May 29 2014
“ Coming out as an atheist doesn’t only apply to those who are new to non-belief, and it’s not just a one-off personal event only involving close family. Public non-belief means many different things to many people but, in a society that’s largely intolerant of faithlessness, it’s always an ongoing process that arises again each time an atheist is asked about his or her beliefs - or lack thereof. ”
Aug 16 2013
Aug 14 2013
“ Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave my daughter a Bible. THAT’S how you make atheists. ”
Jul 28 2013
Jul 27 2013
Jun 10 2013
“ I don’t need a shepherd; I’m not a sheep. ”
Jun 05 2013
When an atheist observes that religion is passed down via indoctrination by the parents, it is not uncommon for a believer to counter by claiming that it is necessary for an atheist to indoctrinate their children into atheism.
It is understandable that they would counter with this argument; in their world, knowledge is revealed so people are not allowed to come to their own conclusions. In reality, though, no indoctrination is necessary to raise one’s child to be an atheist, all it takes is an education.
When they’re really young, instead of reading fairytales you can read them some of the more childhood-appropriate stories from the different religions. You can read them the stories and then tell them about how early humans made up those stories to help them explain a world they didn’t yet understand.
The creation myths are how we tried to explain where we came from; the afterlife is how we first tried to cope with the loss of death; weather was a consequence of god’s favor with an area; and we can even show how people used religion in an attempt to implement rules governing morality.
People came up with these explanations because we like to feel like we have control over what’s going on. Then they can also be taught about how religion used those rules to keep bad people in power and other people as sub-human by exploiting our ignorance.
You must also cultivate their curiosity and instill in them a desire to learn. Ask them why they think things happen, then help them figure out the answer. Make sure they pay attention to science and math, and make sure you don’t let school kill their curiosity. Learning physics, chemistry, and biology will give them the tools to have a basic understanding of the evolution of the universe, the evolution of life, and a general idea of how life works at the most fundamental levels.
Using education, a richer, more beautiful picture of reality can be painted that will make the ridiculousness of religion plainly obvious to any child - no indoctrination required.”
from the Facebook page “Atheists and Rational Thinkers”
I’ve been confronted with this very topic in a lot of my discussions lately. It just so happens that this particular Facebook favorite of mine has answered the same question more eloquently than I could, which is why I posted it.
“ Do you mean to tell me that the only reason you try to be good is to gain god’s approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That’s not morality, that’s just sucking up, apple polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought. ”
Jun 01 2013
“ All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. ”
May 21 2013
To Whomever It May Concern:
When you ask me to respect religion because people believe in it, I want you to remember something. I want you to remember that long ago your ancestors were not Christian or Muslim. They had their own culture and customs native to their heritage. Through military conquest religion spread itself through the Old World, and those distant relatives were faced with a choice: either accept Christianity/Islam or die a painful death. This was how most major religions today achieved their position of respect.
After Europe had been fully indoctrinated, the papal Doctrine of Discovery gave the authority to all good Christians to conquer the native peoples of the New World and claim that land for God and the Church. Millions died mercilessly and were even tortured by Christian heroes like Christopher Columbus.
Now, thousands of years later, when we no longer have to respect these beliefs upon pain of death, we are told that we should respect religion. We are told by those within even the non religious community that we should show respect to these ideas that have gained a place of vaunted privilege in our societies which are built upon the graves of any who dared question or challenge the authority of divine providence.
You think you are being rational. You think you are being reasonable. What you are really doing is propping up the last leg of human slavery to bad ideas and providing intellectual cover for religion to keep a place of honor and respect it never earned.
Please, stop protecting religion in the guise of false humility. Be honest and firm with your beliefs and never expect anyone to respect your ideas unless they earn it, and always be willing to be wrong. That is what it means to be a free thinker.
May 16 2013
“ Some of us find our miracles in the pages of Holy Scripture, and some of us find our miracles in the pages of Scientific American. ”