Religious people and “faitheists”— my term for nonbelievers who feel that religion is good for society as a whole—have been using a new strategy against atheists. Like good debaters, they aim to put us on the defensive, insisting that we deal with this or that Deep Theological Book (the latest “must-read” is David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss), or we answer this or that argument, or we read every “sophisticated” theologian in the history of Christianity. And if we don’t, well, then they won’t regard us as serious atheists. (As if they would anyway!) But I also realized that we can turn the tables on these people. After all, they’re the ones making unevidenced claims about reality, not us. So I propose that, when debating the religious, nonbelievers start using two tu quoque arguments.
In the U.S., atheists have laws protecting them. But laws aren’t always obeyed, or enforced — and fighting for legal rights can have dire consequences.
In many ways, religion is born out of this idea: the soul is what really matters; eschew the physical and focus on the moral prescriptions arising from your prophet (or the ‘voice’ inside your own head).
Over and over, we see the problem this ideology creates.
The Big Think
The American religious landscape has undergone substantial changes in recent years. However, one of the most consequential shifts in American religion has been the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. This trend emerged in the early 1990s. In 1991, only six percent of Americans identified their religious affiliation as “none,” and that number had not moved much since the early 1970s. By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.
A true Bible study may actually shake your faith and even cause you to reconsider your association with Christianity. These are things your pastor isn’t going to utter in a Bible study (ironic that it’s called a study). My new life as a professor in science has really opened new doors to me. It has also closed a dark door in my past – Christianity. Many of you hear about some of the positive themes of Christianity, such as “love” and the whole “Jesus saves” story. I’m here to share with you some of the things I found in the Bible. I’m warning you that if you’re reasonable and honest and you ask questions – you might not like the answers.
History is full of atrocities committed by Christians for Christ, against not just other religions but against Christians themselves. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Church and State
There’s a disturbing practice in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish culture known as metzitzah b’peh in which a rabbi (mohel) sucks the blood from a baby boy who has just been circumcised. I repeat: The rabbi sucks the baby boy’s penis post-circumcision… because religion.
If that wasn’t disgusting enough, some of the mohels have had herpes simplex, passing the virus on to the children. Since 2000, more than a dozen infants have contracted herpes in this manner and at least two have died.
Friendly Atheist @ patheos.com
This idea has been tested repeatedly — usually, the studies have flaws. And even when the results show that the intercessory prayer has no effect on anyone, those who believe in it will look at the hits and ignore (or rationalize) the misses.
Friendly Atheist @ patheos.com
For the first time, atheists and other nonreligious persons are explicitly named as a class protected by the law.
Progressive Secular Humanist
The Southern Baptist Convention may be the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, but it is on the decline. For the ninth straight year, the Southern Baptist Convention has had a decline in membership.
Religion News Service