Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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Atheism is not a religion, it’s not even my hobby

Now, believe it or not, I don’t really enjoy talking about religion all the time. In fact not only is atheism not a religion, it’s not even my hobby. And that’s the great thing about being an atheist — it requires so little of your time….

There is a growing trend in this country that needs to be called out, and that is to label any evidence-based belief a “religion.” Many conservatives now say that a belief in man-made climate change is a “religion,” and Darwinism is a “religion,” and of course atheism — the total lack of religion — is somehow a “religion” too, according to the always reliable Encyclopedia Moronica…

We’re not two sides of the same coin, and you don’t get to put your unreason up on the same shelf with my reason. Your stuff has to go over there, on the shelf with Zeus and Thor and the Kraken, with the stuff that is not evidence-based, stuff that religious people never change their mind about, no matter what happens…

— Bill Maher

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35 Responses to Atheism is not a religion, it’s not even my hobby

  1. Betty says:

    The earth, the universe and everything in them are so organized for me to think there is no INTELLIGENCE behind it all. Even though we can’t see God with the natural eyes, everything around us speaks for Him. We can’t see the wind, but we see its effect.

  2. CMD says:

    That’s a silly argument you have there, it’s the old ‘if you can’t explain it, it’s magic!’ argument. The universe is like one giant machine, everything can be explained, we just have not discovered everything yet, that’s part of the fun of science!

  3. Betty, just what do find beyond belief? Everything is obeying the laws of physics, nothing is really outside of it. Evolution has been shown time and again, the what, where and why of everything. Only when creationists come in and set up a straw man, is there conflict.

  4. Beast says:

    That quote was good on video and the audience liked it too.

  5. Pingback: Dangerous Talk » Really? Atheism is a religion, but Christianity isn’t?

  6. Kris says:

    The existence of anything defies the first and second laws of thermodynamics. What put everything in motion?

  7. hktelemacher says:

    I don’t like it when the religious say that atheism is a religion because they are trying to set up a false equivalency. However I think we have to be cautious about this potentially double-edged sword–“lack of belief” still needs to be a protected class under anti-discrimination laws (and it would fall under religious discrimination) even if atheism isn’t a religion in the way that the religious would like to characterize it.

  8. Kris says:

    I agree that atheism is not necessarily a religion. However, like most all religions, it requires a leap of faith, as it has yet to be scientifically proven.

  9. hktelemacher says:

    Atheism does not require a leap of faith. Atheism is validated every day by consistent, scientific measurements about the nature of our reality. If even one in a billion prayers were truly answered, then nothing could be relied upon to work. No modern medicine. No computers. No nuclear power. There is nothing consistent in the world we observe today that fits with the model of a supernatural, meddling, interventionist deity. It’s just insanity.

  10. Kris says:

    I fail to see how our ability to develop things like medicine and technology disproves intelligent design. By your own reasoning, animal species that have recently been discovered did not exist beforehand.

    i.e: If in 2009 I tried to describe to you the Louisiana Pancake Batfish (discovered in 2010), you would be forced to denounce its existence. For how could you acknowledge it without scientific study? Does that mean the animal did not exist in 2009?

    As humans, we are extremely limited in the scope of what we can see and observe? What right do we have to say what does not exist simply because we can not, or have not yet measured it?

    In the same way that we laugh at the scientists of old who thought the world was flat, our descendants will laugh at what we believed scientifically to be true.

  11. hktelemacher says:

    Any concept of a meddling God employing supernatural magic to affect the physical world destroys the very foundation of science, period. If God answers prayers, moves mountains, science would not produce reliable consistency. The God of “Intelligent” Design is a meddler.

  12. Kris says:

    I would agree with you in that science is subject to God, but I wouldn’t say that makes him a meddler. Meddling in something implies it’s not your business. I’d say that if you create something, you have the right to do as you wish with it.

    If you questioned your own beliefs with the tenacity that you questioned God, you may be surprised what you find.

    As for me, I’ll put my faith in something above science, and I’ll pray that you will too 🙂

  13. hktelemacher says:

    I’m not arguing about this from God’s perspective, I’m arguing about it from man’s perspective. From man’s perspective, if God is capable of and does actively intervene in the world then we are incapable of trusting in scientific results.

    In other words, if no matter how carefully scientists control for variables there is always the possibility that God supernaturally intervenes to give some outcome rather than what would have naturally occurred then no science results could ever be trusted because they are always at the whim of a God whose “plan” can at best be said to our eyes as wholly random (and if you throw up Prosperity Gospel then this exchange is over because that is wholly despicable and immoral). We should never place our lives in the hands of scientific Laws or Theories, no matter how well supported, because at any given time God could suspend them . . . or maybe it is the inverse and he’s been giving us wrong data all along and at some point he’ll stop and we’ll all fly off the planet, for example. But at the end of the day that concept just doesn’t fit with our ability to rely on the scientific method, especially for those things we rely upon for our lives every day. Water treatment. Vaccines. Power production. Computers. We put our lives in science’s hands every single day of our lives in one way or another, and the idea that you can’t trust it after everything discovered by science is practically the definition of insanity.

    I agree with you, if there is a God creator of the Universe then far be it from us to say that he/she/it cannot intervene. But in particular the concept of an actively interventionist God just does not fit the evidence. It would be true irony indeed if a God existed who gave us the senses and mental capacity to ultimately determine there is no evidence he/she/it exists, but since the first part can only be had on faith and not measurable, repeatable observation that gives rise to predictable action or observation we never have to get to the second part.

  14. Kris says:

    The moment you’re describing…the moment when God interferes…we Christians refer to it as the end times. Until then, he holds all the laws of physics, science, and nature in motion.

    There is an old book. Very old. Written by dozens of men of hundreds of years. Not one point contradicts another. Not one of its historicities has been proven false. Prophecies were made and later fulfilled. Other prophecies have yet to pass. Its promises are trustworthy. There is hope within its pages. It begs not just to be read, but to be studied.

    Don’t restrict your mind to what you can see. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1.

  15. hktelemacher says:

    He holds all the laws of physics, science and nature in motion . . . . except whenever he don’ wanna, right?

    And Biblical inerrance? Wow. I’d say maybe it’s not me that needs to read the Bible more closely . . .

    So you’re a literalist? YEC and everything? I mean, you’re talking about Intelligent Design and most of the rest of us know that’s just warmed over creationism but I don’t see how you can claim inerrancy but then turn around and say Genesis is metaphor or symbolic.

  16. Kris says:

    He holds all the laws of physics, science and nature in motion because he wants to. He has been consistent in that thus far, but I won’t say that he always will be. Who am I to say what God will or won’t do? See Daniel 4:34-35.

    I don’t recall saying that Genesis is metaphor or symbolic. As a whole, Genesis is a historic narrative. The creation accounts, to which I’m assuming you are referring, are written in a style of exalted prose. They are left open for interpretation. Believing that the universe was created in a literal 7 days is not a belief held by all inerrantists. Christians must only believe that God created all things; they do not have to agree on how.

    You’ve done a good job of searching out the right questions, it just doesn’t seem like you’ve spent much time searching for the Biblical answers. The answers are there if you’re willing to look. I advise you research the resurrection. Undoubtedly you have questions. See if you can’t find the answers by honestly searching.

    I spent quite a long time fighting like you. I thought that my mind could never allow me to have faith, but God freed my mind from its restrictions.

  17. The rant is on evidence-based belief an yet there are no facts in the post, merely sensationalist opinion meant to draw an emotional reaction from supporters and dissidents alike.

  18. Jesus Christ, the Son of God called those who do not follow Him, “dead” in Matthew 8:21-22 and Luke 9:60. They deny Christ, the deny God, and in doing so, they deny their very souls. They are empty shells. Connie

  19. @Kris: very excellent points! Thank you!

  20. altruistico says:

    Sorry to indulge your simple belief in evolution and “creationists come in with a straw man,” but creation was taught well before “evolution.” As to your spiritual leader, Darwin? In his original works of “Origins of Species” he stated “it is a theory.” Further stating that “all species seemingly ‘adapt’ to a specific environment.”

    Darwin came from, and lived the life of, a Christian. His first professional friends wrote on Life, Science of creation and God’s hand in these creational giving. In fact, Darwin, until his death remained somewhat orientated towards Christianity in that he never prohibited his family from worship services on Sunday. He himself, when asked, ‘do you find yourself now an Atheist”? He responded, “No, I believe my mind state of mind now to be one of being agnostic.” Showing clearly Darwin was not yet himself convinced that “creation was out-of-the-question.” Emphasised by the fact that on Sunday’s he would walk the streets pondering his life – while his family sat in church worshipping.

  21. altruistico says:

    Sorry to indulge your simple belief in evolution and “creationists come in with a straw man,” but creation was taught well before “evolution.” As to your spiritual leader, Darwin? In his original works of “Origins of Species” he stated “it is a theory.” Further stating that “all species seemingly ‘adapt’ to a specific environment.”

    Darwin came from, and lived the life of, a Christian. His first professional friends wrote on Life, Science of creation and God’s hand in these creational giving. In fact, Darwin, until his death remained somewhat orientated towards Christianity in that he never prohibited his family from worship services on Sunday. He himself, when asked, ‘do you now find yourself an Atheist”? He responded, “No, I believe my mind state to be one of being agnostic.” Showing clearly Darwin was not yet himself convinced that “creation was out-of-the-question.” Emphasised by the fact that on Sunday’s he would walk the streets pondering his life – while his family sat in church worshipping.

  22. hktelemacher says:

    Soooooooo, you know there are volumes and volumes of scientific research on evolution since Origin of the Species, right? That’s how it went from your statement of “just a theory” to the Theory of Evolution. See, the capitalized “T” has a specific scientific meaning that makes it nothing like what laypeople call “theories”.

    Also LOL @ Darwin being “somewhat oriented” towards Christianity when your best quote is where he calls himself agnostic. In any event, Darwin was a product of his time so he certainly did not have the benefit of the overwhelming evidentiary support we now have for the Theory of Evolution.

  23. altruistico says:

    Yes, I see your point in the capitalization theory. It’s illustrated in your capitalization of the letter “C” in Christianity. Point well taken. Thank you.

  24. You realize a scientific Theory explains how things happen and a scientific Law explains what will happen? They are equally proven.

  25. @Kris you are really trying equate finding a species of fish. Not a new life form. A whole new realm of being to finding a fish? I have more belief in Bigfoot then God. At least Bigfoot is a reasonable, however, far-fetched hypothesis. Do I believe no.

    Now, if you tell me that you believe in fire-breathing King Arthur dragons, that’s a whole new discussion. The believe in god is coming from wholly discounted sources with no evidence for possibility outside of them. The only support for god is hope. That’s not even a hypothesis.

  26. Said from a morally corrupt book, founded with lies, deceit, and falsehoods. Commissioned by a morally corrupt Tyrant that spread the message upon pain of death. Pardon me, the bible doesn’t even make good toilet paper, it’s too glossy.

  27. Repeating the argument doesn’t make you right. You’re still wrong for the same reasons.

  28. altruistico says:

    I see no compelling evidence towards my being “wrong.” Other than your saying so. Could you elaborate on what you believe causes me to be wrong and the evidence which supports that?

  29. brad says:

    “overwhelming evidentiary support we now have for the Theory of Evolution.”?? Such as? Come on folks. If you’re gonna claim to be rational empiricists, than at least be rational and honest with yourselves. There are so many hole in the “Theory” of evolution that it makes the Swiss embarrassed to make cheese. There are so many crucially important things we can’t “explain” with science and whose to say that what we are trying to explain is not the laws of physics and biological existence that God set up and is working through now?
    Evolution and theism (and more specifically Christian theism) are not mutually exclusive. It is a non-sequitor to assume that is true. The pursuit of truth in science is really the pursuit to understand and display God’s character and glory. Tertullian said, “All truth is God’s truth.”

  30. brad says:

    Wow. cynical much? The bible isn’t about morals and it doesn’t pull punches when it comes to human behavior. As to its formation, do your homework. It was written by some of the same men to whom is was speaking and convicting of their own sin. And we have more historical record as to the historicity of scripture than we do to the existence and writing of Aristotle and others.
    And you can’t quote a guy like Bill Maher, who apparently speaks for you, and then bash someone for quoting their own source of truth. That’s unfair and unkind.

  31. You’ll find out one day…hopefully not too late that God so loved you, that He gave His only Son…

  32. ROFL, it was commissioned my a Roman tyrant to consolidate his empire. No other religion would have him.

    It espouses nothing but, corrupt morals!!! Misogyny, slavery, murder, killing of children. The books were fraudulent made, written after the fact to support the lies when under attack. Re-written once again, under penalty of death, to facilitate the joining of the pagan and Xian beliefs. @Constance, do you you know Jesus of Nazareth was born, lived and died, when the city of Nazareth didn’t even exist?

    Have yourselves a great godless day,

    P.S….you don’t really have a choice in that.

  33. brad go lie somewhere else.

    XIAN creationism. World made in 6 days, less then 10,000 years old. BULLSHIT!!!
    Changing the word of god after the fact to incorporate scientific knowledge is utter deceit. Either the bible is the word of god by the hand of man, or it isn’t. Pick one.

  34. ” but creation was taught well before “evolution.” ”
    People used to teach the Earth was flat. Are you really arguing that first is best for knowledge?
    “As to your spiritual leader, Darwin? In his original works of “Origins of Species” he stated “it is a theory.” Further stating that “all species seemingly ‘adapt’ to a specific environment.” ”
    His “theory” was a hypothesis, it’s now a Theory. Notice the capital T, Theory is equal to scientific Law, Theory says how, Law says what will.

    “Darwin came from, and lived the life of, a Christian. blah blah blah.”
    So, he started shitting himself and crying over gas pains. What you start as and how your culture at the time is completely irrelevant.

    Are you really arguing that people over 100 years ago had the scientific knowledge we do today? Perhaps, that’s your whole problem, you believe in Bronze Age Lies, dark age support, and pre-industrial knowledge. Welcome to the year 2012, do some damn research. God is make believe.

  35. G. Mishap says:

    Again with the ‘Theory of Evolution is just a theory’ argument.

    It’s the theory OF evolution, which is Natural Selection.
    Evolution is not a theory, it’s FACT. It has happened, is happening and will continue to happen.
    The theory is that evolution happens by means of natural selection.

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