I've read comments in certain Internet forums where theists ask atheists why they hate religion and why we feel the need to speak out against it. After all, what's the harm if people want to believe in these things?

The reason we need to speak out against the ridiculous beliefs held by so many people is because of cases like this:

A woman who starved her 1-year-old son to death at the behest of a religious cult leader was given a sentence Wednesday that won't require her to serve any more jail time.

Ria Ramkissoon, 23, pleaded guilty last year to child abuse resulting in the death of Javon Thompson. She admitted denying food and water to the 16-month-old child when he did not say "Amen" before a meal. Javon wasted away over the course of a week before his heart stopped beating.

Ria was told by her religious leader, Toni Sloan, (also known as Queen Antionette) that Javon had a "spirit of rebellion inside him." Sloan recommended that the spirit would leave the child if he were deprived of food.

If that weren't sick enough, it gets worse.

After the boy's death, Sloan apparently told her followers to pray for his resurrection and Ramkissoon spent weeks with the child's body waiting for his life to return.

Ramkissoon's attorney said,

She was really sucked in and duped by these people. I think she is starting to realize, albeit painfully realize, that there will be no resurrection, that Queen Antoinette never spoke with God.

Now I can hear all of the good Christians out there saying, "But we'd never do anything like that."

Good. I hope the hell not.

But that's not the point. The point is that this kind of delusional thinking is inherent in virtually every religion. It's the same delusional thinking that tells people not to use birth control because God will be angry; or not to grant equal rights to certain people because God will be angry; or to take a razor blade to your four-year-old son's penis.

Yes, letting a child starve to death is the delusion taken to the extreme, but it's the same thinking involved; God said it, so I must do it.

I'm not saying that atheists can't commit horrible crimes, they can, but to sit there and watch your child starve to death requires a special kind a lunacy, and in more cases than not, it's called religion.

This is the reason we speak out.

Views: 18

Comment by Mario Rodgers on April 21, 2010 at 10:35pm
Religion has no reality check. The reality check comes from its followers. However when you place the core of your actions and beliefs in the invisible, everything is inherently permissible.
Comment by Martin Pribble on April 21, 2010 at 11:23pm
I was asked the same thing on My Blog to which I answered this:

In reply to Brett Hughes:

Why do we care? Well I have written on this topic in the past, see “Why do we care?”

But there are more reasons than this. Where do I start?
Well, I don’t want the influence of ANY religion to muddy the waters of education, because that would be like teaching lies. I have nothing against teaching ALL religions in schools, but as a Christian, I’m sure you would like to see Christianity given extra time or importance in the school curriculum. We are currently having this very debate in “secular” Australia about teaching “Objective and Secular Morality” classes in schools so that the waters need not get muddied in fancy.

Another reason we care is that I see a real danger in society right now, where people are using their religions as an “US vs THEM” mentality, to cause divisions between people and then to use this as a reason for waging war. This is nothing new, but is far more dangerous now than it has ever been. We risk wiping out our entire species in the name of “God” and I’m not buying into it. The whole idea of ONE religion having the answers is an unlikely proposition, and in my eyes, each of the major or minor religions is as unlikely to be right as any other. Have you ever thought that maybe the Hindu gods are the real gods, and yours is the false god? No, of course you haven’t, but that is what the Hindus think of your god, and with just as much passion and conviction.

As a Christian it is your “Great Commision” to try and proseletyse people to your religion? Does that not strike you as odd? That God and Jesus want to build a bigger army of believers? Why would an omnipotent God care? If God created the universe, then doesn’t he have enough power to just “make” everyone believe? Why did he give us free will and the ability to dismiss him as fantasy if his ultimate aim is to save us all? Why would God, who apparently created us all, want to create an experiment like humanity, just to see how convincing he is of making us believe in his existence? See “What if you’re wrong?”

You say “But again if this is our only finite life, why would you care at all?” This one really gets my goat, and I’ll tell you why. You care more about life because you get to go to Heaven afterwards? Balderdash! I care deeply about my life, and more about the lives of others because I KNOW this is the only shot we get at life, so we’d better make it as good as we can, because with the absence of an afterlife, there is NOTHING else. And since we only get one chance at life, doesn’t that make it all the more special that that each of us exist at all?
Comment by The God Critic on April 22, 2010 at 7:31am
@Mario: That's a very good point. I just may have to steal that :)
@Martin: I totally forgot about the potential for incredible destruction as a result of clashing belief systems.


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