Who do you worship?


Something curious that I’ve noticed is that, as various atheist organizations implode in scandal and chaos, the percentage of “nones” in the population is steadily rising. Why should we have a rising tide of general secularism as all the charismatic superheroes of atheism are found to have feet of clay? Here’s one answer: the leaders of organized religions are revealing themselves to be blatantly corrupt.

I think that also explains my atheist conundrum. You can be a grifter as a New Atheist leader, too! We all of us, religious and non-religious, are entirely capable of disavowing that selfish asshole who has annointed themselves as Our Leader while still accepting the fundamental metaphysical philosophy underpinning our beliefs. The real split isn’t between atheist and theist, but between freethinkers and dogmatic authoritarians.

Comments

  1. Owlmirror says

    I’m not that enthused by the nones. There’s always other superstitions to latch on to. And there’s always another grifter for the disenchanted to latch on to. This time it will be different!

    I seem to recall seeing an attempt to graphically display change in religious adherence over time, which showed a lot of inter-sectarian churn.

  2. Marshall says

    Also, as people shift from religion –> non-religion, the atheist movement will be a more representative sample of the general population.

  3. says

    “The real split isn’t between atheist and theist, but between freethinkers and dogmatic authoritarians.”
    Well said sir. That sums up what I’ve been seeing for the last 20 years or so. Some people really want someone to tell them how to think and what to do regardless of religious, or lack there of, leanings. Guys like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh feed off of this impulse. Shout something loud with an authoritarian voice and some people can’t not listen. Televangelists use the same technique. There are a handful of atheist demagogues who are attempting to use the same tactics and I just can’t get behind it. We can’t fight brain washing with more brain washings. Human beings deserve to be free.

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    like she points out in the GRIFTERS video, Religion has almost no relationship to, what I call, Theism. IE Religion only uses the word God to flavor their doctrine, to get the masses following it. They have little use of actually believing in God and following rigorously what is written in the book they claim was “inspired” by God to be written.
    I see Religion as the established order that only cares about controlling people to serve them, not to follow god directly.
    I know that was the original “schism”, that is why they are called Protestants, They rebelled against the authoritarianism of the RCC, and wanted people to follow God’s word personally, not directed by authoritarian priests.
    -.-.-.- uh oh, I’m starting to ramble off topic..
    .__
    .__
    .__
    back on topic:
    The same can be said about the Atheist Movement, establishing a hierarchy establishment where the leaders expect the members to follow instructions and not think for themselves.
    . _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    pffew
    thank you for reading me ramble

  5. says

    @#4, slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem))

    that is why they are called Protestants, They rebelled against the authoritarianism of the RCC, and wanted people to follow God’s word personally, not directed by authoritarian priests.

    [Looks at you]
    [Goes and reads some of what Martin Luther actually said, where it is obvious he wants to displace the RCC as the unquestioned authority to which people blindly listen]
    [Looks at you again]
    [Shakes head]

  6. kingoftown says

    “that is why they are called Protestants, They rebelled against the authoritarianism of the RCC, and wanted people to follow God’s word personally”
    Yeah, like in the english civil war when the devout, puritanical protestant Oliver Cromwell overthrew the evil, catholic sympathising absolute monarch Charles I to install parliamentary democracy.
    Wait, Cromwell ruled as a military dictator, brought in strict religious laws and committed genocide in Ireland? Never mind I guess both sects are awful.

  7. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @8: And I love how you pass the buck onto PZ.

    The Four Horsemen made themselves irrelevant and myopic. Hitchens was all the rage for awhile. Did PZ make him become increasingly only a pundit for the religion vs. atheism debate and make him further irrelevant by apologetics for the Iraq War?

    The dictionary atheists say that atheism is just a lack of belief. Then they wonder why people don’t get excited to show up with signs listing all the things they don’t believe in. I don’t go to rallies about how fairies or the chupacabra exist.

    Why is it that PZ with his much smaller reach is responsible but not the people who wrote the books and became the superstars? Will you take accountability for the fact that the “I’m a liberal, but…” rhetoric of the Horsemen in defense of war, Islamophobia, anti-feminism, racist pseudoscience and eventually Christian fundamentalism meant that those following them would become fascists, because why bother pretending?

    I am guessing PZ will point out the biggest problem: if the atheist movement meant losing progressive ideals, it is good that it’s dead.

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