The Anti-theist Network - Mission Statement
Religion - which is any ideology, based on unjustifiable claims, that makes demands of behaviour and postulates unquestionable rules, laws, commands and/or tenets - was perhaps humanity's earliest attempts at making sense of and understanding the world. Indeed in the early days of the human species there was no distinction between science, healthcare, philosophy or government; all of these roles were played by religion.
Over time, it became clear that religion no longer could offer the best answers to all of these questions and as society has slowly progressed the dominance of religion and its authority has diminished as we, as a species, have realised that there are more useful methodologies and modes of thought for addressing the issues of our existence, in a meaningful way, that we had naively supposed the doctrines of religion offered us. For the ministers of religion and its apologists this means that they have found themselves in possession of less and less legitimate or useful knowledge and wisdom and so their control over others has also diminished.
In modern society, there is now no question or area that any religion can claim to have the exclusive, conclusive answer to. Every utility of religion has been superseded by secular alternatives and improved upon. In other words, religion is theoretically redundant in modern society. It is a vestigial organ of an earlier, more ignorant time. It is of course foreseeable that religion, while redundant, is benign and can have its quiet, novel place, tucked away in society - perhaps for sentimental reasons.
If this was the case then there would be no need for the anti-theist network and in fact, antitheism would be a position of malice. Yet this is not the case in modern society. In fact, religion routinely enacts ravages and abuses, needlessly on humanity. All the time we are made aware of killings, child abuse; conflict, unwarranted violence; the fascist, totalitarian restrictions on personal freedoms and rights of fellow humans, disruption of families; the promotion of racist, homophobic and all manner of other bigoted ideas and actions; the irrational demand for the slowing or prevention of progress within the fields of medicine and science; superstitious fear mongering and other mental tortures (such as forcing guilt and shame in others) and various coercive manipulations; and attempted meddling within education and legislature. (To name a few calamities and immoralities) all because of the operation of religion within modern society.
This is not benign. This is certainly malignant and corrosive to society.
Some may try to argue that such horrors, as the aforementioned, are only born out of the extremist ends of religion and that common, "moderate" religion is harmless and truly benign. Unfortunately, this is not good enough: Religion is redundant in society; obsolescent in utility and explanatory power. Religion no longer needs to exist, in principle. In principle, there is no reason why religion could not be entirely removed or replaced. We should keep this is mind when we consider extremist religion. Extremist religion germinates from benign, harmless religion. If there was no religion, there would be no extremist religion. And so as long as religion is allowed to needlessly endure there will always be the potential - the danger, the risk - that pockets of extremist religion will flourish within society. This is rather like a person developing an initially benign tumor that has the potential risk of developing into some malignant form. In this situation the only rational thing to do would be to have the tumor removed so that one was not pointlessly put at risk of a very real and serious danger.
Therefore it is the aim of the antitheist network to actively treat this malignancy of religion and the irrational and superstitious within modern society, and to remove the risk for further development. This is for the overall health, well being and progress of humanity, now, and for future generations.
How does the antitheist network hope to achieve this?
The antitheist network is not just a forum for discussion. It is activist. Seeking desirable change within the real world; for the improvement of society. It could perhaps even be called a movement. But this is not an ideology or an organization or a group. It is simply the collective effort of passionate, concerned individuals who wish to promote and achieve; not doctrines, dictums or ideas; but a rational realisation, a freedom of thought and expression - a liberation from ignorance, irrationality, superstition, and misanthropy that stems from religion.
The attainment of this aim will be achieved in the following ways:
- First and foremost: Learning and education. This is the most important of all as this is ultimately responsible for allowing fellow human beings to free themselves from the primitive, ignorant influences of religion.
- Challenging and freely criticizing religious authority and its claims - without restriction - wherever, whenever and however it presents itself; no longer can we afford to be complacent.
- Protest and activism against religion whenever and wherever it encroaches upon society, in its attempts to spread its control and influence. Especially within education, government and healthcare.
- Culture jamming and uninhibited satire: In addition to an intellectual realisation, an aesthetic and emotional realisation must take place. Religion must come to know that it does not have any special status within society and it does not have any power over expression and art.
- The promotion of reason, rationality, critical thinking and freethought and the derision and abolition of faith, irrational confidence and the unjustifiable.
- Finally, solidarity must be accomplished and encouraged between all people. We must realise that there are none with the right to claim an elite or exclusive group or special authority over others.
- John F. KennedyWe are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do.
- GhandiBe the change you want to see in the world.
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