Somedays, I wish I were a lawyer – 2

I would go to court and claim that atheism is a religion.

I would join the defense against atheists trying to have a cultural symbol (Christmas) removed that represents the vast majority of the society.

The usual claim by the plaintiffs (that’s legal talk and makes me sound like I know what I’m talking about) in these cases is that the presence of a religious oriented display on public property violates the US Constitution’s ban on the State establishment of religion via the Establishment Clause (no relationship to Santa Claus).  But in reality, by finding for the atheists, the courts are in fact doing precisely what they claim to be preventing.  They are establishing a State Religion.

Atheism is a religion because it is a belief system built around the absence of divine beings in the same way that zero is a number by identifying a quantity of none.  The difference between government giving tacit acknowledgment that, oh…80% or more of the citizens are going to celebrate a religious holiday (whether they actually practice that religion or not) and the establishment of a state religion is the application of state censure to enforce compliance.  Great Britain has a state religion…the Church of England.  Membership was enforced by the government and persecution against non-members led to civil war and an exodus of religious pilgrims out of the country.  Tony Blair had to wait until he was out of office in order to convert to Catholicism because a Catholic can’t be prime minister.

A manger scene in front of city hall does not establish a state religion because no behavior is mandated or prohibited.  People can walk by, ignore it, flip it the bird, whatever.  Desecrating a manger scene is not against the law because it’s sacrilege…it’s because it’s vandalism and the law is equal for any property, not just religious symbols.  Enforcing the non-display of religious symbolism, and enforcing it by legally mandating it’s removal establishes the belief of atheism as a State sanctioned religion with state mandated behavior.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I am not religious.  I claim no religion.  I have been in churches for weddings and funerals and the holy water the priest sprinkled around didn’t burn when it hit me.  So I guess I’m not too evil.  But I am a product of a society that has always celebrated holidays based on the predominant religion and if I am nothing else, I’m a Traditionalist.  These holidays are not mandated.  Nobody makes people set up decorations, buy presents, go to church at midnight.  I’ve known Jewish couples who celebrated Christmas as a secular event.  They also celebrated that other Jewish holiday that I’m not even going to try and spell.

The claim that atheists make that they feel oppressed by the presence of religious symbology is bunk.  What they feel is their air of superiorty and their actions are to abuse the legal system to force others to practice their beliefs.  As is so often when leftists speak, what they are actually doing is the exact opposite of what they claim.  Far from preventing the establishment of a state religion, they are engaged in warfare against one religion in favor of their own.

Update:  ToL has an article about those clever anti-theists at work.

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2 comments so far

  1. hkyson on

    Atheism and Science

    Science is different from religion. It does not pretend that it knows everything. There are even now deep questions about the origins of the universe that we don’t have answers to now though it is possible we may be able to answer some of them in the future.

    But the inability of science to provide answers to these questions does not prove that religious faith, tradition, or an ancient holy text has the ability to answer them. Science cannot prove that God does not exist, but this in no way establishes that God exists. There are millions of things whose lack of existence cannot be established.

    The philosopher Bertrand Russel had an analogy. Imagine that there is a teapot in orbit around the sun. It is impossible to prove that the teapot does not exist because it is too small to be detected by our telescopes. Nobody but a crazy person would say “Well, I’m prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot establish that it doesn’t exist.” This means that maybe we have to be technically agnostics, but really we are all atheists about teapots with orbits around the sun.

    But now let us suppose that everybody in our society including our teachers and the sages of our tribes all had faith in a teapot that orbits the sun. Let us also suppose that stories of the teapot have come down to us for many generations as one of the traditions of our own society and there are ancient holy texts about the teapot. In this case people would say that a person who did not believe in the teapot is eccentric or mad.

    There are infinite numbers of things like celestial teapots whose lack of existence we are unable to establish. There are fairies, for example, and there are unicorns and goblins. We cannot prove that any of these creatures of the imagination do not exist in reality. But we don’t believe they exist, just as we don’t believe that the gods of the Scandinavians, for example, have any true existence.

    We are all atheists about almost all of the gods created by societies in the past. Some of us, however, take the ultimate step of believing that the god of the Jews and the Christians, like the gods of the Greeks and the Egyptians, also do not exist.

    Now here’s a version of this text in Interlingua. (For more information about Interlingua, use a search enging to search on the title “Interlingua in interlingua” or go to http://www.interlingua.com.

    Le scientia es differente del religion. Illo non pretende que illo sape toto. Il ha etiam nunc questiones profunde sur le origines del universe al quales nos nunc non ha responsas ben que il es possible que nos potera responder a alicunes de illos in le futuro.

    Ma le incapacitate del scientia de provider responsas a iste questiones non proba que le fide religiose, le tradition, o un texto sancte e ancian pote responder a illos. Le scientia non pote probar que Deo non existe, ma isto non establi de ulle maniera que Deo existe. Il ha milliones de cosas cuje existentia non pote esser establite.

    Le philosopho Bertrand Russell habeva un analogia. Imagina que il ha un theiera in orbita circum le sol. Il es impossibile probar que le theiera non existe proque illo es troppo parve pro esser detegite per nostre telescopios. Nemo excepte un folle dicerea, “Multo ben, io es preparate a creder in le theiera proque io non pote establir que illo non existe.” Isto significa que forsan nos debe esser technicamente agnosticos, ma vermente nos es omnes atheistas sur theieras con orbitas circum le sol.

    Ma que nos nunc suppone que omnes in nostre societate includente nostre professores e le sagios de nostre tribos habeva fide in un theiera que orbita le sol. Que nos anque suppone que historias del theiera ha venite usque nos trans multe generationes como un del traditiones de nostre proprie societate e que il ha textos sancte ancian sur le theiera. In iste caso le gente dicerea que un persona qui non credeva in le theiera es eccentric o folle.

    Il ha numeros infinite de cosas como theieras celestial cuje manco de existentia nos non pote establir. Il ha fees, pro exemplo, e il ha unicornios e gnomos. Nos non pote probar que iste creaturas del imagination non existe in le realitate. Ma nos non crede que illos existe exactamente como nos non crede que le deos del Scandinavos, pro exemplo, ha ulle existential ver.

    Nos es omnes atheistas sur quasi omne le deos create per societates in le passato. Alicunes de nos tamen prende le ultime passo de creder que le deo del judaeos e del christianos, como le deos del grecos e le egyptianos, anque non existe.

  2. way2opinionated on

    Greetings hkyson

    I had a philosophy professor who said the difference between science and religion is that science has to have proof while religion has to have faith, (which makes Christian Science something of an oxymoron). If we could prove God, worshiping Him wouldn’t be a religion.

    I have no problem with atheism. As I said, I’m not a pillar of religiousity myself. My issue is not the philosophical basis of atheism but the political acts of people who call themselves atheists and work to impose their beliefs on others. They are more accurately identified as anti-theists. It’s not enough that they can’t prove divine existence, it’s that they demand that everyone believe that there is no God. This is unfortunate for atheists who are simply Profoundly Skeptical, but not active anti-theists.


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