Video - The Trouble With Atheism - Part 2 Review

First, let's get this out of the way (from Atheist-Community.org):

A: The website Dictionary.com gives the following definition of "religion."

    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
  1. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
  2. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  3. A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Clearly, definitions 1-3 do not apply to atheists since we reject the notions of supernatural powers and spiritual leaders. Definition 4 could possibly apply to atheists, but then, it could also apply to a bowling league or a Britney Spears fan club. The claim that atheism is a religion is generally made by Christians who have been religious all their lives and thus cannot conceive of anyone not having some kind of religion as an integral part of their lives.

It's instructive to point out that theism is not a religion either. Theism simply has to do with believing in a god, which one can very easily do without engaging in any sort of religious activity—to wit, the practice of worshipping that god. A person who believes a deity or higher power exists, but never in his life sees fit to go to a church or pray or partake in any kind of practice designed to worship or revere that deity, would be theistic, but not religious.

Atheism, which is about not believing in god(s), and theism, which is about believing in god(s), are philosophical or theological points of view, but they are not religions.

Back to the video...

"David is such a good atheist that he changed his name to Darwin much like an Islamic convert may change his name to Mohammad."

There is no expectation whatsoever to change your name to Darwin because you're an atheist. In Islamic culture, though, many males change their names to Mohammad. What does this have to do with anything, anyway? This video is trying to make atheism seem like a religion...but it's not.

"Why can't you believe what you believe and let other people believe what they want?"

This question is nothing but evasive. Theists, instead of defending their claims, often resort to tactics like this. We're not "taking away" any beliefs as this argument seems to suggest. People of all stripes, creeds, factions, and ideas should honestly examine their beliefs and come to a decision on their own time, after their own research, and then be able to defend it as the Bible suggests.

The reason that I challenge religion is because it is very dangerous. It's doing a great deal of harm to society everyday, offering a tremendous amount of false hope, scaring and indoctrinating innocent children with the idea of Hell, repressing sex, making people feel worthless and guilty of imaginary crimes... I've been over this a great deal in previous posts.

I would certainly just "leave people alone" if they left everyone else alone, but this is not the case. Religion can't leave us alone because it insists on putting tremendous pressure on governmental policy, everyday life, children, Sub-Sarahan Africans (don't use condoms although there is so much AIDS in Africa), and science.

"You're arrogant!"

Actually, no, I'm not. I give very good reasons and arguments against religion, don't claim absolute certainty, admit that I don't know about many topics, and am very open to discussion. Sure, I think that I'm right about the idea that God doesn't exist, but who is really more arrogant...me or the people who claim that the universe was made just for humans with humans in mind, that God created them in his special image, that when they die they know they are going to live another life, people who say they are chosen individuals who make daily contact with the creator of the universe, or me? Do you ever hear a priest in church saying "Well, there's a possibility we might be wrong, but when you die we think that you might just happen to go to place of wonder and survive death?"

When do you ever hear a priest, rabbi, or pope saying, "Hmm. I think that god, if he exists, wants me to life a certain eway in my life" or "There's a good chance that Jesus existed, so you should probably accept that he did exist, here is what he had to say according to this book that humans wrote?

Am I arrogant for saying that the earth is not flat? Am I arrogant for saying that 2+2=4? I'm presenting my arguments as to why I don't believe in the supernatural.

"Even the rational way breeds bonified loonies"

Right after the reporter said that atheists aren't like David, he tries this tactic.

"Devout believers can be contempt of the beliefs of other religions...the same can be said of atheists."

Atheists don't discriminate. We disagree with all religions. This, though, does not add any evidence to the claim "atheism is a religion" that is being levied throughout this video.

"Sulfurous wiff of the true believer"

Atheists aren't believers. Atheism is not a religion...*yawn*

"Why do you have an organization to profess that you don't believe"

Atheists have organizations just like any bowling league, darts group, sports club, or anything, really. We're simply people who meet together who have similar viewpoints. There's no need to "profess that we don't believe" ... and atheists simply don't. We meet together, kick back, relax, enjoy others' company, meet new people, and discuss what's going on in the local area, in the national news...

Roman Catholic church, though, from what I have attended for years, is certainly a profession of faith that resonates throughout the services via the Nicene Creed, various hymns, saying AMEN before communion....

"Villifying religious beliefs"

No. The atheist here is simply talking about the stranglehold that religion has in our nation. How is this villifying? So what if we point out the dangers and negatives of religion...Do restaurant critics, book reviewers, movie critics, etc get slammed like atheists do for questioning beliefs and critiquing?