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A girl learns the hard way what happens when you call (new) atheism a religion

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At Reason “Free Minds and Free Markets,” we learn from Kennedy (March 10, 2012), “Atheism Is a Religion: Or at least it requires a God for you not to believe in”:

I didn’t know what fire and brimstone was until I made a throwaway claim recently during an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. It seemed pretty unaudacious at the time, but by dropping the simple sentence “Atheism is a religion,” I opened a biblical floodgate of ridicule, name-calling, and abuse.

My Twitter feed and Facebook page became engorged with angry responses. “Your adherence into adulthood to what is usually an adolescent phase (Libertarianism), speaks volumes about your confirmation bias levels,” wrote Kernan. Touchstone Supertramp added; “Damn girl you got a big forehead.” A guy named Kevin and about 70 other people shared this bumper-sticker nugget: “?If atheism is a religion, then off is a TV channel.” Liz wrote, “Kennedy, is that if atheism constitutes a religious belief than anorexia is whenever you don’t eat.” Michael wrote: “religion /ri’lij?n/ Noun: 1. Whatever Kennedy says it is.” That was awesome. Beth called me a minor celebrity and a major troll—and it was also awesome to have somebody think I’m a celebrity.

I was called names and insulted in ways I haven’t heard since the first Clinton administration, when leading scientists still believed the Internet was created by Al Gore in only seven days.

Well, that’s pretty much what the old atheists are generally saying about the new atheists: New atheism is just a nut-out without any clear basis in serious ideas.

Traditional atheism wasn’t a religion; it was a dissent from an existing religion. New atheism is definitely a religion, with grand plans for us all, mostly stuff we don’t want.

See also: “You have betrayed atheism. Go over to the other side and die!

4 Replies to “A girl learns the hard way what happens when you call (new) atheism a religion

  1. 1
    Shogun says:

    The funny thing is, if some religious people would behave in the exact same way that those atheist trolls do (insults & defamation), wouldn’t we see those same atheists howling all over the media & internet against religious bigotry?

    But I guess it is only okay for atheists to insult others and still call it “science”!

  2. 2
    mike1962 says:

    New Atheism is not a religion. But it is an ideology. Like Socialism, Marxism, etc.

  3. 3
    Collin says:

    Mike,

    I think that atheism is a religion because it makes affirmative statements about God’s existence. Saying that God does not exist takes faith. Agnosticism is not a religion because it entails a mere lack of belief in God, not a postive statement that God does not exist.

  4. 4
    Michael Servetus says:

    I think it is fairly obvious that when atheism is called a religion people mean that it is like a religion. pointing out the other obvious point that atheism is not exactly a religion is superfluous and disengaging. It speaks of the lack of a willingness of atheist brats to engage in.serious thought and inquiry into the functioning of these ideas. I feel that they know they better keep things on the surface and in the sarcastic realm only because to probe any deeper exposes them to vulnerability.
    Secondly when people say atheism is like a religion they are basing it on observable facts of behavior coming from atheists. Of course it is not sold as a religion, we all know that but it functions like one–a bad one–and it parallels certain aspects of a cult just like religion parallels non religious organizations but is not. The reason for pointing this out ostensibly to show that as humans we all are capable of falling into the same traps and snares and vices of our human nature all under different names and even opposite contradictory beliefs. One especially noticeable behavior is the ugliness that most atheists display their hatred and every ugly thing imaginable coming from them as from the worste caricature of a evil inhumane self righteous misguided religious zealot and that is the amazing part. And it is worth pointing out so that hopefully a self proclaimed atheist who doesn’t want to be such a detestable and grotesque character can see themselves as in a mirror.

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