Taking on religion is of paramount importance

18Apr10

All non-religious people should start thinking about religion really is, what is believes (especially about you) and how to undermine it. I’m not talking about taking on religion with pitchforks and burning guns, that would reduce our cause to their level of retribution and torture. No, what I mean is an active campaign of reason, information and hardcore explaining. A mission to capture the hearts and especially the minds of those who are merely in it for the comfort value.

There are three main types of the religious; the zealous(pious, fundamentalist, crazed, whatever), the indoctrinated and the ignorant. Of these three, the ignorant present themselves as the ‘low hanging fruit’ so to speak. The zealous are committed to spreading the word, subverting the young(amongst other things), planning for judgement day and working out how to kill everyone who isn’t as hardcore as they are. The indoctrinated have lived a life of immersion in the fairy tales and myths of religion, they’re little girls pasting fairies on the bedroom wall and wearing wings to parties. The difference is, when it comes time to grow up, the little girl eventually sheds her faith in the supernatural and moves on. The religious indoctrinated do not. They would be a tough nut to crack, though sometimes it happens (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/vincent_runyon/left_ministry.html). So, it is the ignorant who you should be talking to. Those who are nominally religious and nod along to most religious rubbish, probably without really understanding why their religion thinks that way. They might already be looking for something more real, inquiring and searching. Floundering about, not sure where to start.

Don’t get me wrong here. While the convenient word is conversion the problem is that I’m not advocating a conversion TO anything. Atheism isn’t something I see as a following or an actual institution. It’s a handy word to describe those who no longer, or never have, believed in the the supernatural. In deities, Gods, angels, devils or saints. Fairies, ghosts, succubi, inccubi, gnomes, magic, psychics, fortune teller and all the other bollocks that people like to believe in. No, I’m merely talking about a conversion FROM religion. That’s it. Hopefully after reading and learning and accepting the truth of the cosmos, the former believers have encountered the many wonderful worlds of science, humanities, philosophy and free thought and will develop a similar attitude to mine. Maybe not. All of the people I personally know as atheists do not necessarily share all of my thoughts or my beliefs. We haven’t joined a great new fellowship and taken on board its teachings, instead we’ve cast aside religion and gone on with our lives as WE see fit. You see, life is made of many, many things and religion is only one of them. Take that away and you still have everything else a person believes in and knows. And here is the danger to non-believers, we’re not a power block. We’re not lead by figures of absolute authority who tell us what to do and think, who lead our actions and can unleash us upon our enemies.

Religion won’t sit on it’s haunches forever. If all else fails, and if at some time they are unbound by the laws of society (look at what they do to other religions in the name of war, far from home and judgement), they will not hesitate to break everyone of their own laws and most of civilised societies laws. In the name of God they will murder, rape, steal, sow salt on your land and burn down your buildings. That is an absolute fact. Those who believe in God yet recoil from that statement are exactly the kind of people who should be questioning their faith in religion. Given the chance, all of the major religions would return to the grand old days of yore where heretics could be torn apart by mobs, dissent was punishable by all sorts of death and indeed, anyone you didn’t like was a target for the stake.

My greatest fear is that one day the free environment we now live in will be stripped away and the freedom to learn and think quashed by the strong and the pious. In my heart I don’t really believe that a campaign of reason and books will do much in the short term. It will literally be preaching to the converted, or metaphorically like throwing books at a cliff face in the hope it will collapse. Perhaps with time. You see, most people like to gain power, not knowledge. Might and not reason. Such a large portion of the worlds population revels in ignorance and deplores the idea of learning. If they get a chance, religions will strike out on new crusades, first against the unbelievers and then against each other. It’s that rock hard mindset that needs, one day, to be tackled. To be opened, and once open, left to discover the world in it’s own way. Not as dictated from a hollow-minded figurehead standing at the pulpit, but from it’s own research and reasoning. That, I fear, is impossible for the foreseeable future.

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