The Great Chain

The Great Chain

Friday, December 17, 2010

Does Atheism Matter?

It has been brought to my attention that I am somewhat preachy. This does not exactly come as a surprise since I have been preachy my whole life, but I have been told that I have become 'preachy,' preachy in recent years.

And I suppose that is true. I have become preachy. I like talking about atheism. I like thinking about it. Because I believe that we have something important to contribute - a perspective deserving of consideration and worthy of discussion. A perspective and point of view that has been marginalized and demonized or completely ignored for far too long.

Atheism matters. It matters despite the utterly inane and substance free babbling of Mark Jeddry's Huffington Post article. It matters because large swaths of our domestic policy and foreign policy are heavily influenced by religious dogma that is patently ridiculous and incredibly harmful. Indeed, many of our most pressing national security and foreign policy problems stem directly from Religion.

It matters because Religion is holding us back and exacerbating our problems.

It matters because our largest national security threat is the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists and those who fund them - people so blinded by religious fervor and misplaced aggression, hatred and rage they are literally willing to kill themselves in order to kill as many unbelievers as possible. These are men and women so blinded by ignorance that they are willing to kill and die over a ridiculous and patently false book of mythology.

It matters because our problem with radical Islam is only compounded by Christian fundamentalists who overtly argue for a war of civilizations based on their own ridiculous and patently false book of mythology. These Islamophobic fanatics who routinely populate Fox News openly advocate for a war against Islam and engage in their sabre rattling nonsense every single day.

It matters because the answer to Islamic fundamentalism is manifestly NOT Christian fundamentalism.

Even on issues that represent a clear and present danger to our entire species, our entire political apparatus is rendered impotent because of religious fools like John Shimkus (see below) who literally argue that Global Warming cannot be real because the Bible says that God says that "never again will I destroy all living things as I have done[,]" and Representative Shimkus, who sits on the House Energy Committee believes that to be the ineffable word of God.

It matters because homosexuals are denied the right to marry and denied the right to fight for their country bases solely on Religious bigotry and has no rational basis whatsoever.  Indeed, so caustic is the religious bigotry against homosexuals that the Proposition 8 decision is described as "a significant step towards the full normalization of homosexuality within the culture" which is apparently a BAD thing.  Moreover, politicians oppose the repeal of the grossly inequitable and mindlessly arbitrary Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy on almost exclusively religious reasons.  Indeed, when these politicians cannot overtly argue the validity of pointless religious taboo, they are forced to make increasingly strained, internally contradictory and nonsensical justifications for their religious bigotry.

It matters because one third of our Republican Presidential nominees AND the previous Republican nominee for Vice President are so ignorant of science that they do not even believe in evolution.  And are actively attempting to teach children about magic in science class.

It matters because just last week, the Congressional Prayer Caucus sent the White House a letter demanding that President Obama talk about the Christian God more.  Something that will totally soothe our religious tensions with Islamic countries and is completely in keeping with our secular, pluralistic society.

Atheism matters because Religion no longer serves any useful, valuable or constructive purpose.  Religion has carried civilization as far as it can, but the reality is that it has outlived its usefulness.  Religion has not advanced or progressed or revealed any new knowledge for hundreds if not thousands of years.

At the same time, rationality and science has healed the sick, extended our lives, enriched our understanding of the largest and smallest phenomena in the Universe, allowed us to leave our planet, allowed us to unlock the mysteries of our DNA.  Rationality and science have allowed us to peer into the deepest recesses of space and unlock the greatest mysteries humans have ever pondered.  Our rational and scientific understanding of the Universe has grown exponentially over hundreds of years and will continue to grow.

Atheism matters because it is the future.  Atheism matters because we take rationality and science and empirical evidence seriously.  Religionists do not.  Atheism matters because we have better answers to the hardest questions in the Universe - and our answers grow better with each passing year.  Religion still peddles the same mythology it has been peddling for thousands of years - no improvement, no progress, no revelation, no growth.  And the stagnation of Religious understanding shows.

Religion keeps us trapped in a small, closed, xenophobic, insular world of dubious morality based on magical fantasies concocted by our earliest ancestors during the infancy of our collective consciousness.  It is not a path forward, it is a path to nowhere.

Atheism matters because Religion is holding us back.  Keeping us trapped in pointless wars because of trivial differences in our interpretations of ancient fairy tales.  Keeping us from dealing with the most serious issues we face as a global community.  Keeping us from treating our own citizens with the respect and honor they deserve.

Atheism matters because we are the only ones who can look at both sides and tell them gently but firmly that they are both freaking crazy.


  1. Excellent post! Yes, atheism matters greatly for all the reasons you cite here.

  2. Couldn't have said it any better myself. Religion has outlived its usefulness.

  3. Modernism and Rationality had its reign at the top and what do we see? School systems failing, suicides increasing, unliveable inner cities, and to add insult to injury: post-modernism has arrived; everything a product of aethism, thank you very much.

  4. Brilliant comment.

    Now lets approach this rationally. Scary thought to you.

    Mississippi is the mmost religious state in the nation (per Pew Forum Survey 2008, 2009). It is blessed with among the highest unemployment, lowest education level, highest crime and teen pregnancies in the nation, highest poverty rate. Interestingly NH, my state, is tied for least religious state in the nation and our ratings in those societal measurements are exactly the opposite of Mississippi's. Go figure.

    Things are so much better in the theocracy of Iran? Or in the Vatican where money laundering, institutionalized child molestation and coverup, and denial of the effacy of condoms runs rampant?

    But I guess you'd like to see things the way the were when religion and its ignorant superstitions was the predominant force in know, the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the Crusades.

    Of course without secularism's rational thinking, reason, logic and dedication to reality your life span would still be what it was in the 12th century - and you'd likely be dead by now. That, or you'd still be praying to God to save your dumbass from the wrath of his plague.

    So, heres a thought (something in which you apparently rarely partake). Think before you type, you mindless theist twit.