In order to understand the state that modern atheism has found itself in, we must first understand its most prominent promoters.
This series will be a 14 part mini-series published twice daily, in order to fully grasp the vastness of the topic, which, even at that pace, I will only be able to cover somewhat briefly.
Due to the frequent nature of the scheduled posts for the future they will be fairly short, and I will try to present the information in an equally short manner.
Atheists are born, not made.
Contrary to popular belief or rather popular opinion, I do not think that an atheist can truly be one if they have not had doubts about religion since they were very young. In other words, if your childhood self was not perturbed by the nature of religion, you were probably following it blindly ( or as the religious say – with great faith ) acting on the wishes of your parents, or you just never bothered to actually have information outside of your parents/priest guidance.
To those who may find this harsh, I would respond with, any person, young or old, who can understand the basic language with which their religion is conveyed, upon picking up a religious book, not a childs religious book but an actual religious book, and finds no inconsistencies is a sign of an inactive mind, more importantly a willful ignorance.
Understanding this concept, is key to understanding the nature of an atheist. An atheist is the kind of person who sees the cracks in the painting before other people, not because they are smarter or whatever, but because it just does not make sense to them how something so readily available, can be nonetheless, full of inconsistencies. Often these can be identified on the first 5 pages of a religious text.
Most of the people I see now calling themselves atheist are really just, and I laugh and loathe to say this, angry at God or religion. Either they have followed it somewhat blindly, often informed of the passages their particular denomination choose to espouse. Alternatively they have adopted the title in order to differentiate themselves. Be it socially or intellectually.
The true mark of an atheist in my mind is one whom can find information without necessarily being informed of it.
Very often they also enquire.
As opposed to being TOLD.
Either by Church, School or some other entity.
With me it was school and most importantly noticing the nature, the true nature mind you, of the practitioners of religion.
A religious person by nature betrays themselves by displaying a quality I will refer to as enemy syndrome. Religion preaches peace, most do anyway, but what they actually believe is that their god is superior and this shows itself in a religious person always needing an enemy. Bear in mind when I say religious person by nature, I mean that whatever form they happen to inhabit currently be that atheist or anti-capitalist which seems to be a popular one now. There is always an enemy, they can never just be. They must have a cause. An enemy.
Hence actual religious people tend to make an enemy out of whatever idea shows them the slightest opposition or perhaps draws people away from their one true god. Blessed be his name.
The second most telling trait of a religious person at heart is a sympathy for religion, often spurred on by their friends who are ” just good -Insert Religious Denomination Here – people trying to live their lives”. They often call themselves Agnostic to account for this. Subsequently turning fence sitting into a competitive sport. These people are often, if I may borrow a line from Simon Whistler “so determined to sit on the fence of every issue that its remarkable they have not developed hemorrhoids.”
This sympathy in turn also leads them to drop the title of atheist that they have so boldly carried, truly the atheist movement will not recover from this recent wave of deserters.
How ever will we go on with this immense loss of intelligent individuals?
Atheism became somewhat in vogue in the years following the debates that converted these people. The reason being that for most of these people it may have actually been their first exposure to opinions outside of religion, they took this display of intellect made by a few individuals and tried to turn it into an ideology. Debates have seldom if ever been a source of actual change. Most people either come out of a debate more religious or with more disdain for religion. The atmosphere of debate has very rarely been the platform for change, given that as I said, most people do not actually listen to both sides, they listen to the side they agree with at the time.
Much like a young’un that has been sent away to college, these people have been granted for the first time in their lives an intellect that grants freedom of thought, I understand why they do that. What escapes me is why they choose to adopt the most abrasive traits of the speakers rather than the nuanced ones. This is why I am confident that many are just angry.
Angry at their parents.
Angry at their friends.
Angry at Religion. Which in itself devoid of people is essentially inanimate.
Angry at a God that deceived them.
Completely ignorant of the passive participation they engaged in and friends they made under these false pretenses.
This leads us swiftly on to our subject for tomorrow, Radical & Militant or Hardline Atheism.
Which is basically a bunch of whiny disenfranchised youth yelling at their newest perceived enemy.
Return, if you dare, here there be dragons.