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Declaration: Atheism is a “cause”.

by Darwin Bedford 2011-07-26

With the powers vested in me as the Atheist Messiah I hereby declare atheism a “cause”. I chose today to make this declaration because of the horrific actions of Anders Behring Breivik. In a Breivik tweet he said "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.” Breivik’s killing of his fellow Norwegians was driven by his religious beliefs. During interrogation, Breivik claimed membership in an "international Christian military order" that "fights" against "Islamic suppression".

Breivik is but one example in a world full of religious extremists. I could go on and on naming groups and individuals in the United States and abroad that have extremist religious beliefs. Until the world recognizes atheism as a “cause”, such killings will continue and perhaps someday a bomb may explode near you.  

That’s why in my view atheism, or more accurately “anti-theism”, is a cause right up there with countering global warming, stopping the use of tobacco, or ending world hunger.  

All theistic religions make false claims that are harmful to individuals and society. They falsely convince people that there is an everlasting life after death. They falsely convince people that a god is watching them and if they don’t behave in a certain way then they will be punished.  

The problem is that each division of every major religion has its own version of ideas comprising their beliefs. This is what generates hostility and conflict between them and between followers of the different religions.  

If people could be led to realize that paranormal religious claims are all bogus then the conflict would dissipate. It’s as simple as that—religion just needs to be unlearned.  

I told my daughter (22) that I was writing this article and she exclaimed “Isn’t atheism already a cause?” Well according to atheist blogger, Austin Cline, who claims to be “your Guide to Atheism,” it is not. He recently wrote in his column …  

Is atheism a "cause"? Of course not; there's nothing about mere disbelief in gods that amounts to anything like a "cause." Atheists can have causes, of course, and some of those causes might even be connected in some way to their atheism. None of those causes, however, are identical to atheism -- no more than a theistic religion or movement is identical to theism itself. This is a fairly obvious and should be uncontroversial; nevertheless, even some atheists have trouble understanding it.  

Well Austin, I have to disagree with you. Atheism is generally considered as countering theism and you can’t have anti-theism without atheism.  

Exactly what makes a cause a cause anyway? A cause is “something deserving of one's support that gets people to change their views and/or actions to improve the world in some way.” Judging by the number of atheist bloggers on the web, recent books written on the subject, etc.; it’s obvious to me that atheism is a cause.  

I asked a fellow member of the Centre for Inquiry if she thought atheism was a cause. She said “perhaps not atheism itself but change to a secular society is a cause”.  

Wikipedia has this to say about secularism …  

“Secularism is the separation of a government, organisation or institution from religion and/or religious beliefs. In one sense, secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and the right to freedom from governmental imposition of religion upon the people within a state that is neutral on matters of belief. In another sense, it refers to the view that human activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be unbiased by religious influence.”  

I’m sorry but that does not go far enough to remove disillusioned idiots, extremists and terrorists from the landscape. In fact, it endorses their existence. We need education sponsored by government that opposes supernatural claims made by religious manuscripts.  

Many in the atheist community may see a “secular society” as a doable intermediate step but I say let’s go all the way.  

So the cat’s out of the bag, and atheism is now officially declared a cause. The news media had better pick up on this quickly lest they be left in the dust. Don’t forget, the United States was brought into existence via an official declaration.  

So if you are with me--with wanting to put an end to religious conflict, then buy an atheism themed t-shirt (I just happen to have some for sale on this site) and show your support for the cause that may carry the most positive social benefit that humanity has ever witnessed.  


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