Imagine: that Atheism Is Just Another Religion

Jewish Twins, kept alive for medical experiments at Auschwitz

One of my on-line acquaintances posted a link today to an essay published on the website of Psychology Today. It was written by “Marty Klein, PhD”, and titled: “Imagine: Sex is Just Sex”.

Since I am generally a progressive where sexual matters are concerned, I read through most of the article nodding along and agreeing that the author had some important points to make about the peculiar American split personality where sex is concerned. I can’t dispute any of the points that Klein made about the impact of America’s bizarre sexual morality on the lives of its people, particularly young people.

But then I got to the end of the article, and suddenly I was furious. If the damn thing had been written on paper, I would have thrown it across the room. Because suddenly, at the end of an article which was about something relevant, at the end of an essay in which the author was making valid points about issues of broad concern to anyone who was born in the USA, lives in the USA, or whose life is affected for some reason by conditions in the USA…

…suddenly he couldn’t resist the urge to stuff HIS religion down my throat. And his creepy Evangelical proselytizing, rather than having the intended effect of luring me into even broader agreement with his religious worldview, instead caused violent repulsion, and threw the entire rest of his essay into a bad light. Rather than being a personal and rational discussion of issues, the whole essay came across suddenly as an agenda-driven, self-righteous attempt to legitimize his own religious beliefs.

Why?

Because ALL such Evangelical rhetoric inevitably causes this reaction, in people who do not share the religious world-view of the speaker.

This sort of thing is happening to me more and more often when I innocently click on essays written by people in various scientific disciplines. It is becoming uncomfortably common to find myself nodding through much of the preamble of an essay, agreeing that the author has a point, and then finding myself feeling vaguely ill when I get to the preaching at the end.

Why? Because like all pie-eyed converts and intolerant religious nutjobs, the authors can’t stick to the point. Inevitably they’ll try to throw in some revoltingly jejune and intellectually dishonest atheist dogma to see if they can get it past you while you’re nodding along.

It makes me want to punch the author. Every time.

In this case, the capper of Klein’s essay comes in the lines about how wonderful the latest meeting with his fellow cult members was, followed by a chestnut like this:

“As it is said: religion flies planes into buildings; science flies rockets to the moon.”

Right, dude. Because “Science” didn’t fly atom bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “Science” didn’t fill the gas chambers at Dachau and argue for the extermination of “unfit” members of society and “inferior races” of humankind. “Science” didn’t sterilize thousands of helpless people in state mental institutions throughout the USA. “Science” didn’t deliberately leave 600 black men in Alabama suffering from syphilis for years, just to see what would happen to them and their communities if they weren’t told. “Science” didn’t dissect the children at Auschwitz and torture the Chinese prisoners at Pingfang. And “Science” didn’t demand that the men who rained fire on London and ate the livers of American prisoners of war be spared, and given lucrative and safe post-war careers, so that “Science” could continue to benefit from the “brilliance” of those minds.

Human Vivisections performed by Scientific War Criminals at Ping Fang

Because Science can do no wrong, can it? Oh no. The dark side of human nature lies solely in the sphere of religious belief. All Science ever does is GOOD things.

What a load of crap!

The more atheism adopts the language and sloppy intellectual habits of an Evangelical movement, the more uncomfortable I become. This article is one of many reasons that I oppose any attempt to make materialism or scientific skepticism into a religion.

I shudder to think of what “Science” is capable of, as this movement gains strength. The world can do nothing but suffer, in the hands of those who believe they can do no wrong.

About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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6 Responses to Imagine: that Atheism Is Just Another Religion

  1. Alexis says:

    Wow! Excellent read. I agree. People make the mistake of thinking this way all the time. But really the negative side of humanity is in everything. Neither religion nor science is “all good.” Humanity itself has a dark side and it infects everything they invest in.

  2. David Baum falcongrey says:

    Kinda funny, I’m glad I gave you (being you) the benefit of the doubt and kept reading the blog until the end. I was beginning to go ‘this can’t be the Arinn I know from Kerberos… especially at the point of “Because like all pie-eyed converts and intolerant religious nut-jobs…” I was upset and wanted to stop feeling insulted as if you were lumping me into that group. Once at the end I understood what you were trying to say, I think, that just as religion has its nut-jobs and closed minded people, so does atheism and science. Man is simply man, no mater what banner he puts himself under and without God… he’s quite messed up. Yes, you can be religious and claim to be doing something in God’s good name… but have a very one sided and non-God agenda in mind for yourself thus making it not about God or religion but again back to man without God. Man will always find ways to excuse his dark and evil nature… be it ‘God’, ‘Islam’, some other religion, science, atheism… always it is something to excuse some horrible behavior. Man is simply Man. Not sure how else to say how I feel. You’re writing, like usual, fills it quite well. As long as you read the whole thing and not throw it digitally across the room! LOL!

  3. Marshall Boice says:

    “As it is said: religion flies planes into buildings; science flies rockets to the moon.”

    I believe it was said that approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of all scientists are employed by the Industrial Military Complex.

    As Buckminster Fuller put it, most of science in the last century has been spent on making bombs bigger and bigger, travel farther and farther, to kill more and more people.

  4. Saje Williams says:

    Honestly, Arinn, while one might say that atheism is a belief about religion, I don’t know if it’s fair to say that it’s a religious belief. I find myself agreeing with them on one aspect… religion is another word for nonsense. Now whether there is or is not a god, or gods, or any kind of afterlife, has nothing to do with this position. My problem with certain kinds of atheism, and many more strident religions, is that I don’t believe anyone can honestly claim to know the Truth of the nature of the universe. Science exists to explore that, and any assumptions scientists make are ultimately adaptable in a way that religious beliefs are not.

    As far as the damage done by science, one must also consider that in the examples you cite, nearly all of those guilty of these sins were themselves believers in one religion or another.

    • Arinn says:

      Saje- Just as an aside, trying to shift the blame from Science to Religion when crimes are committed in the name of Science and by men of Science…is a complete non-starter, in my view. There was no Church or Faith paying the bills or reading the reports when these atrocities were committed.

      In general: stop painting a halo on Science and never stoop to defending the indefensible. People who love Science and respect reason need to take our lumps and admit that the feet of our idols are made of clay and just as splattered with gore as those of any religion.

      Science is not a pristine endeavor untainted by blood, horror and criminality. The Holocaust killed more people in a few years than the Inquisition was able to murder in three centuries, and all of its legitimizing rhetoric was scientific, NOT religious.

  5. David Baum says:

    @ Saje Williams; Not to start an argument,but by definition of Religion and I quote the dictionary: “the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices” Atheism is in itself a religion. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    Anyway, if you read my previous post you will see where it doesn’t matter what excuse man makes it is always for a selfish and self centered reason that an evil act is committed. Religion, be it science or a god or lack there of a god is simply a escape mechanism to blame instead of looking at the true source of the reason for that act of evil. Man in and upon himself as a creature that is fundamentally flawed with being self serving and evil. He will use a religious belief as a reason why he blows up a building and kills 5,000+ people. He will use the lack there of ‘religion’ as an excuse to kill millions. He will use science as a reason to find ways to make bacteria and viruses deadlier and deadlier with no way to kill them.

    And true to man he has the capacity to do very good things too! But it is only the capacity and not his fundamental nature to do this. Often, his good actions mask the self serving nature that is really behind these acts. Rarely in history has there been someone, without God or love (and God IS love) behind him, willing to lay down his life for friends or people that he doesn’t know… and actually do it without looking to what he would/could gain or profit from it.

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