Sunday, 31 January 2010

Undoing Enforced Religion

This article was originally posted on my previous blog and has been transferred to this one. Below, I have added an additional paragraph, so I can respond to the many useful comments I recieved after posting this originally.

This page was inspired by the following video on YouTube (part of the 'F*** Fox News' series). Take a look and subscribe to 'C0ct0pusPrime'- he's rather good and isn't afraid to say what anyone who reads this page is thinking.

The video features Fox News' Glenn Beck's patronising, dim-witted and condescending views on attempts to take prayer out of American schools. The first of many major mistakes he makes in this attempt to, once again, slur atheism is that he alleges that to remove God from the American Constitution and the state school system is enforcing atheism on the population. This is utter nonsense. Anyone living in a country with a constitution (or a variation forthwith) is forced to state that they believe in God. For people who actually believe in God, this is fine, as it is reflecting their beliefs anyway. However, for those agnostics or atheists in somewhere like America, they are forced into, on the surface at least, believing in God. This is an example of religion being enforced on the people.

This, of course, is wrong, as the hypocrites at Fox News apparently fail to realise, as it enforces religion on the population, not allowing those who would not believe in supernatural beings to hold their own beliefs. However, what these so-called 'journalists' suggest is that to take 'under God' (or a related phrase) out of the constitution would be forcing atheism on the people. This, again, is completely untrue, as, in a country which doesn't mention religion in its constitution, state or laws, people who are religious are still allowed to believe in God and worship freely. Likewise, people who don't believe in such things are also not penalsied for their beliefs. Taking talk of 'God' out of constitutions doesn't force anyone who would believe in God not to, it simply ensures that those who don't believe in God don't have their views and beliefs forcibly changed. It is rather hypocritical of Fox News, after all their comments about 'free speech', to support a system that doesn't allow atheists to be atheists.

If the American constitution (or that of any other country) was altered to say something along the lines of 'God doesnt exist', then THAT would be enforcing atheism on the people, and that, of course, is wrong. However, that is the opposite equivalent of what most countries' systems do now, so maybe those religious crackpots, fascists and zealots over in the grand old US of A deserve their comeuppance, even if it is only temporary- then we can concentrate on getting a system in place that doesn't enforce any values or beliefs on anyone.

This isn't a phenominan limited to America, though, for the Christian world at least (though I hate that term for obvious reasons, as no countries should have any religion assigned to them, as this enforces it on the populus) America is the worst offender. It is the same problem visible in Britain's schools, and one that has recently come to a head in places like France- having religion as part of the state enforces it upon even those impressionable children who wouldn't otherwise believe in God, and forcibly changes their viewpoint. Surely anything that warps the minds and views of people at such an impressionable age must be evil, whether it is meant with good intentions or not. Enforcing atheism on children would be exactly the same. If religion and God is removed from the school system, it doesn't enforce atheism on a single person, and it allows those who will believe in God to do so freely, with those who don't also allowed to believe what they believe. Parents can also enforce their views on children- and frequently do- but that would be something much harder to stop.

People may say that we can't know that God exists, but, in any other walk of life, when there is no evidence for something (and the Bible, with all its moral stories, is not evidence for the existence of God any more than the Harry Potter books are evidence for the existence of wizards) we assume it doesn't exist, so why should that be any different for religion. We don't KNOW FOR SURE that Santa doesn't exist- he may just be lurking around the corner- and we don't KNOW FOR SURE that there isn't one black swan among all the white ones that has simply stayed away from all humans, but we consider ourselves to know they don't exist because there is no evidence for them. This, of course, is a philosophical viewpoint, and is where people who say that there is no evidence against God completely fall flat- there is no evidence against ANYTHING apart from mathematical impossibilities. In the rest of life, we take a lack of evidence for something's existence to be evidence against, so why should religion be any different?

Last of all, the prize-moron Beck even suggests, in the above video, that atheists "worship brooms". Is this the reliable source you want delivering your news and current affairs?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: One of the major replies I got about this message was about C0ct0pus himself; yes, he swears a lot, but he does choose worthy targets, and he does make very good points!

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