How can Atheism become Anti-Theism?

Because my conviction that religion and the belief in a god predispose people to do bad things, I now think that I should take my atheism into an "evangelical" role. I have become an Anti-theist and I'm here to convert you to my non-belief.

I have begun challenging people who proffer religion as an 'liniment' to mans' woes. I may ask what god has done for them and then explain why god seems to me, so evil. I will cite examples like the Boxing Day Tsunami or the anthrax virus or cancer and ask the religious follower why they choose to follow a god that would wantonly kill or allow the death of innocent people (yes innocent, since many people who died from these natural occurrences were/are children).

Usually people will cherry-pick their responses, and select the good incidents in their life and ignore any bad that has happened to them or in the world. Additionally, I hear two very common responses: "god is punishing us for bad behavior " or “god works in mysterious ways.” I usually ask why would you believe in something so evil that he (since most gods are male) would punish you for my bad behavior? Why would god kill so many tens of thousands of people because America tolerates homosexuality?.

Then of course, I always have the omniscient v. omnipotent v, omnipresent argument that goes something like: If god is "all-knowing" then why didn't he warn someone, especially a government, of the impending flood, earthquake, tsunami, tornado or send scientists the cure for Downs Syndrome? If god is "all powerful" then why didn't he stop the cancer, small-pox, volcano? If god is everywhere, then he is also in these natural disasters too, right? How can a good god create or allow such nasty events and why? Therefore he is not all knowing, or all-powerful or everywhere. If a god could be omniscient/omnipotent/omnipresent and chose NOT to act to help or indeed created the disaster or affliction, isn't that the definition of evil?

If their response is "god works in mysterious ways", I usually respond stating that there is no mystery to hurricanes, earthquakes, botulism, dysentery. These are natural events that wreak havoc on humankind and we understand them very well, thanks to scientific endeavors. So, again, why would god do such evil?

I will then parry my religious friends' argument, if they're still talking to me, with:

Religion sets us humans up to accept what would otherwise be unacceptable. Why would surrendering common sense and thwarting in-depth questions be a good thing? Religion does just that. Religion teaches people to follow without question; to falsely believe that their particular religion is the one and only, or more commonly, that we are all children of the same god, regardless to what branch of belief we belong. Religion allows complacence. In extreme cases of fundamentalism, religious leaders reward believers, and sometimes families, for abhorrent behavior. I suppose it could be argued that the person is crazy, but religious teaching enables, even accepts, recruitment and creates an environment that fosters radicalism. Complacency among the 'flock' then sublimely encourages this type of extremism. And, it is proliferating. Religion creates weak minds, and weak minds with weapons is a very dangerous combination. Why encourage and support such a bad institution, such misguided acceptance and tolerance??

At some point in our conversation my religious opponent usually realizes that I have lost all my marbles and finds some reason to disengage from our conversation. Occasionally I disengage first because the conversation becomes a never ending circular argument and I realize this person cannot hear my words or analyze my ideas. I may try debating them again in the future.

I am beginning to create a 'soul saved' count. So far I haven't converted any religious person to my completely obvious understanding about how dangerous it is to believe in a god or follow a religion, but I will keep trying, keep planting seeds of doubt. I realize no single discussion or argument/debate will change anyone's mind. Hopefully over time, my conversation, along with others may convert those people in whom the seed is implanted and encourage the tree of knowledge to grow within them.

If you have taken atheism to the level of anti-theism, then share with me your experience.

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ask her why the pope gets a free pass from corruption and jails his own? ~ refer. to butler and IT guy in vati'jail .. hello 

guess everyone likes that comfort zone.. look at us. funny my fam went from 80's catholic$ to silly baptist and dunno the other.. btw they split way back. good for them! ; ) peace

Reeve, Booklover, Phillip

It is for the reasons you state here and understand that I post my little protest here. I want to see what others are doing to combat the religion virus. I am tired of being treated like my opinion is non-existent or unimportant. I protest where possible and engage believers in conversation often.

As I stated before, have no doubt, we are under attack. We in American society who believe that religion has no place in public schools, our healthcare venues, and our government. Tolerance of religious beliefs has allowed intrusion by the religious into all the areas of our lives that matter most.

I'm glad you all are protesting and finding the will to fight this perversion of reality.
Reeve, I agree completely. I'm doing my little part by posting here to get better ideas of atheist interactions with believers to hopefully continue the fight against religion and the belief in the supernatural.
Booklover, I don't think there is any one answer. It will take the collective efforts of many people to combat the onslaught of these ridiculous ideals. Even most believers think that their own religious beliefs should not be used to guide government or imposed in schools and healthcare. It is the vocal minority who take the extreme approaches that we must combat. We also must stand against the quiet acceptance by the majority of believers which allows and even fosters extremism. Unless we can get religious majorities to stand up to their own, we will have a long hard battle. Allying with religious moderates to help them stand up against their own will aid us in the fight against religious extremism.

As long as you and I, and those of us with conviction stand up to the extremists/lunatics, we can quell the upsurge in religious influence.

I heard someone state that what we are witnessing now in the religious attempts to influence all other institutions are religious 'death-throws.' The believers may be recognizing their "institution' is dying.

here here tooshay

Booklover, I'm glad that you are protesting, and I agree that our fight will benefit our children more.

Keep waving that atheist flag! "Atheists are People Too!!"

I wonder how your experience was at the Polling Church. Some Atheists and non-Christians have issues with voting stations being set up in churches.

I'm not against this, but think unused secular polling areas, like schools or government offices would be better choices.

atheist groups.. humanist.. freethinker groups are usually non-prophet.. get it? ; )
got that from 120 apparel...
the about us is cool.. intelligence barometer.. ha!

"god works in mysterious ways",
ha, yer brains do more-so.. i.e. wishing to the point of hallucination? were u beat about the head as a kid and got stuck with feelings of afterlife!? megh~ kagh~ go! ; )

When engaged with a theist in any religious discussion, the most anti-theist comment you can make, the most devastating statement, the most accurate shot at the very essence of the theist’s world, is a simple, and irrefutable statement you make about yourself, and that is:  “I’m sorry, (insert name here), but I do not share your faith in the existence of a supreme being”.

It is not necessary to challenge the “existence” or “non existence” of the object of their faith.

That you confess to your lack of faith, focuses their attention on the affirmation of their own faith.  It is effectively anti theistic because it turns their attention toward the very foundation of their view of a god-centered world  by forcing them to justify the existence, not of god, but of their faith.  Introspection is an enemy of ignorance.  Introspection sparks inquiry.

Attacking what they have faith in is never effective.

But, making them think about the nature of that faith is the first step in removing the cornerstone that will ultimately bring down the entire structure.  A most satisfactory conclusion, I would presume, for the most anti-theistic among us.

Quote, from Steph S.:

"I could not agree with your statement more Ruth. Sweeping generalizations are never factual."


That generalities do not extend to all individuals Steph, does not invalidate those generalities.

Especially when there are so many who are doing their best to fit INTO those generalities.

That's why I always take pains to avoid groupthink.

I'm real careful about the people I allow myself to be pigeon-holed with...
Yes, I'm anti-theistic, as well as atheistic.

Though I'm not necessarily always anti-theist.

Depends on the Individual.


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