Just read a new post entitled, “Atheist or Agnostic.” In it, the author offers some thoughts on worship (God or otherwise) and asks the question, “Is there any valid basis for worship?”
At the beginning of his post, however, he discusses the terms “atheist” and “agnostic” — and then defines himself as an “antitheist.” Although I’d heard the term before, I was interested in a definitive meaning. This is what I found at Rational Wiki: Antitheism is a noncomparable term referring to the belief that theism and religion are not only very likely to be invalid and false, but that they are restricting, dangerous, primitive, and offer no unique benefits.
On the same page that I found the definition was something Christopher Hitchens once said. To some of you, it may be familiar, but I had not read it before (actually I haven’t read any of his works). He said it in response to an audience question during a public debate between he and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Audience member: My question to Christopher is; how you can justify wanting to take something away from people, that gives meaning to 95% of the American people, and replace it with something that gives meaning to just 5% of the American people?
Christopher Hitchens: Hah! Well. What an incredibly stupid question. First, I’ve said repeatedly that this stuff cannot be taken away from people, it is their favourite toy and it will remain so, as Freud said with The Future of an Illusion, for as long as we’re afraid of death—which I think is likely to be quite a long time. Second—I hope I’ve made it clear that I’m perfectly happy for people to have these toys, and to play with them at home, and hug them to themselves and so on, and share them with other people who come around and play with their toys. So that’s absolutely fine. They are not to make me play with these toys. Ok? I will not. Play. With. The toys. Don’t bring the toys to my house. Don’t say my children must play with these toys. Don’t say my toys—might be a condom, here we go again—are not allowed by their toys. I’m not going to have any of that. Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation! Is that finally clear? Have I got that across? Thank you!
(After reading this, I can see why so many non-believers like and quote Hitchens. 🙂 )
Anyway, what he says falls in line with my personal approach. Do your thing, Christians. I don’t agree with you or your beliefs but if they work for you, fine. I may offer alternate opinions/ideas for you to consider, but if you don’t accept them, that’s your prerogative.
By the same token, as Hitchens says, do not make me play with your toys. Long ago, I looked at your toys — and even purchased and played with them. But one day, I outgrew your toys … and I have NO desire to look at, touch, and/or play with them any longer. In fact, I got rid of them in the far, far distant past.
Probably one of the most annoying things about Christian toys is you find them laying about everywhere. Even when you try to get rid of them, they turn up again. Hopefully, someday in the not-too-distant future, believers will discover toys are for children. And it’s time to grow up.