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God bless atheism

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I live in a society where everyone's beliefs are respected, as long as they believe in God. But despite that there are still some good reasons to be an atheist. Personally, I like the hours - 24/7. I find they suit me very well indeed. People often ask me about being an atheist, and certain questions crop up all the time. For example, "How can you know good from evil without religion to guide you?" Well, that's just the point, isn't it? Religion does guide me. Most of the things I see religion do, I think are evil. And I find that's a pretty useful benchmark. If religion is involved, I know evil won't be too far away. Another question is, "Isn't atheism itself really just another religion?" Well, I suppose atheism is a religion in the same way that creationism is a science, or Islam is a religion of peace. In other words, when language no longer really means anything. How can atheism be a religion? Who do we worship? And who's going to kill us if we don't? Atheism doesn't demand absolute unquestioning obedience, or make threats about eternal damnation, nor does it take childish offence over trifles. It doesn't protect sex offenders from justice, nor does it treat women like livestock. In a way it's a shame it's not a religion, because we might be able to get a few tax breaks out of it, but no, atheism doesn't get any special privileges. There are no schools teaching atheism to children as a belief system, paid for with public money, nor does atheism require anyone to tithe part of their income to keep a few cynical conmen in luxury. So you see, it doesn't even begin to qualify as a religion worthy of the name. No, to me, atheism is just another word for reality. It simply means not seeing any need to apologise for being human, and to be quite happy to live the life I do have, and not wish it away on some celestial three card trick that tells me "Heaven is right there waiting for you, and all you've got to do is die." That's some price to pay, isn't it, for admission to a place which is likely to be full of clergymen and born again Christians, which I reckon makes it literally a fate worse than death. But surely people need religion to answer certain questions. Yes, questions like, "How best can we stifle the human spirit?" "How much can we squeeze from the poor and gullible?" and "How many palaces can we live in at once without blushing?" These questions, religion answers very well indeed. But unfortunately there are other questions to which it doesn't have answers, so it makes them up. And this is where atheism comes in. Atheism says, "Hey, you just made that up." And religion says, "No, this is what we call theology." What's the difference between a doctor of medicine and a doctor of theology? One prescribes drugs, and the other might as well be on drugs. A theologian is somebody who's an expert in the unknowable, and has all the qualifications to prove it. Yeah, a real specialist. And this is why I think the question we should be asking is not whether atheism is a religion, but why is theology regarded as a branch of philosophy, and not as a creative art? Because it is very creative. You can dress your god up in whatever set of the king's new clothes you like. And it must be great fun for all concerned, but personally I don't see any more reason to teach it in universities there is to teach astrology. "OK, we get it, you don't believe in God. But at least religious organisations do a lot of good work, especially in the third world. Surely you can't knock that." So what are you telling me? If they weren't religious, they wouldn't be doing this work? It's not really coming from their hearts? They're just doing it because they're following orders? Is that what you're saying? I suppose if they were heathen atheists they wouldn't have time to do it, because they'd be too busy debauching and indulging every wicked urge their fevered imaginations could dream up, because that what we atheists do, of course, isn't it? Our souls are corrupted and stained with sin, because, well it's just a great lifestyle, frankly. In fact, when I've finished making this video, I intend to spend the rest of the afternoon sinning, because I know that I won't be punished for it. In fact, I'm getting so excited about it, I think I'll stop right now. So peace to everyone, especially to all heretics, apostates and infidels.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 27 seconds
Country: UK
Language: English
Producer: www.patcondell.net
Director: Pat Condell
Views: 2,266
Posted by: patcondell on Oct 6, 2007

Recorded August 3rd 2007.
You can download an audio version of this video at http://patcondell.libsyn.com

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