Secular fervour

The down side to being an atheist is that I often end up working on religious holidays when my supposedly devout colleagues are happily skiving off at home or on the beach. Nevertheless, I am actually quite content with the dearth of deities+ in my life and up until recently, I have been happy to let those with a spiritual bent go off and do their own thing, provided that the favour was returned.

However, for a growing number of infidels – including such worthies as Richard Dawkins – tolerance of religion is simply not an option any more. In essence, they have taken the stance that if you know something is fundamentally++ flawed, then sticking your thumb up your arse and looking the other way “out of respect” for someone else’s erroneous beliefs is a total cop-out.

Even though I recognise the urgent necessity of bringing unbelief to the non-heathen and eradicating religion, it’s a task which has “uphill struggle” written all over it. I mean, nobody ever gave up smoking just because someone told them it was unhealthy, so trying to persuade people that they are praying to figments of their imagination will be no mean feat.

And before anyone pops an artery over this, consider for a moment what sort of world it would be if we showed respect to people who believed passionately in Apartheid, Nazism, Slavery… need I go on?

+ i.e. imaginary friends

++ I just crack myself up sometimes


29 thoughts on “Secular fervour

  1. I was deceived by the lies of Christianity for several years. After leaving, I had a fairly belligerent attitude towards Christianity (or any supernaturalism for that matter) and responded to any attempt at proselytisation with much antagonism.

    You are indeed correct in saying that it’s an uphill struggle; no amount of logical information will successfully convert any christian as their holy book teaches that one should shun such wordly knowledge.

    What annoys me most is when every Christian assumes it’s okay for them to tell you about their religion, but the minute you tell them about yours you might as well just kill yourself and go straight to hell.

    Religion is simply a fairly-tale for adults…


  2. I am with Steph… in fact she stole my thunder. 🙂
    Whenever I am faced with a dilemma/situation like this, I only need two questions answered:
    1.What the fuck is really in it for me and for others, and
    2. Do I care, either way?


  3. This is a tricky one.

    I’ve considered becoming an evangelical atheist but I’ve always stopped short of actually doing it because it is evangelism that bothers me about Christianity.

    I suppose that, in saying this, I am recognising other peoples’ right to believe in their god, but explicitly denying their right to get offended when I don’t, or when I mock them mercilessly.

    Tolerance without respect is easy to do and is a very efficient form of condemnation.


  4. I am of the belief that as long as you are not hurting others then does it really matter. I AM a Christian and proud of it… however that doesn’t mean that I condemn or ridicule people of other faiths (or non-faith as the case might be). That is their prerogative as much as it is mine to follow my beliefs.


  5. I’m sticking with “to each his own” (and leave me alone).

    When I die and suddenly find out there is a god (contrary to my predominant* belief(s)) s/he can say: “I appreciate the fact that your left the zealots to do their thing because they amuse me terribly.”

    I shall respond: “I suspected as much.”

    *It changes all the time, but that’s a complicated story.


  6. It’s a debating cliche (how do you put the accent-thingy on that?), but it makes my point: My right to swing my fist, stop where your face begins.
    I’m not religious. I would say I’m in the moratorium stage (trying to figure out where i stand). I do believe in a higher power of sorts (all abuse me if you will), but my partner is agnositic, and most of my friends are atheists. But we’ve long since given up fighting about it – or trying to convert each other. My belief doesnt (or shouldnt) affect anyone else. If I dont bug you about it, why cant we just leave it at that?


  7. In your newly found atheistic activism did you vehemently protest to having to say “so help me god” in your divorce court case or did you stick your thumb in your arse? Do they even say that in divorces? I think I’ve been watching too much tv.


  8. um, aren’t you an agnostic? maybe i’m wrong- but atheists don’t believe in anything… and agnostics don’t “believe” in religion.
    i myself am a christian.


  9. As a born again agnostic I have all but given up on trying to dissuade others from their beliefs.
    I find that most Christians do not bother to delve too deeply into the origins of Christainity (or just read favorably altered historical interpretations) because they soon discover that it doesn’t just trump all of those other heathen religions because it is the new kid on the block.

    That being said you can’t really force anyone else to perform their own theoectomy anyway. For the time being (thank you moral majority and madrasses in parts unknown) there is no way that the modern world is going to abandon their fascination with deities…
    especially in the less educated parts of the globe..
    so if people ask me why I abandoned the fold I’ll tell them otherwise I seem to be wasting my breath.

    To be quite honest I find that a moral mental governor on a lot of those characters is the only thing that is actually stopping them from acting upon their is the lesser of two evils…so be it.

    Oscar Wilde was right, people are either charming or tedious and that applys to everyone from Atheists to Zoroastrians.

    Now if they try to teach Genesis in my kid’s school I would become a humnan tsunami of empirical reason and darwinism..but for the time being I am content to let sleeping dogs lie with Mr and Mrs Front Porch.


  10. Don’t you think it’s just swopping one kind of radical fundamentalism for another?

    I’m all for the “think it, and shut the hell up about it” approach.


  11. frankly, just because someone has found something that makes them happy and allows them to not have to deal with the real world, doesn’t mean it’s okay to just let them do it. Heroin addicts do exactly the same thing, doesn’t stop the rest of us from feeling that we should do something to help them.


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