I’ve been an atheist since I reached the age of reason and I realized that my grandmother’s claims that “there were no dinosaurs” were filthy Christian lies, but recently I’ve decided to become a lot less tolerant of theists. After all, tolerance is counterproductive when the thing you are tolerating has caused more wars and killed more people than anything else throughout history, and when it threatens to weaken society by teaching children myths as facts and restricting personal freedoms.
The real impetus for this post, however, came from an atheist blog I’ve been following lately, Pharyngula, and a video by a busty young lady explaining why atheists do, and should, care about the stupid blathering theists do:
I haven’t seen Religulous yet, but I plan on seeing it sometime this weekend.
Know this, if you are a theist, I do not and can not respect you, no more than you would respect an adult who believes in the Tooth Fairy. To me, you are no different than any other insane cultist– something to be shunned and mocked, and maybe to feel a bit sorry for. I will probably leave you alone, as I know there is little sense in arguing against insanity, and I would hope you would extend me the same courtesy, but I imagine you don’t feel the same way.
People seem to be slightly misinterpreting me, here.
Let me clarify by reposting part of my reply from there:
As I’ve said before, people can believe in any nonsense, invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, teapots orbiting Mars, that they want. As long as this belief stays a private thing, it doesn’t affect anyone else, I’ve no problem with it. But as soon as it enters public policy, affecting laws, the way children are taught, or personal freedoms; or as soon as someone decides to go to war over it; it becomes a blight upon society that needs to be removed.
Which is the whole point of militant atheism, really- not to actually forbid people’s private beliefs (who cares?) but to ensure a secular society, one that has more of a basis in science, rationality, and fact than superstition and myth.
Why do believers automatically assume that others always want to convert them, seriously? Not everyone is a missionary. Chances are, if I don’t know you personally and you have no say in my life I really couldn’t care less what nonsense you believe. That latter bit is the important bit: religion should have no say in my life. It can have all the say in your life you want it to, as long as that say is from internal sources, not external (i.e., governmental) ones.