by D.M. Murdock

Freethought Examiner

September 30, 2009

from Examiner Website

In my previous articles on atheism, I have made the case for the need for atheistic thinking in the healthy human mental process, while also averring that atheism per se is not a worldview.


In my last article on atheism, "Why debunk atheism?," I discussed how the theist versus atheist debate is never-ending and often descends into ad hominems, with both sides calling each other "fools," for example, and worse.


I further expressed my personal thesis on reconciling these seemingly disparate concepts causing so much frustration, grief and sometimes great glee in many parts of the world these days. My "solution" proposes stepping outside of the labels and boxes and being neither a devout theist nor a fanatic atheist.


This perception of reality allows for whatever thought is most appropriate in any given moment, rather than forcing a stand of thinking one way or another all the time.


Although I most definitely take a strong stance on a variety of issues that occur in third-dimensional reality, I am not much of a club joiner.


I love community, but so far the clubs being offered have not been my cup of tea. For example, I didn't care much for church, even though the minister and everyone else were quite lovely, righteous and nice people. It was just a rather boring affair, and I was not particularly interested in the ancient Jewish history being taught.


Even back then I suppose I saw the whole thing as rather culturally biased. Who really cares who brought the butter dish to Balshazar and the tent peg to the house of Rashomon?

So I didn't really fit in with that club, clique or cult - not my bag, baby.


But that's really all there is community-wise when you grow up in a country that claims to be about 80% christian. Since then I've been creating my own community of likeminded individuals, but we are still lacking any kind of formality. It's rather an affair of hit or miss in the moment, which may be appropriate, in consideration of my definition of free-thought.

For these reasons, I tend to recoil when I read words like the following from an article by Ariane Sherine called "Atheism's Open Door," in the Guardian UK:

Andrew Brown is wrong: atheism isn't about class. Anyone can join our club if they don't believe in God.

Ms. Sherine then goes on to recount the gist of another article in the Guardian, "Snobbery with godlessness," which assailed atheists as being snooty and conceited.


Interestingly, Brown himself is purportedly an atheist, so this debate now is between atheists.


Thought police at the door?

I can relate to Brown's position, as it turns out that his grievances are much like my own regarding atheism and "militant atheists." And that is why I don't really want to join their supposed "club," because it comes across as being, well, militant, as well as unpleasant.


I have been on the receiving end of abusive language from not only theists but also atheists on more than one occasion. I've had pushy people insist that I begin to call myself an atheist, even though I do not subscribe to such a label. In other words, I'm being forced into the club whether I like or not, and whether or not other members like me.


I've also been told that in order to join a particular group supporting ex-Muslims, I would have be an atheist. While I would certainly have no intention of proselytizing ex-Muslims into Christianity or any other religion, I'm not too keen on being profiled by the thought police of any camp.

Let's put it this way: When it comes to the god of the Abrahamic religions, I am as atheistic as anyone can be.


The pathological character that has manifested itself in the pages of the Bible and Koran is absolutely disgraceful and needs to be categorized not as the god of the cosmos but as a minor, petty thane and tyrant emanating out of the mind of a particular ethnicity that lived in harshness and brutality.


Is this wretched portrayal really the best we can do in our day and age?

Even christians are atheists when it comes to the god of Islam or the many divine aspects of numerous other cultures, from ancient times to modern. Can christians now join the Atheist Club, since they are essentially atheists when it comes to everyone else's god?


Muslims must be defined as atheists as well, since they refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as the divine son of God.

Any club I would want to be in would be so loose in its criteria of what we can do within the privacy of our own minds that it wouldn't really be much of an organization at all. In consideration of the recently publicized fact that there are increasing numbers of Americans who reply "none" to the question of religious affiliation (thusly called "Nones"), yet they do not consider themselves "atheists," it would seem that my "club" is burgeoning.


If we factor in all the world's people who can live in peace and harmony with each, and enjoy each other's varying perspectives of reality - regardless of whether they deem themselves theists or atheists - my club is very large indeed.