Saturday, June 23, 2012


I wrote a post about being an atheist as a result of my skepticism a few days ago.  In that post, I also identified myself as an antitheist.  What is an antitheist?  According to Wikipedia, antitheism is "active opposition to theism. The term has had a range of applications; in secular contexts, it typically refers to direct opposition to organized religion or to the belief in any deity, while in a theistic context, it sometimes refers to opposition to a specific god or gods."  Upon further reflection, I've decided that antitheism is too broad of a term for me to find it a comfortable fit.  Let's break it down a bit at a time to look at why I don't quite like it.

First of all "direct opposition to organized religion".  Well, I do kinda resemble that remark.  I don't have a lot of good things to say about it.  I've written several blog posts about it.  However, do I go around picketing my local churches and other houses of worship?  No.  When somebody tells me that they're going to church, do I make it a point to say, "Why are you doing that?  That's hella STOOPID!"  Not really.  Also, this is just too broad of a term.  It makes it sound like I oppose everything that every organized religion does.    Back when I visited a church a few years ago, one of the things that I thought was good was the sense of community that was there, and it was cool how the people knew that their fellow church-goers would be there to help them out in times of need.

Next up is the bit about opposition to the belief in any deity.  If everybody was taking my opinion as to whether they should believe in a god or not, I'd say:  ""  However, do I oppose it?  That's too strong a word.  I realize some people probably think that I go up and confront every theist I see, but I really don't do that.  My in-laws believe in a god, but they don't really talk about it that much, and I've never tried to convince them otherwise.  Plus, I have maintained some pretty good relationships with former students who are believers over the years, and somehow I doubt if I was like that in person that they'd want much to do with me.  Again, yes, I write about this stuff, and I even post my blogs to Facebook.  But the way I figure it, I'm not forcing anybody to read it.  Folks know where I stand, and they can skip it or check it out.

But honestly I don't care if a person believes in a god or not.  I used to believe, and I don't think that I was a danger to myself or anybody else as a result of it.  Now, if they want to tell me about decisions that I need to make based on what this god wants, that's a different story.  However, I don't find this happening all that much with the theists I know.

Lastly is the part stating that antitheism "sometimes refers to opposition to a specific god or gods".  Of course, this is a weird idea if you don't believe in something, how can you be opposed to it?  I mean, I guess I'm opposed to Voldemort.  Does that mean I'm an anti-Voldemort?  (Damn right I am!  I don't care if he is the heir of Slytherin!  He's a lousy mudblood!  Tom Riddle, indeed!)  In all fairness though, I think that this is basically saying that IF certain gods were to exist, you'd be opposed to them.  Does that fit me?

Well, I guess it all depends on which god we're talking about, doesn't it?  Now, I also don't want to make a blanket statement and say that I would oppose the Christian God if He were real, mainly because there are so many different ideas as to exactly what that means.  So, let me just go with the predominant notion that Jesus is God, died for our sins, and anybody who believes in him will have eternal life; whereas those who do not will be condemned to eternal hellfire.  That version?  Yeah.  That sucks.  I couldn't even begin to pretend to love such a being.  I could go into reasons, but that would probably be another post all together, and haven't all the "New Atheists" covered why this is screwed up enough for anybody who cares to know?

Other versions of Jesus?  Well, tell me what you got, and I'll take it as a case-by-case basis.  Beyond the Christian God, I don't care for the other versions of him that are described in the other Abrahmic faiths either.  I also think that Zeus seems like kind of a tool, and his dad Cronus had some issues.  Odin is ridiculously capricious, and I'd hate to think that he's up there calling the shots.

However, there are some gods that, if they were real, I'd dig them and probably find it worth my time to offer praise and/or prayer.  Who are the gods I like?

Prometheus - Here's a guy who not only gave us fire but taught us how to get one over on all those nasty, mean-spirited gods of Olympus.  Plus, he was willing to be tortured FOREVER (take that, Jesus!) as a result.  Not only that, but when Zeus wanted to completely wipe out humanity in a flood (not even being as magnanimous as Yahweh and spare a few folks) Prometheus was there to make sure that humanity endured. Basically, Prometheus has our backs, and he's getting his liver pecked out so you can enjoy barbecue.

Thor - He kills Frost Giants and all kinds of awful creatures.  I've never met a Frost Giant, but they seem pretty nasty.  I'd be willing to wear a Mjolnir amulet around my neck to thank the big guy for doing us a solid like that.

Ninkasi - She gave us beer.  'Nuff said.

So, am I an antitheist?  Kinda, but not really.

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