Atheists’s should kill themselves

kill yourself

I was partaking in a discussion on abortion when I realized I was arguing with individuals with set religious biases. It seemed necessary to clear the air concerning my own biases, so I set about explaining my perspective as an Atheist, and my view on abortion and life upon the assumption that there is no God.

The above image is a screenshot from a particular Christian I was opposing due to her constantly using “God said…” as the premise for her arguments.

I wasn’t mad at her. The truth is I have said similar things to individuals in an argument when I was a Christian. Many people still don’t believe that individuals can be so indoctrinated into their religion to really believe and say such things, but I can personally attest to it as true from having been one spewing it, and now the one to receive it on multiple occasions. It can be difficult for someone so in depth in the belief that there is a deity who loves and lives in commune with them personally, that there is any life outside of such a relationship. It becomes more than a crutch or a drug, it becomes everything and the whole universe shatters around them at the prospect of it not being real.

Thoughts? How would you have reacted? Can you understand it, or is it simply too bizarre?

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20 thoughts on “Atheists’s should kill themselves

  1. Hmm. Personally, I am spiritual myself but I am not so closed minded as to tell someone that god is a fact. Where is this fact? I believe one of the greatest gifts in the world is that we all are allowed to believe what we choose.,

    • It’s unfortunate that so many box themselves in to believing anything is a fact, really. What’s the point, when at any minute it could be disproved? I find life so much more enjoyable when it’s lived open, willing to face whatever comes and embrace it.

      I have no qualms with spirituality, no matter what the reason, cause, or details. Which is why even these statements from religious individuals doesn’t upset me, I still embrace them.

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by, read, and reply! I hope it created thought. 🙂

  2. You asked for a response, but honestly, I’m still too gobsmacked to have an opinion! It’s such a very strange, illogical comment. So atheists cannot love their family, their friends, their neighbours? And how the hell did aliens get into the mix? Nup, I just can’t get my head around it. Way too weird.

    • It was pretty bizarre. At least I’m lucky to have been in a good mindset to just laugh, and say “If only you knew…” Heh! It’s insane, really, that someone would utter such a thing. Yet it happened, and it was genuine.

      • Still gobsmacked, an hour later. I’m actually finding it hard to shrug off! Ha! I really need just to laugh and think, “There certainly are some interesting viewpoints out there” instead of getting caught up in the emotions I’m feeling as I judge it 🙂 There, I’ve typed it, and it’s done. The power of the metaphoric pen, i.e. keyboard 😉

  3. The whole thing to me comes off as narcissism. The whole, “God loves ME so much that he died for ME, and I can’t accept the reality that possibly there isn’t anyone out there looking out for ME because it will damage MY ego.”

    • Pretty much. But… then again… aren’t we all narcissistic in our own ways? We may try to avoid it, but after all… many of us fall back to the old Descartes “cogito ergo sum.”

      If anything… maybe ignorance? Ignorance in truly thinking that how one perceives the world, IS, in fact, how it truly is. In this case, it’s not even observational perception, but inner convictions which logic would dictate is lower on the epistemic hierarchy… But not to the religious fellow because fuck logic, right? Sigh.

      Anyway, my thoughts in response to your thoughts… I do that a lot.. 😉 Thank you for your reply and read!

  4. What an intriguing thing to say on the part of the chap who wrote that misguided stuff.

    Poor man. Unless he was trying to express somehow that the physical universe as we find it, “not ‘how’ it is but ‘that'” it as Wittgenstein put it I think, makes no ‘sense’ or has no value nor system that can be merely grounded in the ‘how’ – the laws of nature, physics and chemistry…..us, that it might only make sense if we hold the view that there is some ‘transcendental’ to which to anchor our existence in. Though that said, I don’t want to be accused of putting words in his mouth – that latter argument might be a good place at which one could begin to have a proper and more sophisticated look at philosophy/theology.

    Though I’ve given the atheism/agnosticism a fair shake over a couple of years, I tend to find that the religious traditions and their metaphysical answers are what then cause me to source epistemological concerns and avenues.

    I suppose it all depends on what sorts of arguments that people might find compelling; I’m an amateur in theology but I’d nonetheless highly recommend, If you’re looking for some good reading by Herbert McCabe in a book called “God Matters” – at least the first thirty-odd pages. Then there’s also one I’m looking at now, “The Experience of God; Being, Consciousness, Bliss” by David Bentley Hart, and the rather sillier but interesting book called “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” which is uproariously funny 🙂

    Why would one indeed tell another to kill themselves, despite the former believing that life is a gift, as he stated. Muddled and confused thinking; alas, I’m usually guilty of that too.

    You were kind enough to humour him, which is great I thought 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog earlier 🙂

    • It is strange, indeed. Although I doubt this individual had any deeper understanding of what they had uttered. Far more likely that they knew anything about phenomenology, or Wittgenstein, or philosophy at all (other than it being of the devil, naturally). After another Christian pointed out to this person the utter absurd cruelty of what was just said, the OP merely said “oh, sorry. Didn’t mean it THAT way.” in a half-hearted, unthinking apology.

      I think we may enjoy delving down an epistemological hole someday, I’m intrigued by your sway towards religious traditions for metaphysical answers… if that is how I read it. I do love me some good epistemology! And as for theology, I’ve read so many books I don’t give many more a read past the first 5 pages. There has been no new argument that I haven’t found utterly retarded and fallicious, so I just don’t waste my time anymore. But, alas, I’m always up for adding books to my new book reading blog project.

      I try to humor everyone I come across. I’m utterly and tragically optimistic in that sense, I suppose. I at least give a person the benefit of intelligent thinking, until proven otherwise.

      Thank you for coming by my blog as well. Your reply is just the kind of interaction and thinking that I love to see in responses. You seem an interesting fellow, indeed. 🙂

      • I’m curious as to sometimes where these people come from, alas! How did you meet this chap, if I may ask it?

        As for the books that I suggested – all three are written by professional philosophers (in McCabe’s case, philosophy of religion I think was his area and he was a professor at Oxford), Hart is from the continental tradition but his day job is as an historian in the field of Patristics I think, – I think he was last at UVA.

        And well, Berlinski – well his book is just very funny! And a serious critique of the level of pop-atheism these days, and he has a very witty way of dissecting issues from both a philosophical and scientific perspective – alas I don’t think philosophy is the handmaid of Science, or at least I’m not convinced yet. Though I understand that it is not a popular position to hold these days! He’s a philosopher/mathematician who did his work in Wittgenstein (and has no religious commitments at all, but nonetheless treats the subject matter very carefully and seriously) though he is a known and serious critic of some Darwinian mechanisms from a mathematical perspective – he has taught at Stanford, Princeton, Columbia and other schools.

        Anyway, neither qualifications nor prestigious jobs really say much, for what we are interested in is the arguments. But it is nonetheless useful, I find, to be able to try to get to the root of certain arguments and I think philosophy – done well, rigorously and at least if understood hermeneutically (a priori commitments are seriously hard to do away with if we read some of the various stuff that’s produced today from within the Analytic tradition, though I’m not very familiar with it, at least – in fact any tradition, I studied history at university!) – I’m not sure if we have any other better tools.

        I can certainly understand your exasperation at reading the theological works – McCabe nonetheless I found quite fun to read as he is easy so simpletons such as I can grasp the point he’s trying to make. He’s very good at trying to get to a rigorous definition of ‘what we’re trying to deny,’ so to speak, if we deny God. And in a sense, his theology of trying to eliminate any idolatrous notions of God, let alone seek a clarity of argument, I found gave him some epistemological rigour that was absent of pretence. And to actually what we ‘know’ that we’re denying, and what more sophisticated (and I think at least they try to be intellectually honest) believers mean when they speak of ‘God’. Hart, in the first 20 pages of his book, expresses this with even more elegance!

        Bentley Hart and Berlinski are brilliant writers considering the rather dry and painful stuff we get in this field, basically I’d recommend any of these books even if only to enjoy a change from the boring and dry philosophy that seems to pervade the intellectual classes.

        Intriguingly, I’m not entirely quite sure why I find the metaphysical suggestions that the vast corpus and canon of the ‘authentic’ religious traditions put in place (and I think as believers we need some intellectual/epistemological humility here – we can’t have certainties in our metaphysical speculations or inferences and to be honest theology gives a snapshot of the contemporary state of understanding…but this really applies to any body of work, science, arts, the humanities; what with religion being a human-endeavour I don’t particularly see why we require a certainty that even Richard Dawkins, God love him, can produce out of his beloved project that is ‘Science’ – incidentally Terry Eagleton gives a brilliant and withering critique in his lecture series: ‘Faith and Fundamentalism: Is Belief in Richard Dawkins Necessary for Salvation’, which he delivered at Yale as part of the Terry Lectures, available on YouTube if you haven’t watched them).

        Goodness, that sentence ran on a little too-long, didn’t it?! When I say ‘authentic’ religion, what I think I mean is that I’m a little worried about the spiritual traditions that ask human beings to merely ’embrace’ themselves…(I know it’s a caricature but I think the LeVeyan model went very wrong there…but maybe that’s a little cheeky to say as I only know of it through friends that have considered them either a part of such an ideology(ies) or have been directly impacted by it)…. whereas I’ve always understood the religious endeavour, if you look at the classical traditions, to entail at least a serious moral project with content that could deliver Man from his own follies….to ‘transcend the self’ (and that doesn’t necessarily have to do with producing metaphysical results to be experienced in this world, I don’t think, because religion if operated on this premise I think could have a radically transformative effect on mans material, psychological, intellectual condition).

        I’m not even sure where I was going to go with the above – I’ve been writing this slowly on and off over several hours (hence the somewhat disjointed nature, for which I apologise)

        That said, I’m very much interested in why/how people come to reject the basic premises of the religious traditions or, as is somewhat popular now, reject them as somehow pernicious enterprises – on an ontological level, I suppose I mean; I shall end there for now. I’m glad you appreciated the above comment. I’ll be sure to follow this blog. I’m always happy to engage in discussion (I wonder if you agree with me here – I find debate a little too taxing alas, and after watching the likes of a William Lane Craig or a Richard Dawkins, they seem to be geared at point-scoring and can be rather shallow in scope – but then that’s kind of what Modernity or perhaps postmodernity is about…agitation, excitation, material felicity, material utility…as opposed to transformative reflection…but then I’m obviously biased here!)

        Best wishes meanwhile,

        Imraan

      • Ah, I met this individual through one of those Facebook discussion. A friend of a friend, and not of mine. Interesting, huh?

        Thank you for breaking down those writers for me! I’ve been starving for exposure to the most recent philosophical works as I’ve been out of college for over a year now. It’s good to get fresh ideas and concepts, and now that you unpacked them and what their works are in a little more depth… on the list they go! I will have to tag you when I finish and review them, so thank you again.

        As I’ve studied theology, academically and personally I understand some of what you’re saying. In the grand scheme of epistemology, religious perception must have a place. Metaphysically, especially. As for me, however, I’ve settled into empiricism, cold and calculating. I can acknowledge the equality of other experiences, but am not convinced personally.

        It’s ok about the disjunction though, I do it all the time. 😉 It comes with the way thinking brains work I guess…

        I am interested in how you come to accept it, likewise. So perhaps we can learn from each other, or, at the very least, understand our positions better through time! I am always open to it. No debating here, I whole-heartedly agree. I love discussion and discourse, in that I feel akin with Socrates. Language is a beautiful thing we have as a species, why muck that up with anger and discontent? No points to be gained here, and no winning, just learning!

        Charmed, again. I look forward to our fruitful discussion, I hope they will be many throughout the future!

  5. What an intriguing thing to say on the part of the chap who wrote that misguided stuff.

    Poor man. Unless he was trying to express somehow that the physical universe as we find it, “not ‘how’ it is but ‘that’” it as Wittgenstein put it I think, makes no ‘sense’ or has no value nor system that can be merely grounded in the ‘how’ – the laws of nature, physics and chemistry…..us, that it might only make sense if we hold the view that there is some ‘transcendental’ to which to anchor our existence in. Though that said, I don’t want to be accused of putting words in his mouth – that latter argument might be a good place at which one could begin to have a proper and more sophisticated look at philosophy/theology.

    Though I’ve given the atheism/agnosticism a fair shake over a couple of years, I tend to find that the religious traditions and their metaphysical answers are what then cause me to source epistemological concerns and avenues.

    I suppose it all depends on what sorts of arguments that people might find compelling; I’m an amateur in theology but I’d nonetheless highly recommend, If you’re looking for some good reading by Herbert McCabe in a book called “God Matters” – at least the first thirty-odd pages. Then there’s also one I’m looking at now, “The Experience of God; Being, Consciousness, Bliss” by David Bentley Hart, and the rather sillier but interesting book called “The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions” which is uproariously funny

    Why would one indeed tell another to kill themselves, despite the former believing that life is a gift, as he stated. Muddled and confused thinking; alas, I’m usually guilty of that too.

    You were kind enough to humour him, which is great I thought

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog earlier

  6. Well, I do believe in God and I cannot say that I could ever imagine Jesus calling anyone names or saying someone should kill themselves for being Atheist. We’re not supposed to judge others, it’s not our place or our right and I’m not saying I’ve never judged anyone because, well, I’m human. I judge. But I would never tell someone they should inflict harm on themselves for not having the same belief as I have. I can preach the bible to you all day but when someone really doesn’t believe or refuses to, it won’t help any situation and will only make things worse. I do see a lot of ‘Facebook Christians’ as I call them where they preach about the bible around others but they don’t live by it or even try to. Like one lady, my sisters aunt to be more specific, told me that because my mom wasn’t living a full Christian life, she must have went to hell when she died and spouted a whole bunch of BS that brought me to tears at age 20. I can’t imagine anything more cruel to say to a grieving daughter. That was very judgmental and was not in a ‘love thy neighbor’ kind of way yet she would preach about this and that in the bible. So, I got even. I preached the bible right back to her and she blocked me on facebook lol. Sometimes, verses can be your most lethal and destructive weapon whether you wish it to be or not and I do not think that whomever told you you might as well kill yourself was in their right state of mind. That’s cruel to say to someone no matter their beliefs.

    • Paula, thank you for sharing that. =) You’re always very kind with your words, and I respect that. I’ll always respect people’s beliefs, and I try really hard not to judge a person because of them… because truth is, there are jerk Atheists just as much as Christians.

      You’re absolutely right about the Facebook Christians too, just like how there are back seat pew Christians, or Sunday morning Christians, or whatever. There will always be hypocrisy, unfortunately.

      I try to bring it to light to help people see the flaws in their way. Mainly because I know I said and acted in hurtful ways before. I only hope people can change as well.

      • Right. I agree with you. I may not go to church every week and I may sin, but at least I don’t pretend to be all holy and righteous like I’m never wrong or always better than everyone else. I prefer to look at everything from both ends. And I may not be jumping for joy in your decision or my other friends decisions in their beliefs but I’m not about to knock anyone because I wouldn’t want someone knocking me for believing. It’s your life and what you do and how you live it doesn’t really effect me. I mean, we work together in a way and we chat so anything drastic would effect me but your beliefs sure don’t lol. We all have a right to our own opinions and I believe that if it’s not a good opinion and can hurt someone’s feelings or is rude and disrespectful then we should keep them to ourselves unless it deals with something bigger like someone’s well-being, etc. I mean, if you ask my honest opinion on an outfit I’ll give it whether it’ll hurt your feelings or not, if you believe giving someone a second chance and ask for my opinion or advice then I would give that as well. But when it comes down to it, all it is is an opinion. All that matters is how you feel at the end of the day and what you decide to do. On another point, the lady or guy that sent that to you should realize that her saying that won’t make you convert lol. If someone tries to get you to see something the way they do then you have to be kind, loving, and actually care about the others feelings and take it all into consideration. My ex’s family is Catholic. He went to a Catholic school and church all the time. He was forced into all of it and his parents said until he turned 18 he must attend it all with them and everything else. When you do that, force it into someone, they rebel and don’t want any part of it. So I understood why he rebelled in the first place and then looked deeper into things and questioning everything to the point of now, he doesn’t believe in any one religion. He doesn’t believe in organized religion or how ever he said it to me before. We all do as we please anyhow. I don’t know one single Christian who hasn’t made a sin knowing it was a sin so not a single one of us can condemn you or talk down to you. You know the bible Sarah, I’m sure you came up or could come up with a witty biblical response to these ignorant people. Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. I think some people should look long and hard, pull out a dictionary maybe or Google and figure out what it really means to live the way Jesus lived. He sat down and ate with sinners, not the righteous. They all need to remember that.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you’re asking the questions you seem to be asking, but for the record: first of all, no, I don’t think atheists should kill themselves, with very few exceptions that are so unlikely it’s probably not worth discussing, except maybe it is. Secondly, I’m really not sure how I would have reacted, but I probably would have felt annoyed and frustrated, maybe a little angry, and maybe I would have let some of my feelings show, in one form or another. Thirdly, I think I do understand your own reaction and that it makes sense to me.
    But here’s the question I think that really concerns you (again, correct me if I’m wrong): just what is the correct response to theism? Is there a correct response in general?
    In any case, this is the question that concerns me. I’m sorry that I don’t really know how to answer it, but I do think it’s worth asking. And I think it’s worth talking about and not just with atheists, but with god-believers as well.
    Thanks for posting!

    • “just what is the correct response to theism? Is there a correct response in general?”

      Not sure what you mean. Do you mean to ask how the Atheist should respond to the Theist? Or philosophically and objectively, what is the correct response? I’m not sure if there is a correct response to Theism, other than one on one discourse. Ignorance breeds amongst people of all types, and it can’t be forced to leave them.

      All questions are welcome to me though, and I do think we should be discussing them. We, as a people, should be in communication more than we are. Thanks for replying!

    • “..just what is the correct response to theism? …”

      As infants and children we are all hard wired to conform to our parents and the ‘tribe’ in general. They are, after all, our only means of food and shelter. As children, to challenge or oppose the very people whom you depend on for basic survival makes no sense. Instinctively we will not do it, or even consider it an option.

      When a small child is indoctrinated into a religious cult they are presented with a contradiction between what they are being told by their parents and what their senses and rational intellect is telling them. This creates massive cognitive dissonance.

      Children are born with their rationality intact. As long as they are not ‘interfered with’ mentally they will develop into healthy rational beings. ‘Rational potential’ is really no different to ‘skeletal potential’. As long as children are not ‘interfered with’ they will develop into healthy tall adults with straight spines and nicely proportioned limbs.

      Children are constantly rationalising the world around them and developing their rational skills. Learning to distinguish (for example) a ‘chair’ from other objects is a stupendous feat of rationalisation – given the almost infinite variety of ‘chairs’ in the world (modern computers still struggle to differentiate chairs from non chairs).

      So anyway, my point is that if you tell your child that a ‘God’ exists as an objective FACT (along with talking snakes, risen from the dead, ghostly impregnation yadda yadda….) this creates massive amounts of cognitive dissonance in the child. Even at an early age all the evidence is screaming to the child “this is a load of nonsense!”

      Hardcore religious indoctrination is the equivalent of giving a child an ‘ipad’, when you are actually just giving the child an empty box. The sensory data, the evidence, the rational mind all scream “There is no ipad – it’s just an empty box!” ….. but the parents insist there is an ipad. A beautiful fully functioning ipad.

      Not only is there an wonderful ipad loaded with software, but the child is expected to be grateful for it, and take it out and ‘play with it’ and be filled with joy. And every Sunday the child is expected to attend a ceremony worshipping the existence of this invisible ipad with the rest of the community (all respected people).

      If the child points out that – rationally speaking – there is no ipad and the box is totally empty the child will be conforming to reason and evidence, but will be fundamentally opposing his/ her parents and the community as a whole.

      Faced with this terrible dilemma most children in deeply religious households will simply break their own rational minds in order to conform with the completely irrational world view of their parents and the community. This is equivalent of breaking your own arms and legs in order to fit yourself inside a small box. It is a kind of ‘self inflicted foot binding of the mind’.

      You could say that strong religious belief is the result of a mind being broken and bound in childhood in the same way that a hideously deformed foot is the result of a foot being broken and bound in childhood.

      It is too late to unbind a foot in later life, and explaining anatomy to it is not going to help reverse the damage.

      OK, the mind IS slightly more fluid than bones, but as a general rule it is usually too late to try and unbind the broken rationality of a strongly religious person, and explaining the rational basis for atheism is unlikely to reverse the damage they suffered in childhood.

      For rational arguments to work the person needs to have a rational mind. But if a religious person’s rational mind is operating normally then they will not need to be argued out of religion – they will have already rejected it by themselves, due to the lack of reason and evidence to support it.

      People like Dawkins make a comfortable living debating religious people using reason and evidence. This *completely* overlooks the true cause of religious belief: the fear of being rejected and ostracised by your (religious) parents as a young child.

      Religious belief is basically the fear of social ostracism. It really has nothing to do with rationality (reason and evidence) at all.

      Dawkins (and atheists like him) might as well try to argue a bound foot back to its proper shape by explaining proper human anatomy to it.

      I find Dawkins (and co) to be exploitative and massively egotistical in the way they go around smugly scoring points against people who were (most likely) traumatised and mentally abused as children.

      Is it too harsh to call religious indoctrination a form of mental abuse?

      WelI …. I think we’d all agree that giving a child an empty box and insisting it’s an ipad as an *objective fact* is a form of mental cruelty….. as is insisting that they jump for joy and ‘play’ with it and worship its existence every Sunday.

      Religious indoctrination is the same thing. Hardcore religious parents do not discuss god to their children HONESTLY in terms of superstitious beliefs, cults and certain rituals with they just happen to enjoy performing ….. instead they discuss god and their religion as if it were all an *objective fact*.

      That is mental abuse. You are literally breaking and binding your child’s cognitive development and destroying his/ her capacity for reason.

      Only when the cause of religious belief is identified can we approach the subject in a positive way. I don’t think people like Dawkins have any desire to rid the world of religion or irrationality. They are simply feeding their own egos and bank accounts.

      Dawkins is a statist, and statism is itself just another religion we are indoctrinated into in early childhood – and which we accept by breaking our rational minds. So Dawkins (and co) are hypocrites too. They are just as religious as those they criticise and mock.

      The origin of all forms of irrational beliefs and irrational behaviour come down to one thing ….. parenting.

      • Thank you for continuing this discussion and responding to the above commenter. I was a little upset that it did not continue, but decided to let it go rather than push it. Conversation comes naturally after all, so I appreciate your reviving it.

        This is pretty much what I have been going through since… don’t really know how to put it, I can put it many ways: deconverting, awakening my rational mind, calling bullshit for what it is, accepting my questioning rather than hiding it…… I mean how can one truly describe an adult who breaks away from their parents indoctrination of religious thought?

        You are right to say it is mental and intellectual abuse. I’m still trying to uncover the damage that has been done to my psyche and cognitive abilities, and it’s been a battle for 8 years now. I have much more to undo, discover, and learn. Being taught there was a God as according to the literal Bible (and all the other nonsense that went along with Fundamental Christianity) with the only reasoning of “because the Bible says so” created a shit storm of dissonance, difficulty, and mental anguish.

        I appreciate how you can identify the same with Dawkins as well. Although I appreciate some of his works, there is something about the neo-Atheist movement that makes me very hesitantly refer to myself as an Atheist, lest people get it twisted. Many of his arguments do not stand for the same reasons that many Theist arguments don’t.

        It’s sad. Ultimately. How many young minds are so thoughtlessly destroyed and shoved into boxes that don’t make sense. I’ve witnessed my genius brother suffer through what they call “Aspberger’s Syndrome” when in reality, there’s nothing wrong with him aside from what our father has done to us both. He just couldn’t break free from the torment of religious indoctrination without evidence, and my father’s hypocrisy.

        Aaaaaaaaah life. It’s a trip. 😉

        I digress. Again, thank you for your wonderful comments. They get my gears turning and my mind working. I enjoy the process.

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