Friday 11 February 2022

Why do atheists preach atheism? An ex-atheist, insider perspective

Why do atheists preach atheism? Well, I was an atheist for most of my life from about age six to nearly fifty - consciously, explicitly and publicly; so I know this from the inside in a way that many lifelong Christians obviously don't. 

Atheists preach their beliefs because they regard this mortal life as the only real thing, and therefore they want this mortal life to be as pleasurable - and to have as little suffering - as possible. 

Therefore, atheists regard religion as threatening, because (for atheists) religion says that untrue things outside this mortal life are more important than happiness or misery. 

Every motivated atheists has some thing* that he regards as vitally-important to his own happiness and well-being, but which religion would interfere-with or prohibit. 

And that (put simply) is why atheists preach their beliefs and argue against religion. 

*That some thing could be almost anything in principle - but in the modern West is usually political (e.g. one of the leftist 'isms') and/or sexual... Because for many people sex is the second-most-powerful motivator after religion. So when religion is regarded as untrue, and deleted; then some aspect of sex/ sexuality tends, whether explicitly or covertly, to become the dominant motivator. 


a_probst said...

I've often wished I could give the atheists what they say they want, a world without religious people in it, while the rest of us repair to an extra-dimensional sideline to watch that world unfold. And unravel.

No more religious people to kick around. No more excuses.

Bruce Charlton said...

@a_p - Surely that's is *almost* exactly what we have; certainly at the 'higher' levels of control - since 2020?

Lucinda said...

This explains a certain impatience I've observed, as atheists must notice life goes by faster and faster the older you get. Meanwhile pleasure becomes less frequent and suffering more frequent.

So the atheist utopia cannot be allowed to grow organically and by persuasion. It must be pursued aggressively.

No Longer Reading said...

This makes sense. I hadn't thought of it in that way before.

An unusual case is the philosopher J.J.C. Smart. I have read that he preached atheism because he wanted to be proved wrong.

Brick Hardslab said...

Saddest man I knew was a hedonistic atheist. He was a hard worker, honest, and materially well off young man. He was not stupid but foolish. He dated strippers, yes they are human too and need companionship. Other men at work envied him. I pitied him because he was clearly sad about the inevitable end state of his life if he was correct.

I wish I could have better witnessed to him.