Jackie comes to us with this question…
hi, I just wanted to ask you guys that if you guys do not believe in God why bother and created a Blasphemy Challenge? why bother with something that does not exist? For example: If do not believe my husband is cheating on me 100% and to my knowledge there is no evidence that he is cheating on me, but every time he gets home I fight with him accusing him of cheating. That sounds ridiculous. Why fighting for something that inst there. So why the challenge? Maybe because you guys are not 100% sure that there is no God? Or you guys just don’t want to believe in God because you guys do not want to follow God’s instructions? Its ok if you guys dont. God made us with free will. You choose to follow Him or not thats all just simple. Why the hate for something that does not exist? ( that does not exist to guys af course) Hope you guys answer my question. Thank you guys for your time. I look forward to see your email with your thoughts. Best wishes =D. Sincerely, Jackeline P.S God bless you guys.
I see this question on Twitter all of the time and I find it, admittedly, a bit strange. To me, it should be obvious that since atheists don’t believe in gods, we can’t hate them. So why does this question get around so much? Are believers that naive? Do they really think we hate their god, and if so, why do they think that? Is your preacher telling you this? Why is he/she perpetuating a lie? Who keeps saying atheists hate gods? It’s certainly not atheists.
The reason the Blasphemy Challenge was created was for several reasons. First to show Christians that we do not fear their god (because we don’t believe it exists) and to show this lack of fear, what better way then committing what is referred to as “the unforgivable sin” which is to deny the holy spirit. The second reason was to show atheists that there are others just like them who don’t believe, and to feel a sense of unity. It was a great success. Lot’s of people took the challenge, it got publicity in the news, and a broader dialog was created.
Atheists do not hate gods. What we hate is the way religion pushes itself on to others. Take the phrase “One nation under god” in the pledge of allegiance for example. Most Christians today don’t realize that the original pledge never said “under god”. Here’s a video of the cartoon character Porky Pig saying the pledge before it was changed in the 1950’s….
Why was the pledge changed? Because of the great “Communist scare” of the 1950’s. The fear of communists was so strong that pressure was put on the government by religious lobbies and organizations to change the pledge to reflect the differences in our political structure and communism. Never mind that it doesn’t actually reflect the beliefs of all Americans.
I could go on to give you more examples of how religion interferes with personal liberties. Dry counties, decency laws, laws against homosexuals, laws against atheists holding public office, laws against women controlling their reproduction, public displays of religion on government property, forced prayer at schools, laws that withhold the progress of science, Religion can also be abusive by teaching that men have the right to lead women, that the natural desire for sex is wrong and that even touching oneself makes you less then human, and that child abuse is permitted (spare the rod and spoil the child).
For these reasons and more atheists speak out against religion. Atheists in the U.S. want this to be “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” not just the religious.
So no, atheists don’t hate your god. We just don’t want your god belief to be pushed on us. Hope this answer helps.
13 thoughts on “If you don’t believe in a god, why bother?”
RT @asktheatheist: If you don’t believe in a god, why bother?: Jackie comes to us with this question…
hi, I just wanted to ask you… ht…
Why bother? Because religion is a business and it extorts billions for a %, pittance almost, but it large numbers for all time…
Your tithing is the payment for service, marketing is cast onto witless children, and you ask why bother?
Because I want to live with humans equal to me.
Erick said it well. The only thing I would add is that atheists don’t care what you believe. It’s your right and your business. We do care when you try to spread your nonsense to others though. Convincing others to abandon logic, rational thought, and the scientific method is bad for our country. We don’t need to be dumbed down anymore than we’ve already been. If your want to stay purposefully ignorant, so be it, but don’t drag others down with you
The bluntest answer to this type of question is often the best – your right to punch me in the face ends somewhere short of my nose.
There are plenty of things people might believe in that don’t have non-believers concerned in the least. Non-believers generally only get concerned when believers demand that their beliefs give them certain rights over everyone. In the case of Christianity or Islam this apparently includes the right to dictate what happens when you close your bedroom door or decide what’s best for your own body.
Stop doing that and we’re good.
Jackie, I’m not an atheist, but I can understand why people would want to challenge other ideas and beliefs. If a person feels strongly about something then they naturally want to convince others. If a person feels misunderstood, mischaracterized, or misrepresented then they naturally would want to be better understood, better characterized and better represented. Or if a person feels pushed, disrespected, or belittled then they naturally would want to push back or respond. I can understand why an Atheist (or any other human being) would be critical of Christians or other Theists, especially when we are disrespectful, pushy, sarcastic, demeaning, etc. Frankly, I find your original question/argument to be all of these things.
For me at-least initially, the reason for talking / writing more about my atheism was to test if there are any religious ideas out there that might rebut atheism and to see if my thinking was clear enough. I can safely say that I have not found any convincing ideas in any religion’s underlying philosophy/ doctrine. Some underlying philosophies can be interesting and impressive (take Buddhism for e.g.) but I find that the psychology of how individuals and social systems made up of individuals function offers much more compelling explanations of most living situations than most religious philosophies.
Nowadays, I ‘propound’ my atheism because I feel terribly worried by the closed mindset that religious thought of all kinds tends to develop. Being in the Arabian Gulf currently, I daresay I have seen the narrowness at close quarters in reasonably affluent nations (and I am not saying that other religions are less restrictive, if followed verbatim).
Religion is a crutch most of the human race holds on to in order to get some structure in our lives. Rather than think through life we’d rather have a given set of beliefs – it’s easier than having to think stuff through. We hold on to the crutch (usually handed down to us in our early years – when we are most impressionable – by our parents & peers) because it’s just so damned convenient.
I write against religion in the fool’s hope that maybe I can convince someone to let go of their needless crutch and experience the invigorating freedom of rational thought.
I would say Jackie, that one reason an atheist might do this is to show others how serious they are when they say they do not beleive there is a god, hoping it may wake up the beleiver from the dream he is having that there is one. Or at least make them think and question why they beleive what they do. Many more that you are aware of, beleive
religion is the root cause of most of the problems and persecution in this world, as do I. Relgion is on the decline, and I hope and beleive that one day all religion will be discarded for the truth. The truth that can be obtained from science, not the superstitious nonsence of some rediculous, antiquated, religiously oriented book.
Well said Christoper, and ditto from me.
You will pee in your pants if this blasphemy challenge would be about Islam. And believe me they would come after you. But for liberals like most atheist that would be hate speech correct?
There is a school of thought along those lines, yes. Proponents are sometimes referred to as the “regressive left” and its hypocrisies are plain. But if your defense of Christianity is that at least Christians don’t kill apostates, it leaves much to be desired in terms of actually bringing anyone to faith.
Atheist push the gospel more than christians, any day how many bible readings or searches you think you motivate. I don’t care about atheist honestly I know they will never convince me,
“I don’t care about atheist honestly I know they will never convince me”
I don’t think that is the point here. It’s about an exchange of information, and an attempt to put straight the ridiculous notions that some believers have about people that lack belief in supernatural agents. If you aren’t convinced, fine. That’s your choice and your right.
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