Friday, April 27, 2007

Atheists- Would You Die For Your Belief?

Well- I'm on assignment from Sean. He asked me to take a look at this and see what I had to say about this piece of fundamentalist tripeAtheists - Would You Die For Your Belief?

My comments are in bold because I didn't want to give Makarios the satisfaction of having the darker font.

Atheists - Would You Die For Your Belief?

Atheism is a lack of belief in any god, goddess or other supernatural being.

It’s not so far fetched to imagine, sometime in the future another Atheist Totalitarian attempt to put an end to Christianity, to close religious schools, to board up Churches or turn them into factories or warehouses.

I’m guessing here that he is referring to communism- which is a political philosophy and not an atheist “belief”. To be an atheist, does not mean to be a communist. Atheists can have any number of political beliefs- a few examples of which are- libertarian, republican, democrat, constitutionalist, and oh yes- communist or even fascist….

In the absence of historical observation, Dawkins and Harris wannabes shiver with anticipation at the thought of such a utopia. It’s not such a stretch to visualize millions upon millions of Atheists towing the party line for their “Dear Leader.”

This is just plain offensive and designed to stir up in christians the fervor he is projecting on atheists. In the incomplete list of political beliefs I mentioned, how many of people holding those ideals would want to “tow the party line for their ‘Dear Leader’?” Well we’ve seen fascists march in goose step for their beloved father figure, but I’ve never seen republicans do it, or libertarians for that matter.

I read Sam Harris’ book The End of Faith, I don’t remember him ever stating in that book that he wanted to set up an Atheist Totalitarian government. I haven’t read any of Richard Dawkins’ books, but somehow I doubt Totalitarianism is on the menu. If I’m wrong about this- please let me know!

My guess is that this “utopia” that Dawkins and Harris are imagining, hoping for, possibly even shivering in anticipation of is a world freed from superstition. A world where everyone approaches reality with a thinking, reasoning brain. A world where morality is NOT based on the threat of burning in hell for all eternity (a truly sadistic notion). A world where there are no more wars for doctrinal differences. A world with no more honour killings for a woman’s perceived sexual transgression.

The Bible tells us that there is going to come a time when someone, someone who is voted into power will make a valiant attempt to put an end, once and for all, to Christianity and it’s followers.

I think it is the fundamentalist Christians who shiver in anticipation of just this event- doesn’t this signify the nearing/commencing/starting of the rapture??? I’m not trying to be facetious here, are not Christians eager for the rapture?

There are, however, two problems:
- How do you get rid of all those pesky Christians? Are you, Atheist, willing to go that far? Think about it! Because I’ll tell you right now, killing us is the only option to putting an end to the thoughts and actions of we who love Jesus. Taking our children and putting them into reeducation programs won’t be enough.

I wish I knew the debating terms. [Note to self, learn them!] I know this falls into one of the categories.

I will take a stab at describing the problems I see in it without that knowledge.

This question assumes the totalitarian type regime complete with reeducation programs. It also assumes that atheists consider the slaughter of christians and the forceable removal of their children to be a viable option.

There might be atheists out there who would pursue just such a government. There are certainly Muslims out there who would love to do away with all Christians. There is even a Christian movement out there to establish a theocracy right here in America.

Is it just me, or does it seem like he is shivering in anticipation of being a martyr for jesus? Once again, not trying to be facetious. It really comes across that way.


- What if the world leader who wants to put an end to Christianity isn’t an Atheist?
What if Christianity isn’t the only thing that annoys him? What if that list includes Atheists, Jews, and adherents to any belief system except his own?

The book of Revelation in the Bible says that at some point in the future, a world leader is going to demand not just the allegiance, but the WORSHIP of every individual.

What if the world leader that is spoken of in Revelation is a religious person with a religious agenda?

Well let’s think about that. He is suggesting that a totalitarian regime will attempt to form and eliminate any Christian, atheist, Jew…for the sake of simplicity why don’t we call them Nonbelievers.

Oh wait. That situation is currently happening in the world. And what are the Christians, atheists, Jews and other nonbelievers doing? Fighting against it. Nonbelievers standing shoulder to shoulder fighting and dying to prevent the totalitarianization of our country.

What if the heads of Atheists and Christians wind up on the same chopping block?

What are we sheep that we are passively lined up waiting for this?

Dawkins et al would like to do away with Christians. Centuries of experience show how those who have met Jesus will react.

There is a difference between “do away with” and “desire a world without”. Doing away with suggests action- a deliberate extermination. The possibility of martyrdom. Obviously not the way to go.

But what about you, Atheist? What if someone comes along who wants to do away with you because you hold to Atheist beliefs?

Well- There are a swarm of fundamentalists I have read on blogs who are very eager to condemn atheists to an eternity of hellfire and damnation. Some even talk of wanting to stand by the throne of judgment and watch and laugh.

As for in this world, if someone or some group comes along that is upset by a lack of belief in their god, I imagine atheists won’t be the only ones they are upset at. Atheists won't be the only ones this regime will attempt to enslave and wipe out. And even if we were- We would fight back. It is what any reasonable being would do when threatened with death.

Suppose you were given three days to decide > Convert and live, or hold to your beloved Atheism and die a horrible death.

First of all, this assumes that we lost the war and are apparently prisoners.

Second, there are always other options. Give me liberty or give me death. Doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of belief in god, but a political ideal of freedom.

. Are you so devoted to your cause that you’d say, “Do your worst to me. I hold the truth of atheism in my heart.”

The “cause” that would be fought for is not atheism but freedom. The freedom to be what you want. To believe what you want. To live your life the way you want. Sounds a lot like America to me.

. Is Atheism so real and precious to you that it’s worth dying for?
. Are you so convinced of it’s accuracy that you’d say, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

The FREEDOM to be an atheist is real and precious and worth dying for.

. Does Atheism give your life such meaning and context and purpose that a life without it is not worth having?
. Have you derived such peace from this belief system and are you so certain of it’s worth that you’d be tortured to death for it?

The FREEDOM from god makes every day precious as we are not longing for death so we can be with god. We’ve got one chance at happiness- this life. And this life is precious and worth fighting for and dying for.

Or will you decide that it’s not such a big deal after all? Will you ‘change your mind’ and save your skin?

I don’t know how individuals would decide in the twisted scenario that he has invisioned. I imagine some will choose to "convert" and live and continue the fight another day, some will martyr themselves on the chance of inspiring others in freedom's cause, and some might choose to die rather than live in such a horrific world.

And if that's the case, isn't it possible that if being an Atheist is not worth dying for in those circumstances, it’s not worth wasting your time over now either?

You believe in god. You believe he knows everyone’s hearts. Do you really think he will fall for Pascal’s Wager and accept the worship of someone with his fingers crossed?

There’s a wonderful book by D.C. Talk called “Jesus Freaks” - Albury Publishing, Tulsa Oklahoma. The content is made up of historical accounts of Christian Martyrdom from ancient times to the present day. If you want to know what purpose and calling and a relationship with Jesus look and feel like in the face of death, it’s a good read.

There is a wonderful book by Leonard Peikoff called “Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand”- Penguin Books, New York, New York. It describes a life without superstition. A life that is not centered on death but on living. A life not based on fear and superstition but a life of reason and purpose. A life with morality not based on the threat of hell but on happiness. It means the exacting discipline of defining and pursuing one's rational self-interest.

A code of rational self-interest rejects every form of human sacrifice, whether of oneself to others or of others to oneself. The ethics of rational self-interest upholds the exercise of one's mind in the service of one's life, and all of the specific value-choices and character attributes which such exercise entails. It upholds the virtues of rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride. It does not advocate "survival at any price."


Sean the Blogonaut said...

Bravo, an A+

I will still be posting some thoughts on the topic. Some people are very quick to say I would die for my beliefs and nothing would make me recant them(these fundamentalists still don't get that Atheism is not a religion).

If some one had held a gun at my head and forced me to convert to Islam/Christianity I would do it in a second because I am all about surviving, you only get one chnce at life.

I wonder if some other fundamentalists can be so honest with themselves.

Or if that scenario does not give them pause how about this:

A gunman holding a gun at their childrens's/wife's head and threatening their deaths unless you convert.

look_an_atheist said...

*big foolish happy grin* Thanks!!!! I thought it turned out rather well and it thrills me to pieces that you think so too!

A gunman holding a gun at their childrens's/wife's head and threatening their deaths unless you convert.

Who in the world was that who said something like "When you love someone you are held hostage by their/the future..." Nah, that's not quite right. But somewhere, there is a quote about being vulnerable when you care about someone. Spouse. Children.

I'm glad you enjoyed my response. I loved the challenge. Thanks for pointing out his post!

BigTex71 said...

Sure, I would convert (at least I would tell them that.) There is no way they could know what you really think anyway. Just say you converted... only you know what is in your own head.

Tone said...

I wouldn't die for atheism (I could be a good liar if I had to be), but for the freedom to be an atheist, you betcha!

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Just discovered your blog today and am catching up. But I think the quote you are looking for is something like this (no I don't know who said it, sorry)

"He who has children gives hostages to fate"

Fiery Ewok said...

Hi Maggie! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

That was exactly the type of quote I was thinking of, thank you!!!!!

Took a glance at your blog and noticed your last post. I'm very sorry to hear that you are having that sort of trouble. There are some creepy sick people out there. Blech. Bummer that one has glommed on to you!

Stay safe! :-)