Tuesday conversation: why do you fight religion?

For those of you who are actively anti-faith like myself, what made you that way?  After all, few of us go straight from not believing in god to being thoroughly anti-religion.  And many of us who were raised secular often see people happy in religion (note I didn’t say “religion making people happy”) and think “eh, what’s the harm?”

So what moved you to fight it?  For me, it was Sam Harris.  My mother bought me his first two books for Christmas one year.  They were good reads.  I love Harris’ style and would be lying if I said it didn’t greatly influence my own.  But there was a single sentence in The End of Faith that changed my life forever.  Paraphrased (but probably very close, as I read it over and over again) it’s…

We live in an age where someone can have both the resources and the intellect to construct a nuclear bomb and still believe they’ll receive paradise for detonating it.

He was right.  From that moment on, I realized that faith was an immense problem, responsible in equal parts for Muslims who commit violence in god’s name and Christians who actively fight the rights of normal people.  All they want is to obey god, when all they should really want is to make others happy.

From then on, because I want to leave the world a better place than I found it, I have been a vocal and mean atheist – mean to the force I see making monsters of otherwise good people.

What moved you?

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.