The sequels continue. Here are the previous posts in this series.
- WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP?
- WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? — THE SEQUEL.
- WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? — THE SECOND SEQUEL
This post is basically the The Third Sequel. However, since the debate is now almost strictly over the meaning of words, I decided to change the title.
So, what is the problem? When Ben Berwick responded to the second sequel (The Worship of Idols P2), he focused on the meaning of words, trying to get across the idea that Atheism is not a religion. Why is that important?
Because of political agendas, widespread indifference, and confusion, we define the words ideology, religion, philosophy, and even science rather loosely. Atheists in particular, because many have political agenda, promote confusion over these words. Why? If your goal is to secularize the public square, especially education, then you have to get around the First Amendment.
What is a religion? What do all religions have in common? A religion is an ideology designed to answer the big questions in life (see WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? — THE SECOND SEQUEL). Why is there confusion about this? The word religion (n.) goes back to 1200 A.D. There weren’t very many non-Christians, much less Atheists back then. However, words exist to help us communicate and live together in peace. When our language doesn’t allow us to properly communicate ideas, we have an increased probability of conflict.
With that in mind, consider the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript#toc-amendment-i
If Atheists can convince enough people that secularizing our society is rational and scientific and not a religious activity, then they can use the government to officially establish Atheism and drive other beliefs from the public square. That in fact has been happening. Anyone who has not noticed the rapid erosion of our cultural heritage is just too young to have couple of decades of perspective.
Contemplate in just a small way where Secularism is taking us.
- Marriage and the definition of the family. Will the state replace the family and parents in rearing of children? Will we allow our children to become guinea pigs for social experimentation? Are you ready to have your little child confused about his/her sex and then transgendered?
- The rising importance of victim/identity group one belongs to versus loss in the importance of the content of one’s character. What standard of justice will we use? Will we judge people based upon on their race, “sexual identity,” creed, wealth, social connections, and so forth, or will we judge people based upon their wisdom, integrity, and competence?
- Socialism. Will we protect the God-given rights of our people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or will we each become pawns in the hands of our overlords to grow the power of the state?
What is a religion? What do all religions have in common? A religion is an ideology designed to answer the big questions in life. For an explanation, WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? — THE SECOND SEQUEL. The answers to those questions include the answer to the question of how we should treat each other.
What is Atheism? Consider how the word used to be used.
“the doctrine that there is no God;” “disbelief in any regularity in the universe to which man must conform himself under penalties” [J.R. Seeley, “Natural Religion,” 1882], 1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), with -ism + Greek atheos “without a god, denying the gods,” from a- “without” (see a- (3)) + theos “a god” (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo “atheist.” Also compare atheous. The ancient Greek noun was atheotēs “ungodliness.”Continued => https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=atheism&ref=searchbar_searchhint
Similarly, modern Atheists insist that Agnosticism has a different definition.
“doctrines of the agnostics, the doctrine that ultimate causes and essential natures of things are unknowable or unknown,” 1870, from agnostic + -ism.From => https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=agnosticism&ref=searchbar_searchhint
These definitions were still the standard until about the 1950’s. For example, my old 1950’s Funk & Wagnalls still used those definitions, and many dictionaries online still employ the same definition, but academia is kind of secular. So, dictionaries are being modified.
Many Atheists now want us to believe they have no belief about God, and Atheists insist that Agnostics are simply uncertain. Why? No one can prove God doesn’t exist, and it is common knowledge that it is blatantly illogical to assert God doesn’t exist. So, why don’t such Atheists just call themselves Agnostics? Good question. That is probably because in Greek the term “agnostic” means without knowledge, and few of us have such modesty. However, if we really don’t whether God exist, then we are ignorant of something that is profoundly important.
The origin of the term worship (n.) presents a problem similar to the problem we find with the term religion (n.). The term “worship” goes back to 1300 A.D. when few people were Atheists.
Old English worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (West Saxon) “condition of being worthy, dignity, glory, distinction, honor, renown,” from weorð “worthy” (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of “reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being” is first recorded c. 1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful “honorable” (c. 1300).From => https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=worship
However, consider one of the modern definitions of worship.
: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion
| a celebrity worshipped by her fanshttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship
When did Atheists become immune to regarding people or things with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion? If Atheists have no belief in God, then why would it bother an Atheist if they regarded a person or thing with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion? A Christian believes it a sin to worship a person or thing instead of God, but an Atheist? If Atheists have no belief in the divine, then materialism is all that is left to them.
So, what about that last word, “evangelize”? Let’s look at its origin.
late 14c., from Old French evangeliser “to spread or preach the Gospel,” and directly from Church Latin evangelizare, from Greek euangelizesthai (see evangelist). Related: Evangelized; evangelizinghttps://www.etymonline.com/search?q=evangelize&ref=searchbar_searchhint
Atheists don’t have their own “good news” or Gospel. Atheists don’t have organizations (check out
Category:Atheist organizations or just do a search on Atheist organizations), effectively churches, spreading their own “good news.” Of course, they do.
Since Ben Berwick is fairly thorough, he addressed scatterwisdom‘s comment in his post. scatterwisdom addressed the topic of evangelism quite well, here it is.
Tom,- Ben Berwick
Perhaps this following quote and excerpt that may help Ben better understand Tom’s argument that atheism is a religion.
Quote -You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. – Carl Gustav Jung It is important to acknowledge the fact that our actions define us and not our choices.
Excerpt – Atheism in Practice
Atheism fits many theoretical definitions of religion, and it is also practiced like other religions. In daily conversation, atheism is equated with other religions. When asked, “Are you a Christian?” most atheists will respond with “No, I’m an atheist.” Atheist, then, becomes a religious label just like “No, I’m a Buddhist.”
Atheists also evangelize, though they do not want to use that word to describe their conversion attempts. “Evangelize” is most commonly used in relationship to Christianity, but it can be used to describe other religion’s attempts to gain converts, and atheism aggressively seeks to create new converts. Many atheists feel a sense of obligation or desire to “open people’s eyes” to what they see as the folly of other religions.
There is no difference between an atheist attempting to get a Jew to admit there is no God and a Christian seeking to get a Hindu to denounce the idea of reincarnation. Both people are trying to convert a person from one belief system to another. Atheists’ conversion attempts are also blatantly religious because they are focused on beliefs about and in God.
Regards and goodwill blogging.from => https://citizentom.com/2023/02/03/what-do-atheists-worship-the-second-sequel/#comment-107390
So, let’s try the Duck Test: “If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”
Atheists have their own answers to the big questions about life. — Walks like a duck.
- Where did I come from? => EVOLUTION.
- Who am I? => AN ACCIDENT
- Why am I here? => WHY DO I WANT TO BE HERE? IT IS UP TO ME.
- How should I live? => AS I CHOOSE.
- Where am I going? => IT DOESN’T MATTER (until it does).
Atheists worship people and things related to stuff, sex, science, state, and self. — Looks like a duck.
Atheists promote their ideas and beliefs about stuff, sex, science, state, and self. That is, they evangelize. — Quacks like a duck.
It’s a religion. — It’s a duck.
This post is one of the “OF TWISTED WORDS” series. For a list of “OF TWISTED WORDS” posts, see OF TWISTED WORDS => FEMINISM – Citizen Tom.
You’re calling them out!
The argument of “what is a religion” according to the First Amendment will always be a conundrum because the word religion has never been legally defined by the Supreme Court.
I don’t believe they even know what a religion is based on this article.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
The basic problem is that our government does too many things. If the government doesn’t spend money on something, then we don’t need a test for whether or not the spending of that money violates the Constitution.
“If Atheists can convince enough people that secularizing our society is rational and scientific and not a religious activity, then they can use the government to officially establish Atheism and drive other beliefs from the public square.”
Yes, well said Tom! That is exactly what is happening.
I’ve argued with atheists many times that their anti-God position is itself a ‘religious position’. Bottom line, you cannot be anti-anything that you don’t first have to acknowledge may exist. We’re having a religious discussion from that point on. It’s not very hard to understand. Yet, those I’ve tried to talk to are quite disturbed by that “truth”.
Thanks for following my blog. 😉
Thanks for an insightful comment and for writing your blog.