Tag Archives | Atheism

Islam and Atheism, Problems in Common

2015-02-12-barakat-thumb

Rahuldeep Singh Gill writes at the Huffington Post:

After the cold-blooded executions of three young Muslims in the shattered safety of their North Carolina apartment, it took a day for the national media to figure out that the deaths of three Muslims was worthy of coverage. The three students killed were Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

But once the news did break, it didn’t take long for a knee-jerk web poster to blame the faith commitment of the alleged murderer for the act. Except in this case, his commitment was that he rejected them. Or to be more precise, as an atheist, Craig Hicks rejected the role of religion in everyday life.

According to Vox,

We still don’t know why three students, all Muslim, were shot to death in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday. But there is unconfirmed speculation that the murders were motivated by the victims’ religion, bolstered by a Facebook account that appears to belong to someone with the same name as the man who turned himself into police for the killings, and which identified him as an “anti-theist.”

Atheist or anti-theist, what would make Hicks a repulsive human being are his alleged actions, not his beliefs.

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Why I Drifted Away from the Atheist Movement

Mikko Luntiala (CC BY 2.0)

Mikko Luntiala (CC BY 2.0)

I used to be a militant atheist. Here’s why I’m not anymore:

I’m loath to use the A word because the most vocal and visible proponents of atheism have strayed far away from promoting reason, tolerance and secular values and into promoting misogyny, xenophobia and far-right politics.

But for at least a couple years, from sometime in 2006 until sometime in 2009, I was a militant atheist, dashing off dozens of blog posts condemning religious thought for promoting murder and mutilation. I thought we, the atheists of the world, were railing against injustice and speaking truth to power.

Atheism felt just and true and important. But no longer. What happened?

Atheism as Justification for Xenophobia

Over time I sensed that for far too many people in the movement, atheism was if not a front then at least a rationalization for xenophobia or racism or both.

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A Secular Satanist’s Approach Towards Technoprogressive Transhumanism

new 1lluminati (CC BY 2.0)

new 1lluminati (CC BY 2.0)

Via B.J. Murphy at IEET:

The world is shifting in more ways than one. With the advent of our Transhumanist journey into the future, everything we knew of the old world is dramatically changing before our very eyes. For this article in particular, however, I’d like to direct my attention towards religion.

I’m not a religious person, I must admit. I’m an atheist, like many other Transhumanists. However, I also recognize the importance of unity that the Transhumanist movement is providing with the religious community. As a result, we’ve witnessed the formation of Transhumanist-oriented religious organizations – from the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the Christian Transhumanist Association, Terasem, etc.

As a Signator of the Technoprogressive Declaration, it’s in my hopes that these organizations will also take up the mantle for equality and social justice, just as so many of us Transhumanists have done as well.

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Embracing Paradox Helped Me Discover That Religion Is a Neurological Disorder for Which Faith Is the Only Cure

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Frank Schaeffer writes at Patheos:

My kaleidoscopic beliefs are fickle and motivated by desire, wishful thinking, and wanting to fit in with my family and community and to make my marriage work. My dogmatic declarations of faith once provided status, ego-stroking power over others and a much better income than I’ve ever earned since fleeing the evangelical machine. Certainty made things simple, gave me an answer to every question and paid the bills.

With the acceptance of paradox came a new and blessed uncertainty that began to heal the mental illness called certainty, the kind of certainty that told me that my job was to be head of the home and to order around my wife and children because “the Bible says so.” Embracing paradox helped me discover that religion is a neurological disorder for which faith is the only cure.

These days I hold two ideas about God simultaneously: he, she or it exists and he she or it doesn’t exist.

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Why You Don’t Need God

Ryan J. Bell, former pastor turned atheist, says we don’t need a divinity to find meaning, writing at CNN:

It was January 2014 and I was sitting on the beach in Malibu looking out at the seemingly endless Pacific Ocean, ebbing and flowing. I had just begun a personal project of challenging my lifelong assumption that God exists.
Atheist Bus Campaign Launch

You see, I had been a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 19 years. I resigned from my pastoral position the year before, but now I stepped away from my faith altogether. It was a gut-wrenching decision but I couldn’t see any other way to find peace and clarity. I encountered major theological differences with my denomination and evangelical Christianity in general, including the way it marginalizes women and LGBT people.

I questioned the problem of evils and God’s general silence and inactivity. I sought out more liberal theologies and found them to be the slow death of God.… Read the rest

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Will Religion Ever Disappear?

Burning crossAtheism is on the rise around the world, so does that mean spirituality will soon be a thing of the past? BBC Future‘s Rachel Nuwer discovers that the answer is far from simple:

A growing number of people, millions worldwide, say they believe that life definitively ends at death – that there is no God, no afterlife and no divine plan. And it’s an outlook that could be gaining momentum – despite its lack of cheer. In some countries, openly acknowledged atheism has never been more popular.

“There’s absolutely more atheists around today than ever before, both in sheer numbers and as a percentage of humanity,” says Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and author of Living the Secular Life. According to a Gallup International survey of more than 50,000 people in 57 countries, the number of individuals claiming to be religious fell from 77% to 68% between 2005 and 2011, while those who self-identified as atheist rose by 3% – bringing the world’s estimated proportion of adamant non-believers to 13%.

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Atheists Unveil Anti-Christmas TV Specials

“Yes, Virginia, there is a ‘War on Christmas’,” declares the Washington Times, reporting on AtheistTV‘s holiday lineup:

Conservatives have been mocked for insisting there’s an ongoing war on Christmas, but now it looks like they may have simply been ahead of their time.

American Atheists unveiled Wednesday the “War on Christmas” line-up on its television channel, AtheistTV, featuring “original programs proclaiming the truth about Christmas on December 24 and December 25, featuring scholars and celebrities from the atheist community.”

Atheist TV

“Christmas is hard for many atheists, so we will provide programming free from superstition and fairy tales that allows families to watch together and not worry about being preached at,” American Atheists President Dave Silverman said in a statement.

Conservatives like Fox News talk-show hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly have long warned of a “War on Christmas,” citing moves by retailers, public schools and local governments to remove references to Christmas from displays and celebrations.

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Capitalism is God’s Will and the Cat Drank all the Milk: How our Language Creates our Biggest Problems and Why We Can’t do Anything about It

Felipe Del Valle (CC BY 2.0)

Felipe Del Valle (CC BY 2.0)

I have a confession to make, one that a good number of readers will find disgusting and emetic and prevent many of them from reading further. Others, however, might relate or find it interesting regardless, and so those people will continue to read, which, I suppose, is good enough for me. You see, when I was a child, from a very early age, probably as early as I can remember, I felt all around me the “Presence of God.” It was and is, in all actuality, an impossible feeling to properly describe, but I suppose to some extent that I could say that I felt some sort of “immanent-transcendent energy” “flowing” through me and through my surroundings. Having lived in a rural area hours away in any direction from something resembling civilization, many of my childhood memories consist of me sitting in the backseat of a Toyota 4Runner driving somewhere else, usually toward civilization somewhere.… Read the rest

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