment my feelings on that particular part of Singer's argument because I'm not sure what I think exactly about it all, but I still can point out the argumentative fallacy you are attempting to use.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      the other problem is the direction this type of thought unevitably leads too: from voluntary euthanasa for elderly terminally ill then to a young person suffering from temporary depression then to involuntary killing off of slightly imperfect babies then to killing kids who are healthy but inconvenient etc

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paledin,

      I did find the discussion very interesting. While there is a lot that seemed to be wrong to me, Singer was very good at providing logic and being consistent with that logic for his view points.

      I may not agree with everything that he said, but he is extremely consistent with his viewpoints. He definitely gets you to think in a way that is unique from most people.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, there is absolutely NO mention of bestiality in Richard Dawkins' video interview of Peter Singer, so I don't know why you offered it in direct response to that particular point.

      However, it's good to see you FINALLY providing some sort of external reference -- at least with regard to OTHER points we've discussed (still, it would have been better to quote relevant passages, rather than lazily point to an entire 43-minute video).

      I'm somewhat confused as to why HubPages would remove a link from your profile. Are you sure you didn't accidentally delete it? Have you tried re-inserting it? That's just weird.

      As for the link, I watched the video interview, and I must admit, I found it somewhat troubling. I've long had a problem with Dawkins in that he often appears to take a wholly intellectual, academic approach to human issues (without comparably weighing human moral or emotional considerations), and Singer appears to be even worse in this regard.

      Singer seems to be so zealously committed to taking what he considers the "implications of Darwinism" to their extreme conclusions -- studiously removing any distinction between homo sapiens and other species -- that I suspect he's lost sight of what it means to be human.

      While I admire his desire to be resolutely consistent, and in his moral revulsion of "speciesism" (like racism, but with regard to species), I think he's lost sight of the big picture. And Dawkins seems inclined to be on the same wavelength, though he admits he's more susceptible to human social mores.

      That said, Thinker is absolutely right. What you're doing is suggesting a false equivalency. There is NOTHING about being an atheist that compels one to take a particular point of view regarding any specific topic -- aside from the definitive topic of God's existence.

      If Singer or Dawkins holds disquieting views on a couple of specific topics, that just means they're a couple of people who hold those views who HAPPEN TO BE atheists.

      That's not just some semantic equivocation. There is simply NOTHING -- no atheist 'dogma' or 'doctrine' -- to which one can link such beliefs. Such views are no more representative of atheists than they are of humanity at large.

      Implying that Singer's -- or even Dawkins' -- views on cannibalism or infanticide represents "new atheism" is no different than my suggesting that the Arizona preacher's views on killing gays represents "new Christianity."

      In fact, it's MORE dishonest! At least a reasonable argument could be made that there is some religious dogma or doctrine that directly links the preacher's repulsive views with religion. There is NO evidentiary direct link between Singer's views and atheism.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oz,

      No, you don't. That's a fallacy itself.

      Example: If mice were 10 feet tall, they would cause most of the world problems.

      I'm not assuming that 10 feet tall mice exist.

      I see no link in your hub, but a quick Google search showed their conversation.

      What are atheist ethics? I'm not aware of a universal code of atheists that all atheists hold, most likely because it doesn't exist because being an atheist says nothing of your ethics. I know of secular ethics or forms of ethics like that, but not atheist ethics.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      PS

      The Blame God Paradox: if you blame God you have to assume He exists!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      No. Religion is not necessary but atheist ethics needs to accept their own scientific Principle of Evolution and link up to ancient wisdom particularly compassion for the weak not killing off the weak.

      I have a link on my atheist hub to a very revealing chat between Singer and Dawkins.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Ive put links in Hubs before and no one bothers to follow the yellow brick links

      I also put a link on my profile but it was deleted by others

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, as for your comments regarding the supposed link between atheism and bestiality, is it safe to assume that, like all your other accusations regarding atheism, we'll never see any evidence produced?

      In the end, will it save us all time to just ignore your droning, or will you actually, FINALLY, back up some of your ridiculous claims?

      I won't hold my breath...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      Yes, yes, all very true.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thinker, this is one of the most absurd inconsistencies of religious belief -- that apologists will hold mortal men to much higher standards than they do an omnipotent and omniscient deity.

      A human philosopher condones the compassionate killing of a severely disabled baby? MURDERER! SICKO!

      A Jewish deity commands the mass killing of infants and fetuses in the womb, sexual slavery of young virgins and the destruction of entire cities? A loving God, who's the source of all morality!

      The late, great Christopher Hitchens continues to be proven right every single day -- religion DOES poison everything (especially the human brain)!

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Ozinato,

      If Dawkins supported killed of healthy children, I wouldn't support him, and nor would most atheists or people in general. But the easy truth is that the position you claim that he holds is made up by you on no basis of fact.

      You think the best alternative to secular ethics is one based on a god who created this world? Based on what, the bible? The quran? Some of other books of myths?

      What are you trying to say? That god, who created aids, gives babies diseases, created countries like Iran, and still allows all that stuff to exist? That's where we should get our morality to come from?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Their is a strong atheist group taking this to extremes and promoting the killing of children healthy or otherwise

      Its like the idea of beastiality where certain groups are promoting legal sexual rights with animals.

      This stuff has festered directly out of Singer and Dawkins theories.

      The apologists are those who deny such trends have been promoted from day one of new atheism. The cafe set should know about it..

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      More on Peter Singer: Now that I've had some time to further research his opinion regarding "infanticide," I now have a better understanding of what he means, and the actual context in which he's discussed the idea.

      When first hearing of the notion, my first impulse was to be disgusted, and to distance myself from Singer's opinion -- as any moral and ethical person would do. However, now that I have a better grasp of what Singer was actually saying, my opinion of him is more nuanced.

      What Singer is advocating isn't the wholesale or casual killing of infants. What he does support is what he considers the "humane" ending of a child who has a "serious disability," as opposed to simply withdrawing life support, which could lead to a slower death:

      "...My view is different from this, only to the extent that if a decision is taken, by the parents and doctors, that it is better that a baby should die, I believe it should be possible to carry out that decision, not only by withholding or withdrawing life-support – which can lead to the baby dying slowly from dehydration or from an infection - but also by taking active steps to end the baby’s life swiftly and humanely..."

      A larger, more comprehensive FAQ from Princeton University can be found here:

      http://www.princeton.edu/~psinger/faq.html

      As usual, when one reads the person in question's ACTUAL comments, things come out a lot differently than they are portrayed by religious apologists.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Paldn

      Adios

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, I'll be happy to offer a "comprehensive apology" to you if you'd cite a specific example of how I've "misrepresented" your words. I've repeatedly asked you for this, and thus far your only reply is that you're not going to "waste time" on it.

      If it's not worth your time, then shut up about it!

      I see you've also neglected to cite another atheist who advocates infanticide. You've managed to mention Singer and Dawkins in the same sentence a couple of times, and have suggested that the two "discussed" the matter -- being careful not to state specifically that Dawkins supported the idea.

      Did he or didn't he? And if so, please provide a link to this discussion so we can see for ourselves.

      As for whether Singer is "prominent" or "well known," the facts appear to be against you there as well, as neither I nor Thinker had ever heard of the man prior to religious apologists offering him as a strawman.

      So, let's play your game, turn the tables on you and see how you deal. To begin, I'd like to introduce a "prominent" preacher, Arizona pastor Steven Anderson (never heard of him? Sure, you're just denying it because I've "hit a nerve"), who has explained in at least one hate-filled sermon that the solution to eradicating AIDS is to kill all the gays:

      "...if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this AIDS running rampant..."

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/arizona-p...

      (see what I did there? I actually provided a link, with actual information!)

      So, Oz, would you like to offer an explanation for this "prominent" Christian preacher, or should we just assume, because you're a Christian, that you agree with him?

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oz,

      North Korea has a cult. I don't identify them as atheist because of their cult like nature of the way the view their leader.

      What odd things are happening in China as a result of atheism?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      The reason they don't like to talk about certain prominent atheists is that it hits a nerve. Also its embarrassing to their debates. It contradicts what they think is happening and hence they are in denial. Singer and his famous colleague Dawkins aside we can see odd things happening in Nth Korea and China etc as well. It is only in cafe seinfeld style urban "philosophy" where atheists have a pleasant fantasy about atheism and ignore reality. This is why HP is valuable as an educational tool

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Thunk,

      It's weird how no atheists talk about this prominent atheists.

      I spend my free time reading about these things, watching videos about this, watching debates, and in my many hours of going through all these different things, I have never heard of this man and never have heard of anyone referencing him or any of his ideas.

      So I disagree that his is prominent in any sense of the word.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      Singer lectures at major universities and has thousands of very prominent followers particularly ex students in high positions. Dawkins is his close colleague. There is a famous online discussion of the two discussing legal infanticide and other things such as the morality of eating human flesh. Singer is a very well known and influential atheist. Many atheists tend to disagree with certain things he says but are very much behind his other ideas.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Pldn

      I require a comprehensive apology from yourself and commitment from yourself re your constant bad habit of misrepresenting me.

      Otherwise your posts are becoming a classic "time waster".

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you claim that "It is very well known that prominent atheist leaders promote legal infanticide ('leaders', as in plural)," but you mention only one. If it's so "well known," who are the others?

      I've seen this Peter Singer fellow often cited by religious apologists as a "prominent atheist." Yet, before they mentioned him, I'd never heard of him. Nor, apparently, have other atheists. I had to look him up to see what all the fuss is about.

      I certainly disagree with Singer's moral equivocations regarding the killing of newborn babies. Then again, his opinion has NOTHING to do with atheism, and I challenge ANYONE to produce a commandment or proclamation from the atheist "holy book" or established atheist "dogma" that sanctions such opinions or behavior.

      --- Oh, that's right. There isn't any.

      On the other hand, I can cite PLENTY of Bible verses that sanction the killing of babies, children, women and even fetuses in the womb.

      Singer is one of those singular anomalies (like former atheist Antony Flew) that apologists apparently regularly love to cite to make a point. Yet, as the saying goes, it's the exception that proves the rule..

      If apologists wish to quote a list of supposed prominent "atheists" who hold abhorrent views or have engaged in evil behavior, we atheists could certainly match them, tit-for-tat, with evil examples of "prominent" believers (as if they're representative of the larger group) -- and with so many more examples for each ONE of theirs.

      In fact, my list would be so long you'd need to use the scroll bar...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      I see the stuff about Peter Singer. Although, I have never heard of him or seen him, I don't agree with most of what he thinks.

      I'm glad he's on his own with his views.

      I don't view him as a prominent atheist, just a guy with extreme and views that represent a very small group of people.

      .

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      It is very well known that prominent atheist leaders promote legal infanticide and yes I mean legalising murdering children. Please take a look at wiki Peter Singer a very prominent atheist professor who also promotes beastiality.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oz,

      I have never heard of any prominent atheist say anything about infanticide. I'm guessing you meant abortion, which is different,

      Abortion-is the ending of pregnancy by the removal or forcing out from the womb of a fetus or embryo before it is able to survive on its own

      Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of children under the age of 12 months according to the Infanticide Act 1938 in the UK

      I'm not aware of any prominent atheist promoting bestiality. The problem with anyone promoting that is an animal can't give consent. But anything between two consenting adults is cool with me, personally. I don't reserve any right to force people to conform to my preferences.

      It's hard for me to believe that you are against eugenics since it is a major driver of evolution. The people we are attracted to is partially due to the biological desire to create better offspring. I'm not against being attracted to people. I'm against "forced" eugenics, but that much should be obvious, since I'm pro-freedom. I don't know of any prominent atheist that promotes forced eugenics. But I have heard some like Dawkins refer to similar concepts when he is talking about the various things that drive evolution.

      I am also not aware of any atheist who promotes the idea of "ending the life of the elderly prematurely perhaps against their own will." If you're talking about the right to die argument that is ongoing, then I find it hard to go against freedom for people to choose when they die, assuming they are all there mentally.

      Maybe I'm wrong. Point me to the articles where these prominent atheists talk about the things you are claiming they promote.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      No, Oz, you have not cited a SINGLE example of a "deliberate" misrepresentation on my part. You have NOT pointed out "exact" details in this or other hubs. Ever.

      This seems to be a pattern of yours. When repeatedly asked for evidence or proof, you dance around the topic for a while, insist you've already provided it, then disappear until the next round of controversy. You've done this numerous times:

      -- when I repeatedly asked you to explain how you personally know that Gödel's ontological argument has been "proven."

      -- when I asked you for proof for your assertion that the "cult of Kim" in North Korea is an "atheist phenomenon."

      -- when I repeatedly asked you for proof for your assertion that "ethics and culture evolved out of religion."

      -- when you first accused me of personal attacks in another hub, and I asked you for specific examples.

      And now, you repeat your yet unproven accusation. But that's not the worst of it. I see that you're now embroiled in some personal dispute with another hubber on Aiden's hub.

      Oz, I believe I speak for others on HubPages when I say that we're happy to have serious, open discussions. But it seems that, every time you enter the debate, things seem to turn personal, culminating in threats and baseless personal accusations.

      I'm sincerely offering a bit of friendly advice when I suggest that you abandon the drama queen role, and cease your violation of the HubPages terms of use policy which specifically states that you may NOT--

      -- Harass, threaten or intimidate Authors or others who use the Service

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Paldn

      one only has to read your posts here and elsewhere; I repeatedly have to correct your deliberate misrepresentation which could well fall under the heading of an ongoing personal attack. Its the consistency of it that is verging on defamation. I have already pointed out exact details in this Hub and other Hubs so I am not going to waste me time repeating myself.

      STOP DOING IT.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      you start to get things happening like arguments about how its OK to practice infanticide (serious premeditated murder) for one. If that's not weird enough you also get people advocating legal beastiality. Then eugenics starts to raise its head, and ending the life of the elderly prematurely perhaps against their own will etc . The weird list is extensive.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, again -- if I've misrepresented something you've said, tell me SPECIFICALLY what it was, and at least allow me (and others) the chance to examine it for myself.

      Give me a quote, and we'll see if I've "misrepresented" it. Otherwise, stop whining, and quit threatening.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      How do you they changes laws in weird and intolerant ways?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      There are many hubs on new atheism. Its great to have free thinking but as far as important ethical and legal matters go the courts and laws need to be there. New atheists such as dawkins and singer try to change laws in a weird or intolerant way.

      Paldn

      The record shows the majority of your posts allege to tell others "what I said". Its a bad unethical habit so stop doing it.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you have repeatedly threatened to "report" me for various offenses you've imagined me committing, and frankly, it's becoming tiresome.

      First, "misrepresenting" what others say is something that inevitably happens whenever adults engage in discussions. Complaining to the managers of this site that someone "misrepresented" something you said is likely to bring more heat down on yourself than anyone else, and get you branded as a troublemaker. And I'm certainly prepared to defend myself and my reputation. But it's your prerogative.

      Second, you have yet to present any evidence that I've misrepresented any comment of yours. Ever. That said, if I HAVE done so, it's up to you to set me straight (and not just whine and threaten about it), and it's up to me to examine your complaint and determine if a correction or apology is required.

      I'm not above making corrections -- I've even done so in conversations with YOU. But if you wish to discuss or debate issues here on these hubs, please do so without resorting to threats.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      How do you define "new atheism"?

      Ironically, you seemed to mixed up atheists with extreme right wingers, especially the ones in America,. that want nothing more than to have no government.

      I'm curious to where you're getting this information because I have never heard of any "new atheist" or atheist in general want to have no government.

      I have seen many promote more equitable social and political liberty for all people, but I find it hard how you can argue that being a bad thing.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Certainly 4 and 5 cover the new atheist trend as well as under noun 1.

      If it is promoted that it is up to each individual to decide their ethics apart from law then yes that falls under the heading of anarchic.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      I have. Your definition is simply inaccurate.

      Via Dictionary.com

      anarchy

      a state of society without government or law.

      2.

      political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control:

      The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.

      Synonyms: lawlessness, disruption, turmoil.

      3.

      anarchism (def 1).

      4.

      lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination:

      the anarchy of his rebellious teenage years.

      5.

      confusion and disorder:

      anarchism

      noun

      1.

      a doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraint as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty.

      2.

      the methods or practices of anarchists, as the use of violence to undermine government.

      3.

      anarchy.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunk

      The definition of an anarchy is in fact giving each individual the right to do their own thing. See dictionary etc.

      Now the Law totally apart from religion restricts the individual. Laws evolved out of religion and are still evolving.

      Contemplating illegal acts is a very serious crime and can add many more years to a law based judgment

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Paldn

      No I said western cafe atheism is anarchic and nth korea etc were unethical.

      You always want to claim "what I said" in a misrepresentative way. It's a bad unethical habit of yours which may lead to a report very soon.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you're contradicting yourself. You suggest that "atheism leads to anarchic tendencies (sic)," then offer North Korea and China as examples -- two of the LEAST anarchic countries on the planet. In fact, North Korea is, without a doubt, the MOST tightly controlled nation in the world -- bar none.

      You must have a different definition of anarchy than then rest of us. Or perhaps your definition of "atheist" is what differs. Given the discord in your statements, one can only speculate...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Oztinato,

      Who in their right mind argues that those countries have good ethics? Nobody with half a brain.

      I hope you aren't arguing that thinking for oneself is an anarchic philosophy. That is a silly position.

      Everyone has the innate right to think for themselves and have freedom of thought. But that doesn't mean that they have the right to act upon those thoughts.

      A person is more than welcome to believe that they have the right to steal, murder, etc. But if they act upon that, they should be punished.

      Imagine if the christian religion dominated like it wants to do. That sounds like a terrible place to me. A place where freedom of though and speech is suppressed. Women don't have full rights. And where people that aren't in the "in" group will be treated like crap.

      Religion poisons everything. The more poison, the greater the effect.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunkful

      If we look at north korea or china or russia it is not the case that better ethics run society.

      Western sit com or cafe atheist style tendencies want each individual to decide on ethics which is textbook anarchic philosophy

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Ozinato,

      I don't think ethics or morality comes directly from atheism or religion itself. People choose for themselves.

      But I would argue that people who base their morality on logic and not based on a religion tend to have better ethics and morality.

      I don't believe that atheism has anarchic tendencies. I don't think it has an effect one way or the other, but I would say that there seems to be a correlation with the opposite of anarchist type society.

      The countries with the highest atheist/non-religious populations tend to have more socialized government. But I don't know the actual statistics on that, but from the various things I have read, that seems to be the tendencies with countries with higher atheist or non-religious populations

    • cjhunsinger profile image

      cjhunsinger 

      3 years ago

      Oztinato

      As a lifelong Atheist, I would agree with your observations. Atheism, of itself, says nothing and therefore is vulnerable to any message that is anti the god/s.

      Humans are pack animals and as such will coalesce to and follow an alpha personality and absent a spiritually defined deity, will define a personality or government in deity form, the deification of Man.

      There are exceptions to this and the most notable is the US Constitution.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Cath

      One of the main problems with this trend is the lack of coherent ethics in the new atheist movement. There are fifty thousand shades of grey in styles of new atheism. What's wrong with this you might say? Its that atheism leads to anarchic tendencies that have never worked in the past or present. If we are to have atheism it needs to keep the best bits of ancient wisdom otherwise you get things like seinfeld festivus: sit com ethics.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Cath

      One of the main problems with this trend is the lack of coherent ethics in the new atheist movement. There are fifty thousand shades of grey in styles of new atheism. What's wrong with this you might say? Its that atheism leads to anarchic tendencies that have never worked in the past or present. If we are to have atheism it needs to keep the best bits of ancient wisdom otherwise you get things like seinfeld festivus: sit com ethics.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Polls show the atheism is growing, Every year people choose atheist, agnostic, or none in greater and greater numbers. It will reach a tipping point. Right now many are afraid to admit that they don't believe, and some don't even know they are atheists because they have never examined their beliefs. Some say "not religious, but spiritual" when they are actually atheists. Many don't even know what atheist means.

    • Sherry Thornburg profile image

      Sherry Thornburg 

      3 years ago from Kern County California

      There are hundreds of Baptist offshoot churches because people disagree and refuse to compromise on their beliefs, no matter how great or minor those disagreements are. They still consider themselves Baptist believers, just not those Baptist believers.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunkful

      That is an interesting thought.

      If religion doesn't click with a person they can still worship their own way. Yes I like that idea.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      "No religion" doesn't necessarily mean atheist, but people who aren't religious. They could still believe in a god, but they are people who reject religion.

      Atheist population numbers are lower than the "non-religious" numbers.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Chris, I think your page may not have loaded all the way, because, near the bottom of the graph, there are, indeed, details for "Democrat," "Liberal" and "No religion" (which, I'm presuming, is supposed to be "atheist"). These are the demographics that expressed the least support for torture (thus, their place at the bottom).

      I don't know why there isn't any information for Jews or Muslims.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Paladin -

      Thank you for that link, and it was useful, but I noticed that while there were categories for "Republican," "Conservative" and even "Moderate" as well as "Independent" (often Libertarians and Republicans who don't want to declare that way) there are no headings for "Liberals" or "Progressives." And while there are breakouts for "White evangelical Protestant," "White non-evangelical Protestant" and "White Catholic," that's it. No "Jewish," no "Muslim," no "Non-white evangelical Protestant" and no "Atheist/agnostic/non-religious." So, based on this poll (which he said, "There are polls" but didn't cite one until pressed) it's still an over-generalization (at best) to say that all religious people are more tolerant of torture (without specifying what this poll exactly meant by 'torture', which was very specific.)

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Chris, I suspect Thinker linked to the wrong page on the poll. Try this more comprehensive chart (it's the last question, with the long list of key demographics):

      http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/politics/was...

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Thank you for the link. It struck me, though, that the actual question is whether the respondent considered CIA interrogation of suspected terrorists as torture, that certain religious groups (by small margins) tend to think that it isn't torture more often than they think it is, and you present that (without qualification) as an across the board tolerance of torture by all religious peoples...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Can you point me to those polls on torture? I try to google it, and I only get the general American responses, not broken out by religion. And it would have been nice if you'd not just said "torture." I thought you were talking about people being tortured, like in Darfur. I don't doubt that many people probably assumed you were talking about CIA interrogation, still if you only use the one generic word, it leaves a lot of space for interpretation.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paledin,

      That theorem makes a little more sense now. Seems like the guy is picking words to use to describe things without evidence and then using those words to make various claims.

      It would be pretty cool though if he proved the flying platypus deity to exist though.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I'm not misquoting you at all, Oz. Do I really need to copy and paste all your quotes from various hubs suggesting Gödel's theorem as proof for God?

      Thinker, the theorem in question is just another version of Anselm's ontological argument, merely changing the parameters from "one greater than what can be conceived" to a "being possessing all existing properties." It's made to seem more impressive because it's been 'translated' into mathematical language and -- in that language -- 'proven' by computers.

      But if you read the original theorem -- in English -- you find it's the same old illogical nonsense. And with even a little mathematical knowledge, you can see that even the supposed mathematical 'proof' is improperly translated.

      I finally got tired of Oz posting this on every hub in the Atheism/Agnosticism category and examined it for myself, even writing a hub about it. If you're interested, here's my analysis:

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gdels-Ont...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      aguasilver,

      Trying to equate our beliefs is a false comparison. Your claim has zero evidence. And if you believe in the christian god, then that type of being can't exists. It's a paradox. But belief in other type of deity is like comparing my belief in flying elephants to the non-existence of flying elephants. Highly unlikely.

      Oztinato,

      The theorem you are mentioned is interesting. It seems to be a fancy way of saying the god of the gaps theory. I may be reading into it wrong, but that what I got from reading about it.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Paladin

      You are misrepresenting me. No one has a right to claim "what I said".

      Godels theorem is a math proof of God in the same way any theorem proves anything. It should carry the same import as any other theorem.

      Stop misquoting

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      3 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Austin, IF your belief is right (yes you have a belief system) then neither you nor I would ever know I was wrong.

      On the other hand......

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Paladin - That sounds a lot more correct than my answer!

      Agnosticism - What one knows or doesn't know. There is a question of reality.

      Atheism/Theism - What one believes or doesn't believe. Got it. Thanks.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually -- in reply to everyone -- it could be reasonably argued that EVERYONE is an agnostic, for agnosticism is a matter of what one KNOWS (or, more accurately, is incapable of knowing). Atheism and theism are a matter of what one BELIEVES.

      Thus, one can admit to being an agnostic, and still be an atheist. Similarly, one can be a believer and still be an agnostic (though, for obvious reasons, much less likely to admit it).

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Aguaslver - Yes, we would KNOW ourselves to be atheists for our entire lives. Exactly, the same way that you KNOW your god exists. That is a ridiculous statement.

      It is believers who are agnostic and won't know until they die if their gods are real. Believers are trying to hedge their bets that a god actually exists. And they are betting on all kinds of odds that one or more gods may exist when a thinking person would never take those odds.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Chris,

      You can find polls from Gallup on the topic and from the Washington post.

      Oztinato,

      "This vague stereotype totally forgets about the billions of indigenous people whose identity and health are intimately connected to their religion."

      Just because a lot of people claim something, doesn't give it anymore validity. That's not how claims are proven or disproven.

      aguasilver,

      I'm as agnostic about a god or gods as I am about the giant Spanish speaking platypus that stands outside Wal-marts and gives life advice.

      I made a video about called "I'm a complete atheist about some things." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH164u0s5K0

      In short, the christian god is falsified by the oxymoronic nature of the deity claimed by it. So I'm a 100% atheist towards that deity and all other deities claimed to be outside time, space, all-knowing, etc.

      I'm a 99.9% atheist to the giant Spanish speaking platypus that stands outside Wal-marts and gives life advice. I'm as sure that doesn't exist as a deity currently exists. But I'm not going to give any credence to the existence of the platypus . It wasn't there last time I was Wal-mart and all signs point against it being there the next time I go.

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      3 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Exactly thunk... "I can't disprove anything that has never been proven. So, obviously, no one can't disprove that your particular god doesn't exists."

      You are an agnostic, all atheists can only be agnostics at best, and the worse thing is, IF you were right, you would NEVER know it....

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      You're a real card, Oz! ;-) You accuse me of raking over the "same old coals" we've discussed before, but I ask you -- in how many different hubs have you introduced the silly notion of Gödel's ontological theorem as proof for God? A dozen of them, at least!

      And how many times have I challenged you to demonstrate this proof, with no response from you?

      I wouldn't keep raking over old coals if you wouldn't keep starting fires! :-P

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Chris, of course you can choose not to 'believe' in the theory of gravity. It's only a theory, right? Of course, whether you choose to believe it in or not has no bearing on whether it is true.

      You can choose to believe that the Earth is only 6 - 10,000 years old, and many people do believe this. But the problem is that logic and facts tend to prove that the Earth is much older than that. So, again, what you believe is not necessarily true.

      It's perfectly ok to believe whatever you want to believe, but your behavior must reflect the current society norms or you are considered to be ignorant, uneducated and backwards. And of course, what you believe still has no bearing on what is actually true.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      thunkful, I appreciate the response. In a way, though it reinforced my point. Torture? That I would need to see and be satisfied that the study itself is not biased. But I think that while atheists may be 'more tolerant' of gays than religious people, that does not make them more tolerant and generous human beings per se. It just means that they may have less tolerance for other groups (like, say, religious people.) And evidence can be a more ephemeral standard than either you or Austinstar might care to think. And no, by that I do NOT mean that you can choose not to believe in gravity...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Peeps

      it is often the case in such discussions that the atheist side usually talks about a vague Christian religious stereotype. This vague stereotype totally forgets about the billions of indigenous people whose identity and health are intimately connected to their religion. It also forgets that religion has historically been crucially important to all culture and social evolution.

      By limiting their thoughts processes to a single vague allegedly Christian stereotype all sorts of erroneous atheist conclusions are reached.

      paladin

      as usual you are trying to rake over the same old coals we have already discussed many times elsewhere.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Austinstar,

      I agree, and I liked your explanation too. Perfectly illustrates your point.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Thunkful - I agree wholeheartedly. I was just trying to explain it to Chris, which is kind of fruitless, really. There is no way to change a person's attitude, one can only change their behavior.

      To explain that, we can see a person may have the attitude that they can safely control their car while they are speeding (because of the opinion that they hold regarding their driving ability). But when they see a cop - they automatically slow down because the speeding behavior might get them a ticket (behavior). But when the cop is out of sight, they speed up again based on their belief and attitude about being able to control their car while speeding. You just can't change this attitude.

      The person who firmly believes that he is correct about being able to control the speeding car will never change that belief.

      But their behavior can be controlled when consequences are imposed.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Chris,

      Atheists tend to be more tolerant of different groups of people(gay rights, torture, etc), based on various polls and studies that have been taken. Those studies show a correlation, not a causation. You're right to state that both groups of people can be both more tolerant and non-tolerant.

      And the studies and polls there are don't prove one group is more of one thing or another, but shows a correlation. I guess that's my bigger point. The correlation shows what I think will happen when more people are non-religious and/or atheists.

      Austinstar,

      I disagree that the existence of the christian god is an opinion, but a failed hypothesis. But I tend to hold claims about that effect the natural world or create reality to be scientific claims.

      While I agree that someone can have the opinion that goes against reality like not believing in the theory of gravity, to hold an opinion that contradicts evidence is possible, but easily dismissed as wrong.

      I don't like to mixing opinion with science, since opinion tends to suggest a subjective aspect, and I don't associate scientific opinion with subjective opinion.

      I do agree with that we need to focus on societal behavior. And that people have the ability to choose which parts of their religion to follow.

      Just like how people don't fight interracial marriages or promote slavery(generally), people can start to support women's rights or gay rights.

      I think that when the majority of people aren't religious, the process of accepting gay people and women's will happen faster and more throughout in society.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Chris, you are not wrong. Why do you think you are wrong? You simply have a different opinion.

      That's the kind of thinking we need to instill in people. Everyone's opinion is neither "right" or 'wrong", it's just an opinion.

      The theory of gravity, for instance, is a generally accepted "proven" theory that most people agree with. It's not right or wrong, it's just the way we think.

      Believing in god is not right or wrong, it's just the way we think. Beliefs are nothing more than individual opinions.

      What we need to do is focus on societal behavior. For instance, It's ok to have the opinion that abortion is "against God's will", but it's not ok to force women who believe differently to go through a pregnancy they don't want. Yes, most of us believe abortion is "wrong", but it's not up to you to enforce that belief on others.

      God is supposed to be all powerful in the minds of most religious people. So, they should let their gods take care of their own. Individuals have the right to choose or not choose their own beliefs.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      I appreciate that Paladin is trying to be fair and unbiased. But you all are missing the point I keep making. Paladin said that religion will diminish when believers examine what they believe. Austinstar says religion exists only because it is indoctrinated from birth. thunkful equates holding on to your faith with an inability to have a rational conversation. My point that I keep making, and that thunkful did NOT address in his giant response to my giant post (I went back and reread it to make sure,) is that atheists are not more tolerant (or less tolerant) than believers. Some individual atheists are, and some individual beleivers are also more tolerant than many atheists.

      It’s a failure of higher reasoning to state that something is false (absolutely and in all cases) simply because you personally can’t understand it. It’s also anti-scientific. To be fair, I have seen enough believers who open their statements with “All atheists are wrong because I can’t understand why they don’t believe like I do.” But I’ve also seen enough atheists who have said (and sometimes in so many words,) “All believers are wrong and since I can’t understand why they believe I’ve decided they’re all stupid/brainwashed/unable to think for themselves.”

      And the continued emphasis on making the conversation about the fact that I have faith to begin with only allows my actual point to not be addressed. Which only, really, reinforces it.

      I would love for you to prove me wrong. Honestly.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Good answer, Paladin. Some people cannot physically/mentally give up their notion of religion. It's indoctrinated from birth.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I wasn't going to make any more comments, as I prefer to give others a chance to weigh in, but I feel I must address something said by Jenkins.

      I don't want to sound too harsh here, but I feel it's a grave mistake to characterize religious believers as "stupid." Religious belief has nothing to do with intelligence, and I often make the point that some of the most brilliant human minds of all time were religious believers -- including arguably the most brilliant human being who ever lived, Isaac Newton.

      One can be the smartest person in the room and still believe in nonsense, as history demonstrates time and time again. It has much more to do with lifelong indoctrination, the cultural prevalence of religion and the acceptance of the religious meme, where theistic ideas are compartmentalized and set aside from critical, objective scrutiny.

      Religion and religious belief will diminish (though probably never completely die out) only when believers are brought to the point where they DO begin to honestly examine their beliefs, either through a shift in the cultural paradigm or in a gradual and progressive reduction in their ranks, one believer at a time.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Paladin

      And perhaps you're right Jenkins

    • profile image

      jenkins 

      3 years ago

      never, people will be just as dumb tomorrow as they are today. You can't have religion without stupidity, and since people in general will always be stupid, then religion will never leave. But maybe religion may loose a majority around 2050 when technology satisfies everything

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Okay, one last thing. You say that Christian evangelists disregard the stuff that was, essentially, for the Jews in ancient Israel (not for the surrounding communities.) I rather expected you to quote, you know, Jesus, not Moses. I'm not saying there is no point to be made there, but (and the churches, both Catholic and Protestant, have failed in their education here,) but the constant pointing back to the strict laws that were for Israel alone doesn't really 'prove' that evangelists, or any Christian, pick and choose what parts of the Bible they will follow.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I purchased "The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves -- And Why It Matters" by B. R. Myers, and "Under The Loving Care Of The Fatherly Leader -- North Korea And The Kim Dynasty" by Bradley K. Martin. Skimming through the summaries and reviews of a number of books, these two looked the most promising as far as gleaning some sense of the Kim personality cult.

      Unfortunately, I haven't begun to read them yet, as I'm deep into research for my next hub. Part of that requires trying to sort out the biblical book of Daniel.

      What a mess! Chronologically, it's all over the place, and it's often difficult to match up its events and personalities with actual historical facts. And much of the prophetic stuff is even more difficult to decipher. But I believe I finally have a decent grasp of it, and can now proceed to actually laying out my first rough draft!

      But all that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and I digress...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Chris Neal,

      I have answered your questions you posed in your original giant post, so that's all I'll do. I'm sorry, but you've lost my interest with your inability to hold a rational conversation.

      Paladin,

      What two books about North Korea did you get? I may look into getting some reading material about them.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      No I was just saying they were similar in the sense in that they were more than just atheism. But they are two completely different movements.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      The same way you compare "Christian evangelists' to Islamic hardliners and laugh at the way they don't like it, I would compare you to a hardcore religionist as well. You definitely are married to your philosophy and feel it very personally when someone disagrees, to the point of feeling the need to argue to the last instance your point of view and 'prove' how wrong the other person is. So, congratulations and I'm sorry, but you really just proved my main point. I genuinely wish that it weren't so.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thinker, I was referring to your statement that "new" atheism is similar to "atheism plus." If I misunderstood you, my apologies.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      I thought I was saying that atheism plus is different than atheism. At least that's what I was trying to say. You sound like you know more about it than me, but my main point was that it was different than atheism because atheism itself isn't a philosophy on anything other than the existence of a god.

      I don't know much about atheism plus other than it deals with more than just being an atheist.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, could you please explain what it is about North Korea's cult of Kim that makes it an "atheist phenomena (sic)?" This should be fascinating!

      As for the "new atheism," I unfortunately disagree with Thinker in that I believe that "atheism plus" is quite a different animal. What is conventionally referred to as "new" atheism is simply the emergence of a new generation of outspoken atheists, in the mold of Robert Ingersoll. There's really nothing "new" about it, except that names are new.

      As for "atheism plus," that something much more problematic, and represents a major schism that has been occurring within the atheist community the last few years. It's the infestation of the movement by so-called "social justice warriors" (primarily feminists, led by people like PZ Myers and Richard Carrier) who wish to hijack it for their own political and ideological purposes (which have NOTHING to do with atheism).

      This is the "entire philosophy" of which you speak, and I am adamantly opposed to it! While issues like social justice and equality are certainly worthy causes -- and deserving of their OWN movements -- they are NOT atheism! By mixing them into the atheist cause, they distract, dilute and diminish it.

      Not only do they create internal strife among atheists who disagree on such topics (as Thinker correctly observed), they divert precious resources in time, manpower and money toward unrelated issues, and they give ammunition to those like yourself who claim atheism is more than just a lack of belief in God.

      Perhaps worst of all, they embody a strident form of activism that prefers to intimidate, deceive and suppress opposing viewpoints -- much like the most notorious of our ideological opponents in the creationist and apologetic communities -- giving atheism a black eye and a bad reputation.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Ozinato,

      You mentioned the key thing, New Atheism. Much different the atheism. New Atheism is much similar to Atheism+.

      Although, I agree with a lot of what the "new atheists" say and they are changing the cultural meaning of the word. The basic meaning of the word still holds true .

      But atheists have the benefit of being to take what religion has done well like having a community and she's useless things like the belief in a deity.

      I wouldn't go so far to say atheism is becoming a religion, just like I would say christianity is becoming less christian because they shed outdated beliefs of their religion for more modern and secular views. Ie churches that except gay people and the Anglo church.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Paladin

      the cult of Kim is an atheist phenomena. There are other hubs dealing with issues such as the similarities of modern atheism to a religion itself.

      I only write Hubs about subjects I feel need clarification. North Korea is not one of those topics as it is self evident.

      Thunkful

      Atheism (until quite recently) has only claimed to be a disbelief in God; these days many claim atheism to be an entire philosophy and it is now developing its own mythologies and religious-like status.eg North Korea,New Atheism etc.

      Even Pope Dawkins the First has claimed that a belief in God may be inbuilt into humans.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      You can say that you have met a god, but the simple fact it that you can't because such deities don't exist. You can claim others have met a god, but no gods exist, so no one has.

      You can assume that everyone will meet a god, but it's a baseless claim based on no evidence.

      "Why is Christianity a mythology? Because it doesn't make sense to you? Did you ever stop to think about how your belief might not make sense to someone who is a Christian?"

      No, it's a mythology because it fits the definition. Of all the religions, christianity makes the most sense to me because I was raised catholic. Just because my rejection of someone's religion doesn't make sense doesn't make my rejection any more or less true.

      Why do you believe that atheism will become the dominant mythology? Some form of spiritualism runs through many modern philosophies and movements. It's just not a Christian spiritualism.

      Atheism is a rejection of myths. Spiritualism is often a part of religions, but it is a separate part. I'm not expert, so I won't go on about it, but I go with experts like Sam Harris who talk about spiritualism in more detail.

      What power do evangelists really have in 21st Century America? Neither Bush nor Romney (and certainly not McCain) exactly kowtowed to the conservative evangelicals.

      Bush was influenced by extremely religious people. I don't remember the specifics, but he is a deeply religious man who spoke to religious people for guidance. He was a born again christian and said the war in Iraq was a mission from his deity. I can't speak about Romney, McCain, or Obama about what effect religion had or didn't have on them. But with Bush it's rather obvious the negative effect religion had on his politics and in the world.

      How well do you know the Bible? You're quick to say that Christian evangelists (a small group at best, of which a mere handful are 'well known') "only selectively follow they (sic) parts they like." Which parts do they ignore? How do they ignore them? Do you think they should follow the 'whole Bible,' and what would that look like?

      I know the bible better than any other modern day book of myths. I'm not an expert, but again, I was raised catholic, so I do have some background with the book.

      Evangelists disregard parts about cutting hair, fish markets, being with women when they are on their period, owning slaves, marrying outside the tribe, working on Sundays, and I'm sure more. They don't follow most of the bible. And thank goodness they don't or they would be even more similar to extreme muslims than they already are.

      If society does ultimately and completely subscribe to the myth not only that there is no God, but also no spirituality of any kind, do you truly believe that history education will be more complete?

      You make atheism seem like it's making a positive claim. It is a rejection of the claim that there is some sort of god or gods. It's not a positive claim. I believe I covered my views on spiritualism above. Again, I'm not too well-versed in the secular approaches to the topic.

      If people are able to look at current day myths like they look at ancient myths, I believe history education can be better. Ancient history will stay very much the same, but more current history will change for the better. The effects of chrisitniaty, islam, etc. on the U.S. and other places can be better taught and understood.

      Do you really think the average student will get a better education if society decides there is no God?

      Yes, they will. And I would use the word accepts there is not god or gods rather than decide. Since no one can decide if a myth is true or not. There are just false. No matter what anyone wants to think or believe.

      I've talked with several atheists and my experience is that, both as individuals and as a group, they are neither more nor less open and accepting than religious people, they just tend to have different biases. And their intolerance levels tend to be just as much a product of their personality and environment as religious peoples is.

      I'm not trying to claim that atheism will directly lead to changes as a result of said rejection of the belief in a god or gods, but having a society that rejects the tenets traditionally held by various religions will benefit society.

      If someone is an atheist, they can still be against gay marriage, evolution, or whatever else. But it's much less likely. And the converse is much more likely for a religious person.

      There WILL come a time when Christianity is a distinctly minority view in the US. The thinkers in the Evangelical community know this, and some say it has already happened. Do you think that automatically means that the majority will disbelieve in spirits, luck and superstition altogether?

      Nothing will automatically happen. That's not how large scale social tendency changes of society work.

      And if so, do you really think that this mythology will be embraced because everyone has truly reasoned it out and weighed all the evidence?

      You seem to not know what a mythology is. "As a collection of such stories, mythology is an important feature of every culture. Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual."

      And I think atheism will eventually be embraced the same way the majority of chrisitians embrace their faith. Because it's the norm and it's what their parents believe. If everyone used reason and evidence, everyone would be an atheist or at the very least a deist.

      Or do you think that possibly the majority will simply go along to get along, much like many religious people do now? Do you think they will truly, deep down in their bones believe that we are alone in the universe? Or do you think that many will simply say, "I don't know" and since their neighbors, family and authority figures keep telling them there is no God, they will just go with that?

      Eventually most people will be accept the fact that life is finite for you and me an everyone else. Who said we are alone in the universe? Statistically speaking, there is most likely life elsewhere in the universe. So using reasoning and evidence, it's a reasonable claim to say there is most likely life besides earth.

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 

      3 years ago from Fishers, IN

      A) Yes, I have met God. But thank you for stating your opinion.

      B) Yes, Austinstar is correct. I DO assume that others can meet God. Others have. But that does not mean I assume that everyone will meet God. I don't know why some do and some don't. I never in my wildest dreams would have picked me for one.

      C) thunkful has, again, completely ignored the point I was making and (semi)successfully turned to the point he would rather dwell on. Which, really, kind of proves the point I was making that he is ignoring.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I actually ended up buying TWO books, so it's going to take some time before I can sort it all out into a comprehensive but brief thesis. In the meantime, I'm working on another hub, so that will keep me busy while I'm reading my North Korea books...

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      I'd be interesting to learn more too because they are definitely a unique country with how they deal with religion.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      I hope you do so Palladin! I would also encourage Oztinato to write a hub on his beliefs that N. Korea is an "atheist" state.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, while the North Korean dictatorship does, indeed, repress free religious expression, it doesn't "ban" it outright. According to the U.S. State Department's 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom, the North Korean regime

      "...continue[s] to interfere with the individual's ability to choose and to manifest his or her religious belief. The regime continued to repress the religious activities of unauthorized religious groups."

      Note that word "unauthorized." That's a very important and relevant distinction. There are, indeed, AUTHORIZED religious groups within North Korea. In fact, there are churches that are controlled by the state, as well as a number of Buddhist temples (though only a very few are active).

      But the most DOMINANT religion in North Korea is the cult of Kim, with features that, if one only changed the names and locations, could be taken straight of the Bible -- for example, the star shining over the "holy" Mount Paektu where Kim Jong-Il (father of the current leader, Kim Jong-un) was born.

      There are many more fascinating aspects to this religious personality cult. Having just purchased a book on the topic and sensing its popularity among religious apologists, I'm now leaning toward composing a hub on it -- if only to give atheists and skeptics some ammunition to squash this nonsense whenever it appears.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Paladin,

      My bad. I was going to add one, but must have changed my mind.

      North Korea is a weird country in that regard. They are considered an atheist state, but have developed their own kind of cult around their leader.

      So in a sense they have a religion, but it's more of a worship of their leader than a specific religion.

      The thing I have read about the propaganda they have used would make it seem as if they are trying to make their leader seem like he is supernatural.

      That country is so messed up, it doesn't matter what they beliefs our. They are just a big mess.

      Ostinato,

      I think most of your points are addressed in my above reply, but I do agree that North Korea is considered an atheist state. But I believe that is only so they can get the people to worship their leader like a god.

      From some of the things they make up about him, they might actually believe he is a god.

      I don't know what to call them really. They aren't devoid of all religious qualities because of the way they treat the leader, but they aren't subscribers to any mainstream or obscure religion.

      They are most like a cult I would say.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      3 years ago from Australia

      Thunkful

      yes there are many bad alleged religious people and also bad examples of atheists etc. In all fairness though it has to be said that atheist states like north korea are in fact atheist states, bad government or not. By extraordinary convoluted "logic" some (but not all) atheists claim north korea is a religious state!! North Korea bans religions.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 

      3 years ago from Michigan, USA

      An interesting hub, Thinker! Incidentally, you mentioned a poll in the closing comments of your hub, but never actually added it.

      As for your question, I don't see non-believers becoming the majority in my lifetime -- either in the United States or the world at large. I believe it is inevitable, and I wish I could live to see it but, being in my 50s already, I think the process will take much more time that I have left.

      I noticed one of the commenters pulled out that old, ridiculous canard about North Korea being an "atheist" state. It seems to be quite popular among religious apologists now, and it's quite obvious that NONE of them have a clue about what sort of country it truly is.

      If they did, they would recognize that North Korea is the most RELIGIOUS nation in the world (and that includes Islamic states like Iran and Saudi Arabia). While it is formally a "communist" state (which people mistakenly understand to equal "atheist" state), its entire society has been transformed into a cult of personality worship, where the ruling Kim dynasty is literally deified, and believed to have magical, god-like powers.

      That's not an "atheist" paradise. It's the dominion of a family of megalomaniacs who've recognized and harnessed the power of religious delusion to their own ends.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      thunkful - Sheesh! ALL religionists are coming from this 'I talk to god' mindset. I was trying, unsuccessfully to let Chris Neal know that his argument just won't work with atheists. I see it all the time. The believer is right because he believes he is right, because his faith tells him it's right.

      The atheist knows that god doesn't exist except in their minds.

      Unfortunately, neither side is going to change on this. So trying to move forward - the only way we, as atheists can really talk to religionists is by trying to develop a common ground.

      My personal cause is behavior based cruelty to children. It makes no difference if the parents are religionists or atheists. Allowing a child to suffer or die because they are "praying" for a miracle cure instead of taking their kids to doctors is WRONG. This behavior needs to stop.

      Same for pedophilia, forcing children to 'love god' (when they don't even understand what that means), and other acts of cruelty is a behavior that both groups can work together on.

      We don't care that religionists worship, talk to, or sacrifice for Jehovah, Allah, Beelzebub or Odin. We really care for bad behavior to stop. I think we need to focus on this.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Austinstar,

      It all depends on what the common grounds. If the common ground is his right or ability to believe in whichever myth he chooses, then he is more then welcome to do that. In fact, I fully believe in his innate right to do so as a human. He can believe in anything he wants. No matter whether it's true or like his belief, false.

      But it is also my right to point out the fact that it is a myth and has no evidence behind it. And that it is completely baseless place to derive any argument from.

      It's like me saying the invisible pink elephant in my kitchen said this or that. It is not basis for any argument. Any argument made from that can be dismissed. Assuming it has no outside logical basis. Nonsensical.

      I believe that issue is that he uses his baseless belief to argument anything. It's just not something that can be done and be taken seriously.

      The problem with his claim that he has met god is that it is a false and baseless claim. It doesn't matter what he believes. In order to have a foot in any debate, there has to be evidence. And he keeps referring to a myth. It's a silly way to argue.

      The pink elephant told me so.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      3 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Chris Neal and thunkful - Actually, Chris Believes he has 'met god'. And it's perfectly OK for him to believe that. The issue is that he 'assumes' that other people can 'meet god' too.

      Issues always arise when people assume things. If it were possible to really and truly meet a god, there would be no issue with this belief and as atheists, we would just step right up and shake his hand - if he has one.

      But when you try to build your arguments to an atheist, you have to do it while being cognizant of the atheist's disbelief in a god or god.

      You can't just say, "I spoke to god, and he told me...." or that "it says in the bible..."

      Believer and disbeliever need to meet on common ground.

    • thunkfulthinker profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Fortunately, you have never met god. Because it doesn't exist. No one has met god. At least no one has provided evidence the existence of your particular being or any other. So, no, you have never met "god." It's a myth.

      I'm not saying that becoming an atheist automatically make anyone do anything. The point I was trying to make is that when you reject the dogma that was written down in a book of myths, you become more open to things that are against said dogma.

      There was an interesting thing about torture and non-religious people. Check my article, I'm going to add the link to one of the society sections.

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