Religions are filled with far-fetched beliefs. They are founded on concepts that are logically flawed and self-contradictory. The claims various religions make fail all testing, when they don’t fail to even be testable in the first place. They are completely unsubstantiated, despite the best efforts of their adherents. Even most believers know this is true about every religion except their own. Tell a Christian that Muhammed rode a winged horse from Mecca to Jerusalem, and the Christian will think that’s nothing but a fairy tale. Tell a Muslim that Krishna lifted Govardhan mountain with his little finger, and the Muslim will think you are telling him a story people made up, not an historical event. Tell a Hindu that Yahweh flooded the entire planet and killed everything except for the inhabitants of Noah’s boat, and the Hindu will immediately recognize that it’s just mythology, not to be taken seriously. Everyone recognizes the absurdities and implausibilities in everyone else’s religions, and unhesitatingly doubts them. In my estimation, theists are right to doubt each other’s unreasonable beliefs — which is to say that I think all religions are most likely false. Even in the improbable case that one of them is true, that still means that all the other contradictory ones are not. Since no religion has anywhere close to the majority of the world’s religious believers, this means we can be certain that at least most, if not all, of the world’s theists are believing falsehoods.
These falsehoods are often harmful. They tend to cause division, violence, hatred, shame, guilt, distrust, fear, self-loathing, willful ignorance, cognitive dissonance, intellectual dishonesty, dissociation from reality, moral handicap, and so on. Their net effects make the world a worse place, not a better one.
This is not to say that religion has never done anything positive. Religion often brings people comfort, motivates them to behave better, and engenders philanthropy. Rather, it’s to say (A) the negatives have far outweighed the positives, and (B) the positives could be better accomplished through secular alternatives. Both of which are points I’ll address in my posts on this website.
I’m making this website because people are still executed for blasphemy in many parts of the world, such as Syria and Pakistan. I’m making this website because parents refuse to get their children medical treatment, instead letting their kids preventably die, for religious reasons. I’m making this because of the endless religious warfare in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Kashmir, and elsewhere. Because religious missionaries go to sub-Saharan Africa in the midst of an AIDS epidemic, and preach that using condoms is a sin. Because of religion’s roles in recent genocides, in Rwanda, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Central African Republic, and many more. Because parents disown their children or send them to re-education camps for being gay. Because of religious interference with stem cell research, which has retarded medical progress that could save innumerable lives and ease the suffering for myriad others. Because millions of children per year are subjected to genital mutilation due to their parents’ religious preferences. Because many religious people treat the environment as disposable since they believe The End is near. Because state religions in some countries make women wear burqas, disallow them from working, driving, traveling, and associating with men, and subject them to legal physical abuse from husbands, or “honor killings” from family. I’m making this website because of the countless ways, big and small, that religion damages nearly everyone and worsens almost everything.
Religion is a scourge which preys upon ignorance. AntiTheo.com is an attempt to do something about that. Maybe I’ll be able to get some religious people to rethink some of their more problematic positions. Perhaps I’ll be able to help a few religious people better understand and appreciate nonreligious viewpoints. Or possibly arm some atheists with a few arguments and ideas which help them effectively reason with others. Or embolden some atheists to assert themselves better, when necessary. It is my hope to do my small part through such means to make the world a better place — a little freer, safer, happier, and better informed, and a little less prejudiced, hateful, and oppressive.
This website, AntiTheo, is my platform for expressing anti-religious views. Some of the features you can expect to frequently find here will include:
• Questions from Theists — answering real questions from theists, from my atheistic viewpoint.
• Questions for Theists — wherein I ask theists some pointed questions.
• Rotten Cherries — Believers often like to cherry-pick favorite quotes from their religious texts. I’ll be sharing some of the less comfortable passages in the other 99% of those texts.
• Notable Facts — notable and perhaps surprising facts, some amusing, others shocking. Many of them will correct misinformation that various religious groups like to spread, and / or reveal things they like to hide. A few of them might perhaps help reframe people’s understanding of certain topics.
• Dialogues with Theists — real discussions I have with theists, sometimes online, other times in-person.
• Why I Dislike Religion – an ongoing series, detailing what aspects of religion I take issue with, and why.
• Quotes — by religious leaders, outspoken atheists, scientists, thinkers, celebrities, politicians, etc. Any quote that deserves a spotlight. Some because they’re so good and others because they’re so bad.
• Contradictions — an ongoing series of short posts pointing out contradictions in religious texts and / or in religious systems of thought.
• and much more, including essays, discussion of current events, discussion of memes, posting people’s videos and discussing them, links to articles and discussions of them, philosophy, criticism, reviews, counter-apologetics, replying to readers, and whatever else I feel like.
There will be a disproportionate focus on Abrahamic religions in my screeds. Especially Christianity. This is for a few reasons. 1) Since Christianity is the most prevalent religion in the United States (where I am), it’s the one I’m most familiar with. 2) Since it’s the most prevalent religion in the world, countering it is likely to have a bigger impact than countering less popular religions. 3) Christianity is a secondary religion, built on top of Judaism. Secondary religions are quantifiably more problematic than primary religions. Not only do they have all of the falsehoods and issues of primary religions, they then have an additional layer of untruths added to them. Moreover, they have all the issues of maintaining backward-compatibility with their source religions, thereby making them all the more intellectually strained and untenable. This makes secondary religions particularly exemplary for showing the problems intrinsic to the religious enterprise.
Despite practical reasons for an emphasis on Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, my distaste applies just as much to Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and all others. Most of my criticism will also be equally applicable across all of the world’s major religions.
Lastly, I want to be clear on a few points. (1) Disrespecting beliefs does not mean disrespecting the people who harbor those beliefs, and attacking beliefs does not mean attacking people with those beliefs. You are not your beliefs. (2) Criticizing religious beliefs does not equate to saying all followers have those beliefs. It just means the criticism is aimed at those who do. Likewise, criticizing issues related to a religion does not equate to saying that all followers manifest these issues. There’s no need for you to tell me, “Not all Christians reject science due to biblical literalism,” or, “Not all Muslims think apostates should be executed.” I know “not all.” I’m not saying “all.” (3) Antipathy for religion does not mean antipathy for religious people. I don’t dislike people who believe religions. I’m quite fond of some devout believers.