Some days ago, I came across this sensationalist headline from The Independent in my Facebook feed : A New Theory Could Solve an Ancient Mystery – And Do Away With God: The theory has put God ‘on the ropes’ and has ‘terrified’ Christians…
First of all, there’s a big difference between theory and hypothesis, which this is.
I sighed, rolled my eyes and decided to check-out the latest lame trick militant atheists put up their sleeves. Of course, Richard Dawkins was involved and of course the hypothesis was incredibly far-fetched. At best, the contention could be described as another run-of-the-mill effort to gain the upper-hand over ‘creationist’, as if this some kind of competition. At worst, it’s malignant faith-shaming bent on cornering people into abandoning their chosen faiths because it’s stupid.
I’m not a Christian. However I’ll be damned if I’m going to witness this rise of modern-day crusade and bullying and not do anything about it. I know of some whose works I admire, who just happen to be atheists, and I know that their stance is just that- a stance. It doesn’t define them as humans and they don’t feel threatened by differing ideas and beliefs. Likewise, any healthy and secure individual would be comfortable behind their own boundaries to not persecute and harass others. I’m not bashing anyone here nor am I curbing differing opinions. However, the difference between hate-mongering and free speech is this: you get to express your mind and live as you may within your personal boundaries, but the moment you slander and bully me because I’m different from you, that’s hate-mongering honey.
Likewise, there’s a difference between atheism and anti-atheism. Atheism= absence of belief in any deity. Anti-theism= Active opposition to any religion.
But these militant anti-theists who are as bigoted and fanatic as the ISIS members on twitter who are said to be luring and grooming young kids with promises of nutella and fluffy bunnies – they are the ones I’ve had enough with. The Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris’, and Bill Mahers of this world. Those who feel superior to those who don’t agree with them and are plagued with a saviour-syndrome that compels them to devote their lives to rebutting religion and trying to convince people to become atheists. I’ve had enough with this faith-shaming and incredibly idiotic and facile logical argument that atheism= intellect, and, faith≠intellect.
It’s ironic that for people who are so convinced that God does not exist, that they are pre-occupied with proving he doesn’t exist. It’s a violent reaction to the stifling dogmas that permeated the West for thousands of years. But because this historical trauma ,where a ‘chosen’ few monopolized faith in a bid to control the masses, hasn’t been properly processed, we see with this secularist revolution that the culture has gone from one extreme to another; one dogma has been replaced by another.
Reason does not preside over faith. Faith presides over reason. By faith, I do not mean theism. By faith I mean values. Things that can’t be quantified or measured, as is the case with reason. You can measure and observe objects, but you can’t do that with confidence, grief, and emotional abuse, for instance. You can only observe the effects manifested by these. So, it’s factitious to try to evaluate reason and values in similar fashion. Reason does not dictate what humans do. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be addicts, or murderers, or phobias. We use reason as justification for the actions we take. I’d venture to say that animals are more logical than humans. Animals don’t have free will in the sense that they don’t have values. They act on instinct, which is a raw form of reason. They know when to strike and when to retreat, when to migrate and when to mate. It’s clear-cut. A lion won’t sympathize with its prey. A bee won’t go on strike. Likewise, intentions inform our actions. When someone does or says something, look to the why as opposed to the what.
In regards militant anti-theism, the why is what interests me, not the face value. The undercurrents of this new phase, are eerily reminiscent of the now defunct League of Militant Atheists movement in Soviet Russia. Here’s an excerpt from its Wikipedia page:
Guided by Bolshevik principles of antireligious propaganda and party’s orders with regards to religion, the League aimed at exterminating religion in all its manifestations and forming an anti-religious scientific mindset among the workers. It propagated atheism and scientific achievements, conducted ‘individual work’ (a method of sending atheist tutors to meet with individual believers to convince them of atheism, which could be followed up with harassment if they failed to comply).
[…] The League was a “nominally independent organization established by the Communist Party to promote atheism.” It published newspapers, journals, and other materials that lampooned religion; it sponsored lectures and films; it organized demonstrations and parades; it set up antireligious museums; and it led a concerted effort telling Soviet citizens that religious beliefs and practices were “wrong” and “harmful”, and that “good” citizens ought to embrace a scientific, atheistic worldview
Though this organization fizzled out in the 1940’s, ideas never really die out. The driving force behind this extremist ideology that is hell-bent on creating one world view, is very much alive. It can take different shapes and forms depending on the person, but one thing is clear; it’s an exclusionist bigotry aimed at elevating one type of people at the expense of all differing factions. It’s a parasitic defense mechanism that feeds off on hate and fear, and unless those who oppose this trend speak up against this, then it’s a tacit approval of marginalization and oppression of the free will of every individual on this planet.