Latest posts by Areesha Shah (see all)
I’m not writing this to showcase my hatred for both of these communities or followers of these genres neither do I hate them in any way. I am merely writing this to describe the analogy I experienced or noticed regarding the two completely different school of thoughts of atheism and antitheism. Also, let me be clear before hand that I will be talking about the followers and the psyche they all possess and not entirely what they follow as a whole.
It is quite common or somewhat a cliché to say this at the start that the concept of being good or bad lies everywhere in every religion or radical beliefs that people are subjugated towards. Oh, and not to forget the most favorite line of these people (mostly theistic), “Good or bad people exist everywhere regardless of what they follow or preach.” I somewhat disagree to that, because I personally feel like subconsciously we all are affected by this mental parasite ever since we were born. Because if we take a look, MOST people, yes, I emphasized on most because most people follow religion solely because their parents were following that religion. I have not yet once seen any parent who would’ve supported the concept of individualism (Regardless of the fact that they may exist but I have never encountered one) and that they would’ve let their children decide what they would choose to follow when they grow up. Ever since
I have not yet once seen any parent who would’ve supported the concept of individualism (Regardless of the fact that they may exist but I have never encountered one) and that they would’ve let their children decide what they would choose to follow when they grow up. Ever since that a child is born, the parents automatically assume that it is their duty or purpose in their already meaningless life to decide what the child will follow or believe in for the rest of his life. And that poor soul ends up defending that theology or doctrine for the rest of his life, that he never chose for himself to be a part of at the first place. Now let’s talk about why MOST people do not retaliate. And that the cycle continues until someone with a brain rebels. And most probably he gets kicked out of the house anyway. And that “Getting kicked out” is the exact kind of bigotry I will be discussing, anyhow coming back to our topic that I picked up for this paragraph is that subconsciously we’re, nevertheless, affected by the religion we follow, hence, saying that “Good or bad” people exist everywhere and that their actions are not influenced by what they follow is utter bull crap. Because, no matter what, at the back of your head, your norms and your values will always stick with your
And most probably he gets kicked out of the house anyway. And that “Getting kicked out” is the exact kind of bigotry I will be discussing, anyhow coming back to our topic that I picked up for this paragraph is that subconsciously we’re, nevertheless, affected by the religion we follow, hence, saying that “Good or bad” people exist everywhere and that their actions are not influenced by what they follow is utter bull crap. Because, no matter what, at the back of your head, your norms and your values will always stick with your decision-making power, which’s been put up in your head ever since you were born. Call it “mind control, brain washing or thought reform” or whatever may please you, but you have to agree that most people do not have that ability to think independently anymore. They will always be impacted by or indoctrinated by their religion.
“According to cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions). When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accommodate the behavior.”
My reason to share the concept of Cognitive Dissonance was to give you an idea why it is difficult for most people to accept new ideas or reforms and that they end up hating or disapproving them. Because, if you have been following one saying all your entire life and there along comes someone saying something slightly different and BAM!! You lose your temper. The element of tolerance and acceptance is slowly snatched away from you so you can quite easily and blindly follow what you’ve been following even if someone else’s idea is much better for you. Let’s say, a person has been eating red apples all his life, he loves them and has absolutely no idea whether any other kind of apples exist or not. And then someone comes and hands him a yellow apple, now there is a 90% chance that the person will refuse to eat the yellow apple. Although at the end of the day, it is still, an apple.
As I have discussed earlier that most religious people defend themselves by saying that good or bad people exist everywhere and that what they choose to follow does not mean anything to their actions, which I have disagreed with because I believe the actions of those religious people are affiliated by their religion either the deed is good or bad. On the other hand, talking about atheists, the people with a lack of belief or disbelief in the existence of God or gods, do good and bad deeds all the time too, either they believe in the concept of morality or they don’t. Now I might slightly take side of the atheistic community here, regarding the fact that most of them, when they perform a good deed, they do it solely out of good intentions. But most religious people would only do it because their so-called holy “Book” asked them to. They do no not, themselves ponder over it. Now we might have to take account of the concept of “morality” and “Individualism” here, because I do not want not sound like a nihilist if I end the argument there saying that nothing exists and we’re all floating in the nothingness or a void and that nothing matters either you’re good or bad, even the concept of morality does not exist. Because at the end of the day the difference between good and bad shall remain, the difference between beauty and grimness will stay. I am not an idealist, I am more of a realist. In that regard, I must say we should see or perceive things as they are and not depend on our visionary thoughts.
Now coming towards our main topic, all our lives we’ve seen religious people targeting the atheists, saying that they are the main cause of God’s wrath on us. And that they should all be killed. Because according to them, the Godlessness of these people makes them atheists as bad people. I am not, in any way defending the atheist neither am I saying anything against the Radical religious people. I recognize myself as an agnostic at the moment which however safely puts me in a state to say that, if a person can not prove the existence of his God neither can an “ungodly” person prove that The Divine does not exist. Anyhow, most of the time it has been the atheists who have been a target but in recent times the so called new atheistic wave of so-called enlightenment and free thinking is like the same parasite that has been descended from theology itself. Both the wings blame each other for all the chaos in the world especially after 9/11, the atheists found more reasons to blame the people who follow a god. One wing makes fun of the other in different ways. Atheists call religious people as fanatic and that they believe in an imaginary friend. While on the other hand, religious people call atheists as dumb and stupid who are too blind to see that all these “Beautiful” things in the world can not come into existence by themselves and that a creator is always there to give birth to the beauty in the universe. Then atheists counter strike with facts and figures laid down by science. And so on, these arguments keep going. Now keeping in mind the bigotry that comes through the opposition party is becoming somewhat the same as it comes through the theological people. Just like religions hate atheism, these new-age philosophers are throwing the hate back. The most aggressive members of the “New Atheism” movement have quite a bit in common with religious extremists. Let’s take an account of most of these “Writers” such as Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, etc. In the books that they’ve written, they keep criticizing religion. Although there is always a proper way to preach what you believe in, and that pushing your ideas down someone’s throat is not really a way, just like most religious people do, but now, these atheists are starting to do the same. Calling your own religion as better than other’s has been revolving around for centuries, and now these new age atheists are doing exactly the same, calling themselves “mentally” and “psychologically” higher than the others. That is exactly where and how the problem comes into existence, appreciating yourself as superior over others solely because of what you believe. If this keeps happening there won’t really be left a difference between the bigotry of fundamental/Radical Islamists/Christians, etc and the “self-awareness” of atheists. The New Atheist movement is being led by several egomaniac intolerant fundamentalists. It’s relevant to ask about what they are, not just what they say or write, because the New Atheism isn’t just about non-belief in God. The leaders of this movement make loud, repeated, and bold claims about atheism being better and more moral, more ethical, and a vastly improved alternative to religion. They also name names when blasting religious leaders. If we are to dismiss Christianity and other religions partly because of the likes of Oral Roberts, Ted Haggard, and their shenanigans (not to mention child-molesting Roman Catholic priests, Islamic suicide bombers et al) it’s just as legitimate to ask about the characters of the people pointing out religious people’s moral faults ad naming names.