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Can atheism be called a dangerous idea?

Christopher Hitchens will be speaking at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney next weekend. His topic is "Religion Poisons Everything", and, yes, I will be there to hear what he has to say. One question I have, though, is whether atheism can really be called a dangerous idea these days.

We are lucky in Australia that we can even talk about this. The people who drafted our Constitution were smart enough to ensure that we would not have an official religion, and this allows us to choose (within some limits) what we believe, how we go about believing it and who we can associate with to support our beliefs. It also gives us the right to have no religious beliefs at all and still be a fully paid-up citizen of the country.

It could even be the case that religious belief is gradually disappearing. In the 2006 census the religious group that grew the most in the previous five years was Hindu, but it was still a small number. The second largest growth was in people who specifically stated that they had no religion, and in total numbers this group was third after Catholics and Anglicans (and only a handful less than the Anglicans). If you assume that half the people who didn't answer the Religion question were also non-believers then Australia is looking like a very atheist country indeed.

There are two sorts of atheists and no, I am not making a distinction between agnostics and atheists. These days "agnostic" has lost its original meaning of skepticism or "don't know" and seems to have become some sort of wishy-washy "I'll wait and see". The two sorts of atheists are those who just get on with their lives without any need for a god and those who actively campaign against the idea of any god at all.

I'm actually an apatheist, as I don't know and I don't care whether there is a god or not. If there is a god out there somewhere he is undetectable, so I have no more need to believe in him, her or it than I have to believe in the famous Invisible Pink Unicorn or Bertrand Russell's celestial teapot. I don't need a god to explain the state of the universe, because science can do that. I don't need the threat of eternal damnation to make me behave myself, because common sense and decency do that.

This last idea, that religion is necessary to create and enforce a moral code, has always fascinated me. Do religious people really want to claim that the only thing stopping them from murder, rape, incest and theft is some vague promise of eternal pleasure if they don't do these things and eternal agony if they do? These believers must be very nasty people if it takes a threat like this to keep them under control.

If you want start commenting about how Hitler and Stalin were atheists and this is why they were evil (and I expect that people will make these claims) then I will simply offer a Torquemada or Osama bin Laden in return to show that atheism has no monopoly on evil. Oh, and Hitler wasn't an atheist, but that has never stopped believers using him as an example of how bad things can get if you don't slavishly follow a religion.

The recent phenomenal publishing success by openly atheist authors writing on the topic of the end of religion is quite encouraging. Authors such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Vic Stenger have at least got people thinking that there might be a rational alternative to the superstitious belief that there is some being out there somewhere controlling everything that happens. As I said at the start, perhaps the fact that publishers are prepared to distribute these books and the public is buying them by the truckload might suggest that atheism is not so dangerous an idea after all.

There are very many gods believed in by people across the world. Some people believe that there is only one god. I am unashamedly an atheist and the only way this makes me different from most believers is that I believe in one less god than they do.

A version of this article was published on the Yahoo! 7 News Blog on September 29, 2009
Yahoo! 7 News

Readers' comments


The only problem I have with atheism is having no-ones name to call out during sex.

Oct 1 09:53 am

If you would like some " flesh on the bones " of atheist dogma, have a listen to Pat Condell on Youtube. His specialist subject is Islam but his enthusiasm for all things "mystical "is everlasting!

Oct 1 10:01 am

I am so very, very tired of the religious claiming a monopoly on morals, when a brief glance at history will show the opposite to be true. Fear of the unknown, fear of death, a need to control others, and a brain which is wired up to magical thinking seem to be the factors involved in being religious. Spirituality has nothing to do with religion, it is a human construct. I wish they would believe or disbelieve in any godlings they choose, do it quietly and leave the rest of us in peace.

Oct 1 10:03 am

I am with alisondennehy, religion is the most evil thing on earth. It is about power, control and guilt. Most the problems in the world involve religion, most wars were over religion.

Oct 1 10:10 am

I'm an athiest through and through and have a long ago neighbour to thank for that. They were Catholic. She was lovely and so was he but, every weekend he drank and he smoked and he gambled. One day I asked him if he was supposed to do all that as he was a very religious man. His answer was, "No but, i go to church every sunday and ask for God's forgiveness and He gives it freely because he loves me and when I die i will go to Heaven because I believe in God." Turned me off

Oct 1 10:16 am

with all the evil that has been committed by religions, isn't it pathetic that priests and such still consider that they have an entitlement to comment on others? centuries of oppression, torture, murder, wars, organised paedophilia, and they claim atheism is a dangerous idea! dangerous to their protectd, parasitic lives perhaps.

Oct 1 10:16 am

Hitler was raised a catholic but so what, Dawkins was raised an Anglican and that didn't stopped him from being a atheist. Like or not Hitler's philosophy in life was influenced by the athiestic views of Nietzsche and this is evident of Hitler's hostility to Christianity in his speeches in his latter years after he seized power. Everything that is good in life can be abused for evil purposes, religion is no different but atheism is much more dangerous than religion. Communism was a

Oct 1 10:31 am

Get rid of religion and you are bound to substitute it with an alternative secular philosophical belief that arguably is no less dangerous than religion of not more dangerous. Communism is inherently atheistic in its philosophical foundation and causes misery and oppression. It is common knoweldge atheistic dictators like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and arguably Hitler has caused tremendous misery and oppression as well genocide because they don't believe they are accountable to any Higher Power.

Oct 1 10:37 am

A God was invented to take the terror out of dying. To sooth the minds of those who cannon accept that when we die, we are gone forever! So is religion just for cowards? For those who believe in a God – how can the world terrors such as the present earthquakes, and Tsunami's be explained? Is he punishing certain parts of this world? Darwin's theory is so much simpler to understand and believe in.

Oct 1 10:40 am

wow ! what an article...i'm not surprised that atheism is fast growing in our modern society because modern society is all about trends & atheism is a simple & convenient trend. religion, on the other hand has been around for centuries & no i'm not just talking about Christianity or islam or judaism but all religions & all civilized societies have believed in something. perhaps our modern society (of atheism) does believe in something-advertisments, money & ego.

Oct 1 10:41 am

It is far easier to point out and debate a religious person that his/her actions are immoral than to do so against an atheist. At least we all know what a religious person's moral principles are supposed to be and what he commits to. These moral principles are supposed to be unchanging and universal but the moral principles of the atheist is a mystery. It could be very good and it could be very bad. We don't know what he commits to or where to find it.

Oct 1 10:43 am

I believe in God because I've had some personal experiences which are inexplicable by ordinary criteria and ........... it works for me !
When I studied metaphysics in Philosophy 101 that that was a vailid argument..........'at the end of the day it all comes down to faith because it cannot be proved either way. If it could we would not be having this discussion.
I always liked C.S. Lewis comment
"There's nothing wrong with Christianity , It's just that no-one

Oct 1 10:48 am

The article really misses its own point by ignoring the consequences of atheism, and the fact that atheism is a religion in itself, not the absence of one. A religion based on humanism i.e. 'there is no god, I make the rules and do as I please'. He even admits to relying on a "sense of decency" for his moral code. The society I live in accepts abortion as a "right to choose". I wonder if the aborted child would consider your moral code dangerous?

Oct 1 10:51 am

Right on, religion is a load of crap, just a place for insecure people to feel belonged, religions lead sheep, followers, a method of control, brainwashing from birth, factual science and modern human psychology far more important . RELIGIONS SUPPRESS THE TRUTH

Oct 1 10:52 am

As a physicist, I can assure you that science can only theorise on the origins of the universe, the composition of the universe, the creation of life etc. I think it is funny how these topics get debated by the scientific community, yet the media etc. passes simplified versions of a handful of these theories off as facts which the masses, such as the author apparently, considering his statement, 'I don't need a god to explain the state of the universe, because science can do that' go

Oct 1 10:54 am

I am a Christian and I must admit that it challenges my faith to the core whenever I hear from other people's pont of view who are not Christian. Yet, I am glad to be challenged, because it makes me think again .... and in the end this reaffirms my faith. I can not deny the existence of God, because I have a personal relationship with Him, and have experienced Him in a very real way. It is until you have this personal experience that all this discussion will just be head knowledge.

Oct 1 10:55 am

Religion causes war ? geez and here i was thinking that man's own actions caused wars & ANY religion will tell you that man's will is

hey nice effort averill39, you choose to take the simplier option. funny isnt it how people who cannot understand something, easily dismiss that something. which brings me to another point of wondering whether the dumbing down of society is related directly to the increase in atheism ? certainly art has suffered as existentialism has grown

Oct 1 10:58 am

I don't like religion at all, and I agree with bluemix17s comments. Religion is also very hypocritical.

Oct 1 11:03 am

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Oct 1 11:07 am

You forgot to mention another group: anti-theists. I'm very proud to proclaim that to all those bible-bashers who come knocking on my door. For god's sake... go to "heaven" on your own, get those 40 virgins, eternal bliss, or whatever, and freakin leave me alone!

Religion is a sign of our primitive past. It's obsolete. It's an invisible (to some people) rope around our necks designed to control, deceive and amass wealth.

Oct 1 11:07 am

FORGET ABOUT "GOD" That's a word left over from the prehistoric days. The Egyptians foretold that they couldn't see anything beyond 2000, modern scientists reckon that they were at least ten years out so that makes it 2010. With all of these eruptions occurring around the world lately and the STUPID ARABS playing with dynamite (nuclear bombs) this may be our demise.
We have to go back to a simpler way of life without religion and nuclear technology NOW!!!.

Oct 1 11:08 am

So, bluemix and alisonD, do you think that the abolition of slavery was evil? Did you know it was brought about by an evangelical Anglican, William Wilberforce? And what about Barnardos, TEAR Fund (The Evangelical Anglican Relief Fund), World vision and Compassion International, to name but a few charities set up by Christians. What of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent? What of the fact that under the Christian system, women ceased to be property. Oh, yeah, religion poisons everything...NOT.

Oct 1 11:08 am

Living a Good Life is all that matters. I am not afraid. Read more here: 09/09/20/interactive-philosophy-wha t-is-

Oct 1 11:10 am

Watch – it confirmed a lot and brought new way of thinking for me. Enjoy :)

Oct 1 11:24 am

My problem with religion is that religious people always feel the need to force their beliefs down the throats of others, which has happened to me quite a few times in my life. It would be really nice if religious people keep their beliefs to themselves.

Oct 1 11:26 am

"Religion" is another word for "brain-washing".
Science has taken over. Can you believe they still persist with that "Noah's Ark" story? pffff!!

Oct 1 11:27 am

God is love and it don't matter if we believe or not we are loved.

Oct 1 11:30 am

Athiests don't fly planes into buildings!

Oct 1 11:48 am

"Do religious people really want to claim that the only thing stopping them from murder, rape, incest and theft is some vague promise of eternal pleasure if they don't do these things and eternal agony if they do?"
One word, 'no'. What's interesting is your appeal to "common sense and decency". Why is it so 'common'? If we are simply highly evolved primordial goo then nothing really matters and we could do whatever we want.We know it's wrong becau

Oct 1 12:00 pm

Religion can be a many different beliefs. Atheism is actually also a "Religion". I take issue with the above statement "I don't need a god to explain the state of the universe, because science can do that". It takes a lot of faith to believe that the complexity of life just happened to make itself. The more one studies living creatures the more one comes to the conclusion that there has to be a designer. I believe the designer has revealed himself to us in the person of J

Oct 1 12:03 pm

I don't believe and I don't care what others think of me for that. All I ask is that you do not force your opinions down my throat that I am wrong because I do not do that to you. I wouldn't have such an opinion of "bible bashers" if they weren't out to convince us non-believers that we are wrong. Just leave us alone and stop trying to save our souls!

Oct 1 12:07 pm

Like so many articles on religion and the existence or non-existence of God, it is built on the assumption that it is a 'given' that all faith is a delusion. It rolls belief in the figurative "Invisible Pink Unicorn", that is *any* scientifically unprovable view, in with a reasoned, experienced and lived-out faith. Also they make the mistake of equating *people* who claim to follow God, with God. *People* lie or are in error but it doesn't disprove God!

Oct 1 12:07 pm

Oh, and as for that Hitler comment, though Hitler was raised a Catholic, if this blog had done it's research it would know that he adopted the views of Charles Darwin's book, 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.' And of course his actions flowed from that.

Oct 1 12:10 pm

I find it interesting that so many people say religious people need to keep their views to themselves. Many people don't know I'm religious unless they ask, yet on very many occasions I have had people who don't believe tell me how stupid religion is and how they think there is no God – shouldn't they keep their belief of no religion to themselves also?

Oct 1 12:12 pm

Same old clichés about "forcing religion down our throats". I don't think that goes on anywhere other than atheist's imaginations.
It's as if they can't bear to hear a 'religious' point of view. Maybe they are afraid it might just be true.

Oct 1 12:12 pm

Funny how more people are killed in the name of God than in the name of the Devil.
we are made in his likeness? then he must get jealous angry and everything else we do.

Oct 1 12:13 pm

Some Christian said Hurricane Katrina was God's vengence on New Orleans for abortions and sin but what did the people of Aceh and now the Samoa's do to deserve the tsunamis? No religious reason exists for these natural disasters they are the result of geology. Science explains via physics and chemistry etc what happens on the planet and why. Indoctrination from childhood or via conversion has led to murderous acts by Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus and many more.

Oct 1 12:16 pm

True religion incorpoarates a doctrine of love, peace and harmony. False religious teachings have poisoned people's minds to a large extent and given a false impression of what it is really all about.

Oct 1 12:18 pm

Sorry dannie12001 that you feel bad about religious people. There are a lot of 'wrong' religions out there. It's up to you to find the right one. But God said if you really want to, you will find Him. You just got to be honest & humble. If you really want to have peace of mind, search for the true God.

Oct 1 12:18 pm

An interesting point, however some of the greatest atrocities were (and still are) committed by communist nations (communism is an athiest belief system). Another argument is where does common sense come from? by chance or by design? What about our conscience? Or compassion? If life is just chance why are we outraged by evil or saddened by disasters? Athiesm has no answers for these questions.

Oct 1 12:21 pm

Religion is man made and is up or down graded to suit the sects requirements by man.Are there anyother beings in the universe that suffer the religious syndome .I wonder ? .

Oct 1 12:32 pm

I worked in a call centre and discovered the most racist, xenophobic, sexist & anti-human attitudes were concentrated more heavily around those who follow some religious dogma or other. While an awareness of something cosmic and divine is not a bad thing necessarily, religious institutions poison this relationship and retard human interactions

Oct 1 12:41 pm

Perhaps the reason why there are atheists is because they haven't found the right religion yet. For the apathetic, if they knew the true purpose of life (or that there was a purpose) they might search for it. For those who look at crimes of religionists – was it the religion, or someone using religion; its easy to tell: if they break the tenets of the religion it is not the religion. If they are within the tenets, perhaps that religion is false. That does not reflect on other religions.

Oct 1 12:47 pm

Q: Is there really a God? A: I don't know, I'm alright with not knowing and let's be honest, nobody really does KNOW.

One thing I feel very confident about is that I'm not going to burn in hell for eternity for not choosing the "correct" man made religion.

Oct 1 12:50 pm

Faith is not a pre-cursor to Evil. We have a choice. Do or Dont. Those that use it as an claim to exhort peace, yet war, stray from their own 'espoused' creeds. Religion, nor agnosticism, is inherently evil, but it is our own choices that determine. We can kill, or not. We can steal, or not. Choose a creed, or faith, & any within has a choice. Faith is not evil. God loves us freely. But do WE love God?

Oct 1 12:50 pm

well i belong to "the church of turkey" all other religions can get stuffed? just look at any conflict around the world, usually some religion is at the bottom of the pile? there is over-whelming evidence that religion is a con. it usually sucks in the easily influenced and manipulated. go the non-believers.

Oct 1 12:56 pm

have to agree with rob_was_here. In the atheist community obviously evolutionism is present. It's a common belief that one of our next stages of evolutuion will be mentally and with that we drop the beliefs and superstitions of our primitive past selves. The problem is that atheists all have their own ideas and it is impossible to get them to follow a single ideal.....Like herding cats as they say.

Oct 1 12:56 pm

Well, atheism is in itself a religion. It is the belief in the denial of God. If you don't believe in God then there is nothing to deny and therefore you would not be an Atheist.

Oct 1 01:00 pm

i am scared of most christians, especially ones who go about actively advertising their christiany like its a brand of toothpaste or something, these have always been the people i have found most cunning and wicked. most ready to dehumanise others.

Oct 1 01:02 pm

It is a shame that people do not believe in God, but understandable. I do not 'fear' atheists or agnostics, but ironically, I do share their fear of zealots of any religious persuasion. Too few confessed Christians, of all denominations, possess the true virtues of Christianity. This applies even more so to church heirarchy. Hypocrisy made me sever ties with organised religion years ago. God must cringe every time some flawed mortal condemns his fellow man in 'God's name'.

Oct 1 01:24 pm

I am an Athiest and act like a Christian is supposed to. I agree with those who state that some who follow 'Man Made Religions' have caused and are still causing Wars, Indiscriminate Murders etc., often cowardly behind face masks. Isn't Religion supposed to be PEACEFUL? Then there are the Con Artists who form a Religion purely for their own financial benefit or for illegal and immoral Control and Sex. Peace Not War means, RESPECT the right of people to believe as they wish.

Oct 1 01:31 pm

Every objections will be silenced as soon as someone can 'prove' there is a God. I just want to ask the atheists this question: Before science was capable of proving the existence of virus did virus not exists? The fact that humans cannot detect God using the wrong tools (science & technology) is no proof that there is no God. The fact that there are good religious people, horrible religious people, nice atheists, horrible atheists, is also NOT a proof whether God exists.

Oct 1 01:35 pm

I know of no religion that allows for the possibility of been wrong. With so may in contradiction with each other the best bet is that they are all wrong.
I therefore regard religion in the same way as I do the other mental illnesses. For the most part harmless, often a little wasteful of the person resources, sometimes very damaging and dangerous, and on occeasion of some benefit. I can't treat or cure religion so I try to tolerate it.

Oct 1 01:36 pm

So what your saying is that simply because somebody is Atheist, then there is no way they could possibly ever have moral values? That is simply stupid and illogical. I am an Atheist, and let me tell you, I have a lot more self-respect and self-worth than many of the so called, "devout Christians" that attend my school. Funny how you also say it 'dumbs down society'; perhaps you should learn to construct an eloquent paragraph and then explain such a foolish comment.

Oct 1 01:44 pm

Can't be bothered to list all the reasons I am an athiest but the 'moral' bit is interesting. If you care to look at, particularly, the Western World since WWII, it is abundantly apparent that the only way the average person will behave is through fear, sanctions and constant education on acceptable societal mores. The instant you remove those constraints every man woman and child seems to joyfully embrace anarchy and sadism.

Oct 1 01:48 pm

People should read the book from Tim Keller called "The Reason for God" and make up your own mind. Of course, it is biased to christianity, but sets out logical, challenging ideas about religion and atheism.

Oct 1 01:49 pm

So what you are saying 'upgradefirmware' is that just because someone is Atheist, they are sluts? Well excuse me, but I'm Atheist and I don't find the need to run around having sex with every man I find simply because I don't believe in religion. I have these things called "moral values" that I choose to follow out of common decency for myself, and not because I read it in some book.

Oct 1 01:52 pm

@stefanie658: I think @upgradefirmware was kidding. :) My first thought was "Heh, 'Oh God!'". The next thought was that @upgradefirmware should get a girl/boyfriend and cry out his/her name. :)

Oct 1 02:41 pm

I don't believe in god. We are here on this earth for some unknown reason. All that matters to me is being a good person, treating others with the respect I would like to be treated with and living and enjoying my life in peace. And how stupid to say Atheists don't have morals, as a human being, I most certainly have morals. Don't come to my door and disturb me with your religious beliefs. I don't knock on your door telling you that god doesn't exist!!

Oct 1 05:30 pm

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. So simple to grasp, no works, no good deeds, just faith in Christ, the ultimate answer to life and life after death. I know where I will be when I die, Heaven. So sad, so many are blinded from the truth for "the truth shall set you free"

Oct 1 06:49 pm

Our understanding of the universe has improved through science. Yes there have been refinements along the way. But this is an understanding based on evidence. Religion is a comfortable fairy tale based on wishful thinking.
We don't know how the universe started but it would be better to actually try and find out rather than cling on to fantasy like a child.

Oct 2 08:00 pm

75% of the US population is christian. 75% of the US prison population is Christian. 10% of the US population is atheist. 0.2% of the US prison population is atheist.

So much for christian moral fibre.

Oct 1 09:15 pm

So if atheism leads to people thinking nothing was created by nothing.... who created god? Seriously, does anyone remember what it was like before they were born? No! So why do people in "christian" countries believe in 'god' when if you were born in Saudi Arabia you would be Muslim, or Israel you would be Jewish. Seriosuly... come on. Surely not that many people can be that thick. Live a good life. There is no god. Let us all wake up.FFS

Oct 4 11:32 pm

Atheism leads to the conclusion that everything was made by nothing That takes more faith than anyone who believes in a Creator. I doubt that every so called atheist has diligently perused the evidence for both sides of this discussion and can present both cases and then say they have decided on the evidence To say that science can explain everything is nonsense. Science is still correcting wrong conclusions arrived at from time immemorial so science might be wrong with it's nothing cause th

Oct 2 06:48 am

Albystan – I quote you "Atheism leads to the conclusion that everything was made by nothing". If that is that case – who or what created god? I presume you believe dinosaur fossils were put here by god 10,000 years ago – to test our faith???? Do you also believe god created man out of dust and women out of Adam's rib? Seriously... can anyone possibly be that thick? Leviticus anyone?

Oct 5 02:52 am

You are right Albystan..... science does not always correct wrong conclusions... but when has religion ever corrected anything??? That is the absolute beauty of science – it researches and hypothesises... religion just comes to one conclusion that apparently was the answer 2000 years ago. This week a 4.4 million year old fossile was found. you probably think it was placed here by god. I feel so sorry for you – and I don't mean that in a patrinising way

Oct 5 02:58 am

Lovely article, as usual. I am amused by the emergence of the usual Fundie Loons. To: albystan – yes, as a matter of fact, I have studied both sides. Lots of church, bible studies, and even "church camp" in my youth. But christianity never did make a lick of sense to me, not then and even less now. And atheism is not really a belief in "nothing", it is belief in science and reality.

Oct 5 03:19 am

Albystan: Atheism leads to the conclusion that everything was made by nothing

Your initial premise is incorrect.

anniegirl_79: but when has religion ever corrected anything???
-1 Religion.
+1 for Science!

Oct 5 02:03 pm

TO yeenanyong,
Why doesn't anyone ever elaborate a little more when they say " i have experienced Him in a very real way"
Do you think that we won't understand? or perhaps that when you do try to elaborate you'll have "Rational" explanations thrown back to which you won't be able to respond?
And to the person who mentioned abortion before. When will you get over it? Abortion is late clean up.
Have you ever masturabated or had sex? If so then what about the

Oct 6 09:51 pm

to markspivey2002 and many others.
Atheism has no answers to questions like – WHERE DOES COMMON SENSE COME FROM? OR COMPASSION?
This is not meant as an insult, but try reading some of the books written by prominent atheists before asking these questions.
I used to ask the same thing, i was agnostic until i read richard dawkins. not just the god delusion, that wasn't enough. read the blind watchmaker, unweaving the rainbow. these will answer your questions

Oct 6 09:59 pm

When the proselytisers knock on my door asking me to invite some Jesus guy into my heart, I point to my watch, and say, Ok, you have five minutes to tell me about this Jesus. But then you listen for five minutes to hear all about the devil, ok...?
They never stay, never return.
I like things that way.

Oct 7 12:38 pm

Hey, you guys! Don't forget that atheism is a religion too! Oh! And no one does religion very well – some better than others. I. Munton, don't throw the Baby out with the bathwater.
You believe the universe to be a big accident? I believe there is a Purpose about life and existence. Which one of us is correct? God knows!
Your fellow traveller – John

Oct 7 04:50 pm

What gods do atheists worship or prey to?
No, Atheism is not a religion. Atheists are those who do not have a religion.

Oct 8 09:58 pm

It all comes down to faith. Science with all its wisdom is not convincing of its theories on the universe . If anything was out of place nothing would not exist. This the working of a genius and a unique designer. can anyone ever be convinced that pc parts all came together in a big bang?, and this has become a universe in itself? So next time you walk outside look around at all the wonders of the world and be greatful. Atheism is an exuse for those that have GOD in their too hard basket.

Oct 10 11:21 am

its kind of funny! most athiests I know believe in star signs and Clairvoyants and all that other grap that goes with it. If are one of those then your a Hypocrite. your people are a religion whether you admit it or not. I find it simpler to believe in God through Jesus Christ he is more reliable.

Oct 10 11:34 am

Two cavemen walking- one gets struck by lightning-one doesnt. The inevitable question...why?...and so GOD is born. Idols are built to god...sacred to the touch...but some fool gets drunk and touches- nothing happens. So another god, another idol, etc, etc. GOD has thus EVOLVED (hey God is a product of EVOLUTION) to one who cannot be seen, cannot be heard, cannot be smelt, cannot be felt, cannot be proven, cannot be disproven.. pretty sneaky eh? Oh good god...when will humanity grow up?

Oct 10 06:58 pm

"Oh good god...when will humanity grow up?"
Adults may smirk at children who have imaginary friends but Yahweh is essentially the same thing. Everything that happens that we don't understand… the magic sky god did it.

Oct 10 09:31 pm

I use the name Yahweh because theists conveniently forget that mankind has imagined thousands of gods. This is just the most popular in our part of the world. All the (flawed) arguments used demonstrate the existence of this god would also validate all the others. ….

Oct 10 09:31 pm

Children have imaginary friends and BELIEVE and have FAITH in Santa,tooth fairy, easter bunny etc...
Adults have imaginary gods and BELIEVE and have FAITH in prayer, heaven, afterlife etc...
The difference????
Children grow up!... it is time Humanity grew up.... Adults can live exemplary lives without dictates engendered by fear of some imaginary being... whatever you call him/her/it.
There is NO GOD!

Oct 11 09:10 pm

anniegirl_79 in an attempt to demean,you make assumptions and you do not address the issue. Atheists conclude that nothing made everything. However that logically reduced everything to a singularity at a given point and science has no explanation for something that defies all the known LAWS of physics. If you cannot grasp that logical analysis, then please do not address others as mentally deficient.

Oct 13 12:13 pm

You don't need to have any opinions on the beginning of the universe to be an atheist. You just don't believe in any gods. One will often follow the other but it doesn't need to. Your conclusion could be 'i don't know'
The big bang is a theory is based on observation. There is a lot we don't know about the beginning of the universe but we should keep striving to find out and not resort to fairy tales when the science seems hard to grasp.

Oct 13 08:18 pm

Who observed the Big Bang ? Science cannot prove the Big Bang simply because the models cannot accurately predict the rate of expansion of the Universe at any point, so it is left with theories only. A Big Bang defies empirical evidence. Science then produces unprovable theories and arrives at arbitary conclusions. That is the equivalent of Fairy Tales. If one doesn't know, then one should not say there is or is not anything
If nothing produced the Universe then Fairy Tales come true.

Oct 14 09:58 am

"Who observed the Big Bang ? "
This is the same poor argument creationists use to try and discredit evolution. Were you not aware that we are able to draw conclusions from evidence?

"Science cannot prove the Big Bang simply because the models cannot accurately predict the rate of expansion of the Universe at any point, so it is left with theories only. "
1. A theory is never proven. It can only be disproved.

Oct 14 11:00 pm

cont...This has not happened with the big bang. It is currently the best working theory we have.

2. The rate of expansion is not predicted, but measured. Perhaps you are referring to the measure of uncertainty. If you think a few % room for error in the hubble constant unravels the whole big bang theory you are clutching at straws there. 3. "Theories only" – Look up what a theory is in the context of science.

Oct 14 11:00 pm

"A Big Bang defies empirical evidence. "
No the big bang is a theory based on evidence.
"Science then produces unprovable theories "
Remember to look up theories.
"and arrives at arbitary conclusions. "
A theory based on the evidence is not an arbitrary conclusion.

"That is the equivalent of Fairy Tales."
I think you should read up on the evidence.

Oct 14 11:02 pm

" If one doesn't know, then one should not say there is or is not anything"
We don't know. So scientists are trying to find out! Meanwhile the deluded are invoking an argument from ignorance. This is the thinking that led the Vikings to think that thunder was Thor and the Egyptians to think that the sun was Ra. Even if you managed to discredit the big bang theory it in no way proves the existence of your favorite god.

Oct 14 11:02 pm

"If nothing produced the Universe then Fairy Tales come true"
Many years ago it was thought all the species must have been created by a god. We also thought the planet we walked on must have been created by a god.. the sun and the stars. We know now that all these things can form on their own. So why not the universe?
The gaps keep getting smaller....

Oct 14 11:04 pm


Of course "atheism" doesn't have the answers to those questions. Atheism is a simple lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Period. If you want answers to those questions ask "Psychology" (a science! Oh horrors!).

Pitiful reasoning.

Oct 15 01:42 am

Atheism believes in nothing if nothing was the cause of the universe. To insist that non-matter (nothing) produces matter and non-intelligence (nothing) produces intelligence explains nothing. Matter in itself does not contain information to reproduce. There must be information. If there is no matter in nothing nothing does not have the information to produce something so if matter exits nothing is not the cause and there is nothing to the atheistic argument except that nothing explains atheism.

Oct 16 11:31 am

Albystan I'm not going to go respond to everything in that comment. It's too frustrating with the character limit. I will keep it simple.
1. Atheists are not insisting anything about matter. They just don't have a belief in any gods.
2. We may only just be beginning to understand what matter is. Look up quantum fluctuations.
3. If something can't come from nothing then god where did god come from? You can't answer nothing.
4. Which god do you follow and why did you pick t

Oct 16 01:19 pm

1. Atheists are not insisting anything about matter. They just don't have a belief in any gods.
The question put was ... Can Atheism be Considered a Dangerous Idea. The route taken to address that
question was to show that atheism says it does not believe in a Supreme Being or Creator, but
believes in nothing creating physical reality. There are no alternatives. Whether we like it
or not, nothing cannot make something. A non existent primoidal soup cannot be struck by
non-existent ligh

Oct 25 10:46 am

There must be a first cause, whatever name might be attached to it. Science has deduced that the starting point of the universe was an infinite singularity. Such an entity defies all laws of physics and science does not understand it. Atheism is an opinion, since it cannot produce evidence there is not a Creator. An opinion is not evidence because opinions are, like science, often wrong. Consequently, if there is a Creator, atheism could prove to be dangerous for those who adhere to that belief.

Oct 25 10:53 am

You are still not strictly arguing against atheism. You could be an atheist and believe that the universe always existed or that there are many and ours was created by aliens. How do you know that there was nothing in the beginning? You are still looking at things simplistically. At the quantum level particles do seem to pop in and out of existence without a cause. Your premises are not quite valid and are contradicted as soon as you put a god in the equation.

Oct 26 08:27 pm

A singularity isn't invalidated because it doesn't fit with existing laws. It merely shows that they have limits, just as Newtonian physics did. An opinion formed from looking at the evidence is always going to be more accurate than one formed by clinging to comfortable mythology. Sure atheism could be dangerous to atheists if there is a god. Hey we're all in trouble if we need gold coins to pay the ferryman to get across the Styx. Remember you are rejecting plenty of religions too.

Oct 26 08:30 pm

Not a single comment made by anyone religious was new or even slightly enlightening. To be quite frank, religion is not only obsolete, religious people are deadly dull, and usually not terribly bright. Anyone slightly educated knows of course that atheism/agnosticism/anti-theism have existed just as long as shamans, magicians and priests. Not all religious are terrorists, but all terrorists are religious, and atheists are not known for slaughtering those who disagree with them.

Nov 4 06:47 am

If people who believed in god and heaven could only take the logical leap of faith and see that FOREVER is longer than they think maybe they might re-think their wishes. How does a million million million years sound. oh thats right that's not very long what about a zillion zillion trillion years and that's no where near forever.

Jan 3 12:03 am

If all the people who believe that when they die they will go to heaven and live forever could just stop and think past a long time,we might see a change of heart. how does a million trillion years sound. Oh yeah thats not long. basically it comes down to ego and the desire 4 I to go on. if you look at heaven in this light it becomes nothing but hell.

Jan 3 12:14 am

We all know by looking at history that religion eventually leads to fanaticism and that eventually has dire consequences for us all. Say one thing wrong about the so called almighty, allah or god and watch the fanatic lunatics come out of the wood work!

Jan 8 07:43 am

While it is a proof of intelligence to be skeptic about something, it is still a proof of intelligence not to talk on subject matters you do not know and have not explored enough like things that are beyond your sense perception. You all know nothing about God and religion.

Apr 24 08:32 am

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