Thursday, April 21, 2011

To be an anti-theist

There's a reason why I call myself an anti-theist.  I feel there's far too much faith in this world.  That is to say...  there's more than zero.

I know the term "anti-theist" probably conjures up imagery of hate, and I am not entirely distancing myself from that.  The point that needs to be made clear is that what I express hate onto are ideas.  Ideas do not have feelings to be hurt, nor do they have any sort of tangible component to take on physical damage.  Ideas, however, have the potential to do a great deal of damage to the people who hold them.  They can lead people to bad decisions and bad actions on behalf of those ideas.  They can also lead people to do harm to those who don't hold those same ideas for the supposed crime of not holding those ideas.  Conversely, good ideas can have the opposite effect.  What I hate are bad ideas, and faith is the worst idea ever.

Faith is simply believing something without valid supporting evidence.  That is, in every way, unacceptable.  I do not call myself an anti-theist because I think there is no god.  I call myself an anti-theist because I find belief in god to be a bad idea, a harmful idea, and one that sets the stage for downright awful ways of thinking.  I am against belief.

To say that I do not believe there is a god is an understatement.  The difficulty with being absolute about it is that the definition of "God" is so variant from one person to another.  Because of that, you can define "God" any way you want.  The more specific you are, the easier it is for me to say that your "God" definitely does not exist since you will introduce a variety of foundational falsehoods into the picture.  In which case, your idea is flat out false.  The less specific you are, the harder it is for me to say that, but by extension, so too does the relevance of the idea.  In which case, your idea is downright useless and holds no merit whatsoever, because it is anyway resting on unproven (and likely unprovable) assertions.  Beyond the uselessness and facile nonsense, the risk of giving rise to stupid actions is the real danger.

It is one thing to say that faith in a god gives you comfort, but it is another thing to say that your faith deserves respect.  Faith is not a path to truth or knowledge of any kind.  It is not a good reason for anything.  It is not a solid foundational principle of any kind.  Faith is flat out wrong, and there is no place for it in this world.  It is time to give faith what it deserves -- boundless rebuke.