Would I Pray to Make a Religious Person Happy? Hell No.

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In religiously hegemonic countries, the best thing an atheist can do is to not exist. The second best thing is to exist in a manner that makes their existence invisible, like pray. I will never pray for any living or dying person because I refuse to become invisible. I’m an atheist, and I will make you accept it by refusing to act along and to respect your symbolism. [Read more...]

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You Can’t Wash the Blood from the Hands of Religion

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In our history, religion has either caused the tyrant to be tyrannical, or it has inspired him, or it has justified him, or it has provided a convenient excuse for him. And it has done all of these things. So we can confidently claim that religion has been a very harmful force in our human history, and it remains mainly an obstacle in the path of progress to this day. This is the ant-theist claim, and it will not be disproved by inconsequential fact that religion was not alone in its atrocities, or that other factors have contributed to those atrocities. Religion’s hands still remain unwashed from the bloods it has shed. [Read more...]

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Book Review: Parenting Without God by Dan Arel

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Parenting Without God by Dan Arel is a thoughtful and comprehensive book about the challenges of being an atheist parents and it is a perfect read for the casual atheist struggling with raising a children in our theocratic world and it is definitely recommended. [Read more...]

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In Which I “Mansplain” to Muslim Women What Changes They Need

Fatima Bhutto says “It should be perfectly obvious that only Muslim women are qualified to speak/act on the changes they need”, but my freedom as an atheist in an Islamic theocracy is threatened and limited by Muslim women on a daily basis. The well-being of me and all my loved ones is directly tied to a feminist revolution in Muslim countries and Islamic theology. [Read more...]

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Answering Children: “Can I Draw Muhammad?”

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People like the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo are the vanguards of the battle for freedom. While here at Patheos we want to host a civil friendly conversation on faith, that conversation would never take place without people bravely pushing forward the boundary of “permissible” and “acceptable” speech, people bravely breaking taboos and defiling sacred idols. I welcome our civil discussion, but I never forget that our discussion takes place next to the corpses of those who have died for our freedom to have this discussion. And that’s why you should draw Muhammad. [Read more...]

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Pilgrim’s Regress: An Anti-Theist Visits a Holy Shia Shrine

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Many of my friends, Muslims and atheists friendlier towards religion than me, had told me “if you just go to a holy place of worship, like Imam Reza’s shrine, you’ll see why people value religion, and your stance towards religion will be softened and you’ll understand some of its value.” So, why not and go see for myself? [Read more...]

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Open-Thread: Are You an Atheist Facing Discrimination and Bullying in a Secular Country?

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If you’re an atheist who has faced discrimination and/or bullying in a non-theocratic country for your atheism, please tell me, and if you want, leave a paragraph or a link to your writing below. I’m getting tired of atheists minimizing the experiences of other atheists, who tell me when I claim atheists are marginalized it’s only true about countries like Iran. [Read more...]

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Guest Post: Getting Past the Cartoon of Anti-Theism

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I might never call myself an anti-theist, and I know that there are stances I take which probably vary significantly from the majority of anti-theists. But this insistence on labeling all anti-theists as radicals and extremists seems wrongheaded to me and unnecessarily and unjustly puts anti-theists into a position where they can be more easily dismissed as haters, a tactic that religious people have tried to use against atheists more broadly. [Read more...]

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What Good Atheism Has Done for This Ex-Muslim?

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Atheism is freedom. Atheism does not equal critical thinking, or tolerance, or a truly liberated mind. But atheism is an opportunity, an option, a potential blank slate. To me atheism means that on this Saganian spec of dust we inhabit I find my own destination and I walk my own road and all my accomplishments and all my failures are ultimately my own, no idol is my god and no lord is my shepherd . [Read more...]

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I’m Not an Anti-Theist Because It Works

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So, effectiveness is not a factor I take into consideration when I decide whether I should call myself an anti-theist or not. Truth is the only factor – if anti-theist arguments are reasonable or not. And humanity needs people who value truth beyond all else and are not afraid of being unpopular. Of course if the situation warrants it, and if the outcome justifies it, I’m willing to support diplomatic approaches and all kinds of savory and unsavory alliances, because I’m a pragmatist. I’m a pragmatist anti-theist. [Read more...]

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