As a woman, as a mother and as a student surrounded by creative young men and women, I am often chastised by others for not being tolerant of religion.  I am told that being an Atheist requires just as much assumption as being religious and that in my dismissal of all faiths I am ignoring the good that religion brings into the world.

I do not believe that there is any good that religion, any religion, is doing in the world.

I think that every faith promotes ignorance, separation, discrimination and hatred.

When people contrast their faiths to those more extreme (often the Taliban) I compare them.

I do this because I am intolerant of the crutch of religion. I do this because when someone tells me that they are Christian, but have nothing against homosexuals, it rings about as honest as a Neo-Nazi telling me they have nothing against minorities.

I find their accusations that I would be happier in my "traditional place as a woman," to be hateful and coming from a place of spiteful ignorance.

I am aggravated as others try to hang a label of "agnostic" on me, when what I really am is an atheist.

I have no doubts that I have made the right choice to abandon the myths of my mother and her mother. There is no question in my mind.

People have said to me that they cling to the belief in gods out of a hope for cosmic justice.

I think that it is the belief in these gods that create most of the injustices we suffer in our lives. Our feelings of frustrations, our self-imposed limitations on our hopes for love and happiness, our misery in the feelings of constant scrutiny from an unloving, constantly judging omnipotent figure of our own design, all of these things are the waste product of an out-dated hate machine.

I find nothing redeeming in religion. Religion flaunts opulence in the face of starving believers and implants hatred in the innocent and inquisitive minds of children. It creates division where there should be none.

I am not tolerant of religion any more than I would tolerate any other form of indoctrinated bigotry.

Views: 972

Comment by MikeLong on February 28, 2013 at 7:53pm

Absolutely, treat everyone. But are you saying that, if you were to build an ":atheist" hospital, you would provide a chapel?

Comment by Melvinotis on February 28, 2013 at 10:12pm

Although several have responded to my comment, none with their personal experiences helping out at shelters, or hot meals etc. 

When you are standing next to someone with a deep need, like hunger or shelter, how you got to be standing there next to them tends to melt away. How they got to the point where they have those needs is pertinent, but not the top of the agenda. So if you are there because of a church, like some of the people I know, or if you happen to be there because you live in the neighborhood, like me, it all comes down to helping, however you can help, with whoever else happens to be there. 

I have no love for church doctrines, of any stripe. But the people who are there to help, for whatever reason they are there, I honor them and their efforts.

You can say what you like about people you know nothing about, but put your own effort out there sometime and you will see what I mean.

Not all religious people are ideologues, some are there for the social aspect, and don't give much thought to the guy in the funny hat standing at the front of the class.

Comment by Carol Foley on February 28, 2013 at 10:46pm

@Melvinotis: My problem is not with the religious. My problem is with their religion.

I do not think that people are simply the label of their faith, but I regard faith in the same way I view addiction. It is an obstacle to overcome, not something to push on others, and not something to hold in high esteem.

Waxing philosophical on whether or not one does good because of religion loses its punch when those without faith are involved with doing good deeds. It is a correlation, not causation. People do good because we are predisposed to do so. We help when moved to, we act selfishly when moved to as well.

Of course in the pros and cons list of behavior and religion, bigotry lands in the CON column, bright red and underlined. When it comes to some of the greatest evils in the world: crusades, witch burnings, honor killings, slavery, female circumcision, the holocaust...these things are supported by religious documents held tightly in the fists of believers who claim "This is the mighty word of God! Who are you to challenge it?"

Yes, atheists have the ability to be evil, we all are able to have sick minds, but we have no ancient sky voice defending our actions to our victims.

Comment by Unseen on February 28, 2013 at 10:53pm

I think any atheist hospital I designed would treat all comers and wouldn't subject them to my own views. Yes, there would be a chapel. I've been in hospitals with saints names and no religion was imposed on me. I think a minister or priest may have come by to say hello but didn't ask me to pray with him. I think an atheist hospital needs to respect others' beliefs at least as much as they respect mine.

Comment by Joshua D. on February 28, 2013 at 10:54pm
That seemed to be an awfully ignorant and bigoted statement. What evidence do you have that indicates religion is responsible for the atrocities you mentioned?


"I think that every faith promotes ignorance, separation, discrimination and hatred."

Disregarding the misunderstanding of faith there are many institutions that promote those things even science at times. Why aren't you waging war against governments? If the problem exists in other institutions then is religion still responsible?

Make sure your not committing the same error, that rant was irrational at best.
Comment by Joshua D. on February 28, 2013 at 10:57pm
To quote you again:

"It is a correlation, not a causation."

Extend your logic outside of your particular worldview.
Comment by Carol Foley on February 28, 2013 at 11:15pm

@Joshua D.  The evidence of the evils of religion are posted on this site literally every day. The point of this post wasn't to create some master list of religious misbehavior.

As for my particular worldview, I have a fairly broad worldview. If you had read the entire statement you quoted me from you would have seen that I extend good and evil as human traits, not religious ones.

The problem is that while religion does not have a monopoly on good behavior, it certainly corners the market on certain evil ones.

Comment by Carol Foley on February 28, 2013 at 11:22pm

Disregarding the misunderstanding of faith there are many institutions that promote those things even science at times. Why aren't you waging war against governments? If the problem exists in other institutions then is religion still responsible?

Science encourages discrimination? That's news to me. Science is a method of testing the way things work. The only thing science itself could possibly discriminate against is ignorance.

As for government discrimination, you'd be hard pressed to find government discrimination that isn't backed by religion or some similar unquestionable doctrine.

Comment by Joshua D. on February 28, 2013 at 11:38pm
Trofim Lysenko. 'Nuff said
Comment by Joshua D. on February 28, 2013 at 11:41pm
"As for my particular worldview, I have a fairly broad worldview. If you had read the entire statement you quoted me from you would have seen that I extend good and evil as human traits, not religious ones."

I read the whole thing and you are making my point.

Your worldview is what enforces your belief that religion is a scourge. You yourself admit that good and evil are human traits. You are creating a scapegoat.

Or do you actually feel that the abolishment of religion is what will fix the worlds problems?

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