from Not My God

Tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in history. For many, the events of September Eleventh strengthened their belief in god– for some, in an angry, vengeful god, and for others, a kind, loving god. Others, still, wouldn’t retain their faith in the aftermath of the tragedy. Some of you may be among them.

It is probable that Richard Dawkins wrote the God Delusion and started the New Atheist movement in direct response to the attacks. Would New Atheism have come about if it hadn’t been for the last straw, this one fell swoop that illustrated in the most gruesome way how dangerous religion is?

For certain, many claimed and still do that the terrorists were not acting because of religion. Critics said it was for reasons having to do with the economy or occupation. However, the terrorists themselves believed that they were acting in the name if Islam, and that is what really mattered.

I was an atheist before the attacks and remain so. It wasn’t until afterward did I arrive to the conclusion that, yes, religion is dangerous… that, yes, September Eleventh gave us cruel evidence of that reality. For at least a few years after the tragedy, I was still making excuses. It’s not about Islam, I kept telling myself. Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

Finally, I had to call a spade a spade.

How many of you became atheists, or started to lose faith, as a direct result of the September Eleventh attacks? If we count the God Delusion and the resulting New Atheism as indirect results, we can count many, many more.

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Comment by Sarah Trachtenberg on September 14, 2009 at 7:43pm
I like Ernesto's comeback.
Dave, women should have equal rights, even in the bad stuff :) I appreciate your sentiment, though. I think George Carlin said the same thing.
Comment by Dre Smith on September 10, 2009 at 1:35pm
Personally 9/11 had nothing to do with my atheism. But it certainly did renew my reasoning for why I think religion is dangerous and barbaric least the literature itself is in a society where we can kill millions with the press of mere buttons.
Comment by Sarah Trachtenberg on September 10, 2009 at 10:42am
Well put... I'm very much into the ball-and-chain concept.
BTW, I prefer to say "human-made," "created by humans," etc. :)



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