Sunday, May 21, 2006

Least Trusted American Minority

Here's a story for you. Who do people trust less than Jews, African-Americans, Muslims, or homosexuals? Atheists! Why? Good question. The survey specifically said that people felt these groups didn't "shar[e] their vision of American society." The leader of the study, Penny Edgell, called the plight of atheists "a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years." I'm reminded of a line from Family Guy: "It doesn't matter what race we are. What's important is that we're all the same religion."

Frankly, though, as an atheist I find it insulting to have atheism be classified as a religion. The premise of this study, that atheists are a cohesive group, is just absurd. Atheists agree on one thing: no god. From there, it's anything goes. I've met professed atheists who still believe in animism or some greater cosmic harmony inherent in the structure of the universe itself, music without musician. Me, I call that transcendentalist bullshit. I'm a metaphysical materialist, and I don't believe in, well, anything.

I consider my ideology to be freedom from dogma, not another form of it. Susceptibility to information imparted at a young age is built into the human animal, but religion is no longer useful or necessary as the basis for an ethical code of conduct. The contradictions of the standard western Judeo-ChrIslamic model are all too apparent to one who is willing to engage in simple logical analysis, completely aside from the flaws in their accounts of biohistory and cosmogony made obvious by modern knowledge. This is not a matter of competing mythologies; this is deeper than that. At issue is whether one will believe what one is told or what one can see.

So am I saying animists and Raelians aren't atheists? No, they follow the basic premise: no god. What I am saying is that they're ignorant douchebags trapped in exactly the same sort of mythohistorical narrative used by all major religions. Believing humanity was seeded by an extremely advanced alien species is no better than believing god blew on some dirt and there was man; neither has the slightest shred of credibility.

The reason atheism is the most distrusted premise for developing a systematic interpretation of reality is because it sets off the heretic alarm in every religion. Christians can say that Buddhists have an instinctive connection with the peace of god, a Hindu will simply smile and tell you that you will learn more about the Atman in your next life, and Muslims actually are commanded against waging war on the other Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Christianity) in the Koran.

Atheists? Fuck 'em. Unconvertible, contrary bastards without the willingness to develop the doublethink necessary to adhere to any major religion. Kill the heretics/infidels/pagans/whatever. Because atheists reject the basic "invisible superman" theory of nearly all religions, they are in turn rejected as a self-defense mechanism. Remember, religions evolve just like organisms, and those that do not encourage conversion when possible, insulation if necessary, and murder if they can get away with it will fall prey to more ruthless codes. A xenophobia reflex is useful in a religion, and atheists set off all of them.

Note: If the link to the article above doesn't work, try this mirror.


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