8th August 2012

“I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful.”

Christopher Hitchens1949 – 2011

11 Responses to “8th August 2012”

  1. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    August 8th: I’m 48 yahoo!

    The distinction, atheist or anti-theist, is important. Think about it. The religious person really defines the word atheist; right?

    We accept that definition on their terms; right?

    Aren’t we really anti-theists?

    Doesn’t the very proposition of god strike us as absurd?

    If not, then why do we ask the same questions of belief in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and so many other fictional characters?

    Stoned so pardon the insanity.

  2. The Heretic Says:

    Atheist means you are without a god, anti-theist means that you are against one. I am merely without a god. I do not require such fanciful crap in my life. But, I will not disparage someone who requires such things in their own life, so far as their beliefs do not interfere with or impact, in any way, my life.

    I find people who wear their beliefs in a deity on their sleeves to be incredibly dull, and I avoid such persons. But, I find most secular atheists to be far too relativistic for my tastes. They have no core morality or strength of conviction, other than they don’t believe in a god. I find that socially dangerous. I find that both have a tendancy to be patronizing,self-righteous, and out to save the world from humanity, which is delusional and quite annoying. I much prefer a secular-minded, and otherwise rational, theist who keeps his supernatural thoughts private.

  3. Kittie Aldakkour Says:

    SinJin,

    Happy Birthday – I will be 47 tomorrow.

    As for the labels – I prefer none. The first time I heard it I thought – hmm what religion am I – none. I think they all suck – especially if you are female. I am currently arguing with a cousin over the fact that in the biblical story about Abraham – there is a benefit to himself for being so willing to kill his son. Even if the benefit is not being burned for eternity in hell – that is still a benefit. My cousin insists that it was just about his faith – no reward considered..

    Heretic sounds like you entertain yourself a lot there. If I eliminated or avoided everyone who has facebook jesus and alienated the few friends who will admit to being agnostic – I would be talking to my dog. She is a great dog, but she thinks I am god.

  4. reetBob Says:

    I’m atheist, verging on anti-theism, but rarely anti-theist. What’s the advantage of these labels if you have to clarify them anyway?

  5. The Heretic Says:

    There is no advantage, just clarity of thinking. As to my being a recluse, absolutely! There seems to be a growing population of drones and idiots that are not worth wasting time on. I find dogs to be spectacular companions. You don’t see them worshipping 5 times a day, do you? Nor do they have a mind for politics. Perfect creatures. My dogs don’t think I am a god, more of a servant or pillow. Now the refrigerator, that is god.

  6. Jeff Says:

    Happy Birthday to both Sinjin and Kittie. Sinjin, if I could afford to, I’d join you, if just for some moderate pain relief, and a significant mellowing of the outlook. As to the insanity, it’s some of the sanest stuff I’ve seen in a while.

    Heretic, as to your refrigerator worshipers, my terriers tended to be more of the generalized kitchen type, with me cast as one of the head acolytes. And in my little Sammy’s case, the pillow role included occasional chew toy when startled. Poor little abused fear biter, who never got over it. Still miss the little guy like mad.

    Atheist, anti-theist, anti-theism? Better to define oneself than to accept the definition of others. Atheist is right next to amoral, is right next to shooting up a bunch of folks in a theater, as far as the fundamentalist crowd is concerned. Anti-theist or anti-theism? Better from my standpoint, but I can see that it is still defining oneself by opposition to someone else’s rules. Not sure what the term should be, but not really liking any of the options on offer…

  7. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    I’m anti-theist as I am anti-congame, and anti-illness. Theism is the teaching and indoctrination of mental illness and distorted perceptions of reality. I mostly dislike and fight the beliefs and behavior of those so afflicted with the mind virus and consider those who hold theist beliefs as ill. I do also consider the indoctrination of children with such nonsense and misinformation as child abuse, so it’s sometimes difficult to separate the pernicious ideas from those who willfully spread them.

  8. Kittie Aldakkour Says:

    Thanks for the b-day wishes – would be fun to join you all and raise a glass to the late Christopher Hitchens.

    Heretic – My German Shepherd, Layla is certainly as fickle as any christian for she is either following me around to be near or demanding I do something for her. Her ability to communicate her desires are better than many of the humans I know. I agree about the brainwashing of children. I have two young ones – we will attend a church with close family/friends for social reasons for special events. My 10 year old and I have had discussions about god – and I tell her she has to make up her own mind. I am objective – it is easy to be there is no proof. Whenever certain events have come up (a classmate’s dad died of cancer) I will ask her to look for the evidence of a loving all powerful god in the situation. So far she is developing a basis for critical thinking about these things. My 4 year old boy thinks he is a dinosaur so nothing happening there yet.

  9. Just-passing-by Says:

    If the belief in a god/gods didn’t exist, the word atheist wouldn’t exist. Calling someone (or yourself) an atheist is a very specific descriptor, only pertaining to that person’s stance on a very small branch of philosophy. Being an atheist does not mean you deny the supernatural. Someone could honestly believe in forest fairies and still claim the title “atheist”.

    Someone who denies anything supernatural is considered a Naturalist. My point being, to use the term “atheist” you must limit it to being a descriptor, while the term “Naturalist” would be much closer to a paradigm.

    Employing the English languange without making assumptions, I would say an anti-theist is someone against theists, or even against BEING a theist; and let us not be confused as to what a theist is: someone who believes in a god/gods without any religious association being necessary. So I think a better wording on Hitchens’ part would have been, “I’m NOT ONLY an atheist…” You can certainly be an atheist without being an anti-theist, and you can even (with today’s hype over introverted spiritualism) be an anti-theist without being an atheist. And you can do all of that without ever being religious, granted that is far from the norm.

    As for my personal thoughts, I find the belief in god/gods to be unnecessary. And as it becomes more unecessary it starts to become dangerous. Institutions aside, to have a conviction about a diety/dieties is against the natural progression of things. In antiquity, we used the divine to help explain things that were out of our mental capabilities to explain. Now we have better languange and understanding so we no longer need the divine to fill that gap. At least, that’s how I see it. But I’m no expert.

    Great site, by the way.

  10. Just-passing-by Says:

    And that should be “deity/deities”.

    I’ll take “Harping on about employing the English language while failing to employ it myself” for 300…

  11. Kittie Aldakkour Says:

    Just-passing-by – that is funny – improving on Hitchens.

    For Hitchens it was an answer to those who would offer to pray for him or may have been inclined to feel sorry for him because he didn’t believe. He wanted them to know that not only did he not believe, he was repulsed by the very idea of a god who would allow so much suffering. He was glad there was no god for if there was, god was certainly demonstrating all that was evil…

    god I miss him…