Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pro-Afterlife Extremism Fuels Atheism

Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, recently wrote an article for BBSNews entitled "Religious Extremism Great Advertisement for Atheism."

In the article, Annie lines up very recent examples of religious extremism, and explains how their own extremist actions are arguments for atheism:

Religious extremists are doing such a good job of demonstrating the harm of dogma and religion all by themselves that there is really very little left for rationalists to do. Rev. Pat ("take out Chavez") Robertson calls down God's wrath on the pro-evolution voters of Dover, Penn. Next he deems Ariel Sharon's stroke an example of divine punishment.

The Robertson example should be obvious. It makes Robertson look like the insane and irrelevant televangelist that he is, in love with an imaginary friend who he gleefully assumes is smiting everyone that rubs him the wrong way.

Annie's next example:

The notorious Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka, Kansas, a one-man argument for atheism, switches from picketing the funerals of AIDS victims with his loathsome "God Hates Fag" signs, to demonstrating around the country at funerals for soldiers who have died in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

The Rev. Phelp's conduct is obviously not convincing any agnostics or "non-religious" people that Jesus is the way, nor is he making any atheists second-guess their convictions.

Annie provides a few more examples of the bloodthirstiness of pro-afterlifers, such as the 9/11 hijackers, the warmongering Christian politicians in the West, and even the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.

Annie is right, you know. Most people may not see it yet, but atheism has been gaining steam in the developed world, in part due to the actions of extremist religious groups.

Is it any surprise that the average Joe will be repelled to or repulsed from these various theistic worldviews according to the actions and statements of each worldview's most enthusiastic flag-waver? I think not. And who are the most enthusiastic flag wavers of religion, God, and the afterlife? Who is out there acting and speaking the loudest in the name of their religious beliefs? The Rudolphs, the Bushes, the Osamas, the Robertsons, the Phelps family, and even those Christians from Rapture Ready who can't wait to die.

Let the religious spokespeople screech their lungs out, claiming that their God destroys, or demands the destruction of, everything around them. Let the extremists proclaim from the mountaintops that, according to their worldview, everyone is born a worthless wretch. These apocalyptic, pro-afterlife worldviews can't compete with science, materialism, or atheism. In today's free marketplace of ideas, the actions of these religious extremists help Kill The Afterlife.


Vic said...

An EXCELLENT post, Mr. Kinney. Apologetics can bury their heads in the sand over crap like the TNAG and other logical impossibilities of god, but they really can't get around their deity's bloodthirst.

Well, except for retreating to the No True Scotsman fallacy, but then they really just admit their own intellectual dishonesty. And every word they spend decrying nonbelievers calling them on the bloodthirst of 'false christians' instead of decrying those same false christians themselves just proves it that much more.

Vile Blasphemer said...

Nicely done.

Heathen Mike said...

You know, when I have a bad day, all I have to do is go through my blogroll and it's like a breath of fresh air.

Yet another great post. Keep it up 'cause I'll be reading.

Anonymous said...

Great post. From what I've been told, there has been an increase in attendance at the local humanist group meetings (I've recently become a member). It does look like there is more of an interest in the views of atheists than before. It's great news.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thanx for the support everyone! This is just the beginning. Lets all keep the momentum going and continue to argue for reality.

BlackSun said...

Yes, Aaron, maybe the cartoons were a *blessing* (just kidding)!

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dear Aaron:
Isn't it better to behave as if there is an afterlife and be proved right, than not to and be proved wrong? It is why I chose the Sufi path. As a spiritual person and writer, may I commend to you my book, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. I think you will like it.
You can view the book and read an excerpt at http://www.masterofthejinn.com
In the name of the Merciful, 10% of all profits go to charity.

Peace and Blessings,


breakerslion said...

Irving: proof? You are pushing the logical equivalent of a Fisher-Price corn popper.

Another good post. I am constantly amazed at the deniability enjoyed by the Christian mainstream for their lunatic fringe. Pat apologizes for his stupid, evil, ignorant, superstitious, vindictive, megalomaniacal comments, and it's like they never happened. Poof! Must be nice to be so dimwitted and (self) righteous; nothing ever seems contradictory and nothing ever bothers you.

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I'm glad someone caught it. I didn't see it in the last Freethought Today.

Aaron Kinney said...


Thanx for the post. You said:

Isn't it better to behave as if there is an afterlife and be proved right, than not to and be proved wrong?

A loaded question if anything, but I think I can answer it for you nonetheless. You asked which is better, to:
1) Behave as if there is an afterlife and be proved right, or
2) Behave as if there isn't an afterlife and be proved wrong.

Obviously, no matter what the case, is it always more beneficial to have your worldview as close to actual reality as possible. Since I am a strong proponent of the primacy of existence principle, I always believe that its better for your views to be in accordance with reality.

But since your question was so loaded, I think I can give you a great refutation of the implications in your question by simply flipping it around and throwing it back at you. Please Irving, answer me this:

Isn't it better to behave as if there were no afterlife and be proved right, than to believe that there is an afterlife and be proved wrong?

The numerous analyses of Pascal's Wager prove that the correct answer to my question is also a yes. In fact, both versions of this question (yours and mine) clearly have a "yes" as the correct answer. Thats because the question is basically asking if its better or worse for your perception to be in accordance with reality. I think even the majority of pro-afterlifers in the world would agree with me on that.

So your question wasnt very profound or thought provoking, at least not for me. I think that a much better question for all of us to ask ourselves is: "Does reality indicate the existence of an afterlife, or not?" And the answer to this question, which I hope to have shown in the various entries in my blog, is in fact a "No."

Chymera said...

I believe Irving's question is better stated as: "Is it better to be an author who writes about the afterlife if people believe in in, than to be an author who writes about the afterlife when noboby believes in it?" Or "Isn't it wonderful that authors who write about the afterlife can prey on the insecurities and fears of those who believe in an afterlife?"

Love the blog