22 April 2014

Atheism FAQ: Myths and Facts

MYTHAtheist men are forced by their faith to wear the Fedora.
FACT: False. The Fedora is not, and has never been inherent to the Atheist religion. It is in fact a local cultural practice, thought to originate in the Reddit region of the Internet, which has spread widely among adherents of the faith. Not all male Atheists wear the Fedora, while many who do have freely chosen to wear it and do not consider it at all degrading.

MYTHWomen are subjugated and considered inferior by the doctrines of Atheism.
FACT: Partly true. While hardline Atheists do have traditional, often hateful attitudes to women, there are some progressive sects within the faith, such as AtheismPlus, which fight to change this. Needless to say, these brave moderates and reformers frequently find themselves subjected to harassment and violent threats by the hardliners and traditionalists, but there are signs of change!

MYTHAtheism is a racist ideology.
FACT: False. Atheists are forbidden to even see colour, and are commanded to identify and drive out The Real Racist wherever he should be found.

MYTHAtheism is a religion of peace.
FACT: False. While there are peaceful Atheists, for every moderate there is a Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens ready to justify the harassment, torture, murder and even mass-genocide of non-Atheists at home and abroad. In conclusion, Atheism is diverse and mixed, but there are some Atheists who do not advocate violence or terror.

MYTHAtheism is not a religion, for it has no beliefs or dogma.
FACT: False. This is a common belief among Atheists, and rests on a different understanding of the terms. Whereas, in Atheist theology, 'belief' refers to the beliefs of other religions, the unquestioned and unsubstantiated beliefs of Atheism - such as "Islam is not a race" - are referred to within Atheism as 'facts'. It is not objectively incorrect to call Atheism a 'religion', however to do so conflicts with Atheists' own understanding of their faith, and for this reason they consider the term offensive.

MYTH: Atheists worship the Dictionary.
FACT: False. Atheists are actually forbidden to worship anything, even the Dictionary. Many Atheists do not even believe the Dictionary to be infallible! However, Atheists do see the Dictionary as a source of absolute, incontrovertible Truth. Atheists believe apocalyptic prophecies regarding the fate of the world should the Dictionary ever be questioned or abandoned - namely that "language would lose all meaning" and "a word could mean literally anything". For this reason they are often afraid to deviate from its teachings.

MYTHAtheist Dogma considers Richard Dawkins to be divine and his statements to be infallible, much like the role of the Pope in Catholicism.
FACT: False. While Atheists do not always believe Richard Dawkins cannot be wrong, it is an official dogma of Atheism that Richard Dawkins cannot be racist.

MYTHAtheism is a Millenarian or Messianic movement, anticipating an "end to religion" and a final "age of reason".
FACT: False. Atheists often believe the coming Age of Reason to be the final culmination of human history. However, while Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett are frequently referred to as "horsemen of the apocalypse" in Atheist mythology, the vast majority of Atheists choose to interpret this as a metaphor.

MYTHAtheists believe the martyr Christopher Hitchens to be immortal.
FACT: False. Dead as fuck mate.

MYTHAtheists practice a catechism, and must through questioning establish if all earthly things are or are not a race.
FACT: Partly true. Certainly Atheism is characterised by a spirit of curiosity and enquiry and an emphasis on learning for its own sake - as such it is comparable to Islam or particularly Judaism. However the catechistic practice of questioning is neither a method of enquiry or meditation, nor a declaration or test of faith. It is in fact a protective charm invoked when the central dogma of Atheism is questioned by an outsider.

MYTH: The central belief of Atheism is that "Islam is not a race".
FACT: False. While the majority of Atheists do believe "Islam is not a race", and are more vocal in their declarations than with any other article of faith, this, along with "a religion is not a race", and "it is not racist to criticise a religion" is derived from the central dogma of Atheism, namely: "Something you can convert to is not a race. A statement of simple fact is not bigotry."

MYTHIt is forbidden for an Atheist man to enter an elevator.
FACT: False. The official doctrines of Atheism say nothing about stairs or elevators. However, traditional Atheist folklore frequently invokes a malevolent trickster-goddess known as Rebecca Watson, said to use an elevator to ensnare and humiliate Atheist men. Many Atheist men are thus afraid to enter elevators, and should thus be treated with sensitivity and respect.

MYTHAtheism is nothing more than non-belief in god(s); indeed, the term should not even exist.
FACT: Partly true. While Atheists consider "non-belief in god(s)" to be the defining quality of their religion (distinct, in Atheist theology, from the belief that there is no god), for many, Atheism and the beliefs associated with it are a defining part of their personal identity, often prioritised above all others. For this reason a certain amount of sensitivity is necessary when criticising Atheism.