Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On Anti-theism

A listing on the Democratic Underground website attempts to draw a distiction between atheism and anti-theism. The writer postulates that the anti-theist believes that all religion are not just wrong ( in a theoretical sense), but also bad. The effects of following religion is that the individual becomes brainwashed and is able to justify bad or evil acts.Further they contend that even those things that are considered good can be achieved independent of religion, such as feeding the poor, and healing the sick. In fact the write argues that these acts are weakened through a religious lens.
Two problems I see with this approach, and with those who espouse a strong atheism. First, they are blinded by the very biases that see in religious people. For them to be truthful, they need to account for the fact that just as not everything done in religion is good, the opposite is also true: that everything done from an a-religious, or secular ideology is also not always good. Unless an atheist can argue that the atheist belief system (and not just individual followers) can produce evil then they are biased.
Secondly, the anti-religious (which I contend is the correct term since ant-theism rejects a belief in a Deity but not in a religion per se), argue that what is primarily wrong with religion is that it is illogical, and irrational. They then believe that logic and rationality are key to a enlightened and "better" life. But, what is rational and logical? Unless one is willing to counter that certain things occur in an illogical, irrational or counter-intuitive fashion--perhaps only initially until better understanding or time passes--then these people are biased. But being defined as biased in not something that a logical, rational, and enlightened person is apt to admit.