Atheism – Savior of the World

The world is a mess and it is getting worse. People are full of hatred directed at one group or another for a myriad of reasons. The number one reason for this hatred is religious beliefs and practices which are the root of most evil. This evil can show up as self-righteousness, bigotry, racism or plain hatred. In the past few days we have seen anti-Semitism spewing from once respected, now loathed White House correspondent, Helen Thomas[1]; a picture circulating around the web of fundamentalist Christians demonstrating against the evil of dancing (apparently god hates dancing, and it leads to having sex); Israeli forces killing aid workers in international waters many miles from their shoreline; grandchildren of Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Robb reciting hateful white supremacist rhetoric on Internet radio(and a charming family portrait at a cross burning – the youngest is a ten-year old boy)[2]; humorless Muslims who think their religion is beyond the pale of humorists enraged at any depiction of “their” god (to the point of wanting to kill the creators of the humor); and an ever-growing faction of Christian fundamentalists in the United States that want to bifurcate the country and marginalize any who do not see things their way. The idea that religion and god are here to bring humanity together in love and in peace is as unbelievable as the concept of a supreme, omnipotent and personal god.  

Religion is one of the methods people separate themselves from humankind by creating an “are you with me or not?” situation. By design these groups were created to exclude anyone who was capable of freethinking and did not have a need to be led around like sheep following the flock. Before the modern era most people believed and most people belonged to these groups (religions), or kept very quiet about their true feelings. People who joined the group were at the mercy of the powers of that organization – conform or be cast aside.  

The major pluses of the Enlightenment and the scientific and modern era are that as more and more things have been explained by science people have become less superstitious. This does not apply to everyone – there is a huge backlash of people who will deny logic, science, research and reason and supplant it with ghosts, magic and various and assorted fictions. Atheism is a voice of reason that could be an instrumental tool in bringing all of the people of the world together – as opposed to religion which has a long history of tearing groups and people apart. Atheism is not devil worship, sorcery or an invitation to live a life free of moral constructs – morality came from man long before the popular religions of today existed. Non-believers are the third largest group of “adherents” in the world – only trailing behind Christianity and Islam.[3] Of the 16 % non-believing population less than 2/10ths of one percent are in prison.[4] These figures along with the near daily news of religious people who have fallen from grace show no positive connection between belief and morality.  

Believers will often extol on all of the virtues and beauty of religion and god and look the other way and not see lies and fairy tales. Why not accept the beauty of the world and the concrete existence that we have? We do not need any more, nor do we need the big lies about creation and an afterlife. These tales have caused so much harm in history – from ancient times up to the current day. Poverty, economic control, geographic disputes, political battles and ethnic hatred have emerged from religious belief. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus (to name just a few of the guilty parties) have clashed over all of these issues through the centuries and still do. Nuclear confrontation is a very real possibility in the Koreas (where the cult of Kim Jong-il is basically a state religion) and in the Kashmir region that is disputed daily by India and Pakistan. Religious and ethnic belief systems are largely responsible for these potentially cataclysmic differences – they are not borne out of any logic or concrete rationale. Similar situations occurred with Nazi Germany, the Khmer Rouge, US policy on Native Americans, Iran and Iraq, Uganda and Rwanda, and in a less extreme manner in South Africa under apartheid and in modern Israel’s occupation and repression of Palestinians. Oppression is oppression – and when it is based on religion it is brutal. The saddest part of this is that religion and god are a man-made constructs. If nations were fighting over arable land, water, shipping lanes or military threats the conflicts between nations could make sense. The idea of countries eliminating enemies and rivals over the Tooth Fairy sounds ludicrous – but what is the difference between religion and god and any other fictional character?  

People have asked me “why do you care about religion/atheism? What difference does it make? You will not change anyone? Why waste your energy? No one is stopping you from anything? Etc.” Well, I agree that it is unlikely to change anyone’s deep-rooted beliefs, as I know my views are unchangeable in this area. I use my energy and I care so deeply about this topic because of what has been written above. Without even touching on indefensible topics such as clergy pedophilia scandals, celibacy, televangelists, tax-free status of religion in the United States, the obscene wealth of the Vatican and the corruption of popular religious figures like the Dalai Lama[5] and Mother Teresa[6] it is so clear that religion is a big business that is used to control people’s thoughts and actions. The world will be a much better place when we can rid the Earth of this disease. People need to wake up and treat others with respect and the dignity that all people deserve. Religion was supposed to give that to us but it, and the concept of god has failed mankind and needs to go.  

Think about it – do you really need ten commandments (lower case by design) to know that it is wrong to kill, steal or have sex with your neighbors spouse? If you need that kind of guidance no holy book or ritual is going to save you from yourself. 

 For further reading

 Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion

Harris, Sam. The End of Faith

Hitchens, Christopher. God is Not Great

 A great Facebook page is Al Stefanelli’s United Atheist Front!/UnitedAtheistFront?ref=ts which acts as a clearing house of all sorts of articles, videos and images. 







[5] and 

[6] Mother Teresa accepted stolen money from financier Charles Keating and also accepted large sums of cash from Haitian despot “Papa Doc” Duvalier – she also respectfully laid a wreath at the tomb of Albanian despot Enver Hoxha.


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50 Responses to “Atheism – Savior of the World”

  1. Tony Gilkyson Says:

    Thank you for the article. Atheism requires more bravery and courage than the world is able to provide. That’s why God loves a good atheist.

  2. Maryann Says:

    You spelled the word Peace wrong in the first paragraph. You have it as piece and not peace.

    I’m just sayin…..

  3. alstefanelli Says:

    Heya, Michael! Wow, very well written and very true. You hit the nail on the head about religion being exclusive by design. Those of us who stand tall against religion may not see it eradicated in our lifetime, but it will be eradicated by necessity and having had the opportunity to be part of that is one of the responsibilities we have. Thanks for the tip-off, too! Well done!

  4. Markus Says:

    My religious/philosophical evolution has taken me from being a born again Christian, to apostasy, to a tolerant atheist, and to now a very militant agnostic. Sometimes I feel like Neo from The Matrix, waking up to see a world where the majority believes in a convenient veil of lies. Maybe someday, all gods will go the way of Zeus, Osiris, and Odin; unfortunately, progress comes slowly.

    You are not alone!

  5. Larry Says:

    Hi Mike–

    Yet another well-written and thought-provoking blog. I think you are right to reveal the hypocrisy of religious zealots who are, at the very least, distorting the politics of this country (not to mention the global conflicts you mention). The older I get I feel that organized religion is unnecessary and, at times, dangerous. I haven’t taken the atheist plunge, but remain in the agnostic camp (a wimp, according to most atheists).

    I’m wondering if these zealots are taken seriously outside the Bible belt. It seems to me that most Americans wear their religion rather lightly and that their bad behavior is more likely driven by racism, sexism, and other cultural reasons (I’m thinking of the KKK as an example). In places in the world that experience violence, tribal and ethnic considerations can be overlooked. I think the connection between these considerations and religion remains unclear.

    Thanks again for your post, and for the links to Hitchens, et al. Looking forward to your next blog.

  6. Heather Says:

    wait a second.. i didn’t hear Helen Thomas say anything antisemitic. she said that Isreal should get out of Palestine.. what she said was anti Isreal but not anti Jewish. Most of the Jews in Isreal originally migrated from Germany or Poland which is why she said they should go back there- again, that comment had to do with disbanding Isreal.. a state that we created to begin with and one that has caused nothing but problems. The only reason she got into trouble for it is because America is stuck up Isreal’s ass. We even took their side when they ATTACKED a relief ship.. as in the ship was taking supplies- charity supplies (including medical supples, toys for kids, etc) to the gaza strip. Do you know how they responded? Isreal said there are no starving kids in the gaza strip! And we took Isreal’s side! Now that’s fucked up. I don’t know why everyone is jumping on the racist train when what Mrs. Thomas said had nothing to do with race.

    This is otherwise a great post- very well written as always.

  7. Markus Says:

    Heather, the word is spelled Israel, not Isreal……I’m just sayin’.

  8. sapblatt Says:

    Thanks Heather – I am no defender of Israel’s policy – and people are in varying stages of malnutrition and dehydration in Gaza for sure. Selecting Poland and Germany as where the Jews should go back to (the site of most of the Holocaust exterminations) is considered by me and many to be racist/anti-Semitic.
    Thanks for reading and contributing!

  9. Larry Says:

    I think Heather is right when she talks about U.S. policy toward Israel. It’s easy to see why Americans will never be seen as honest brokers in any attempt to bring peace to the region.

    However, I disagree that Helen Thomas’s comments were not anti-Semitic. Go back to Europe, where 5-6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust (not to mention the pogroms of previous centuries)? Talk about a fucked-up statement.

  10. james k. Says:

    “Atheism is a voice of reason that could be an instrumental tool in bringing all of the people of the world together”

    what happens to those who do not wish to be brought together? the same things that happened to those behind the iron curtain and in mao’s china?

    mao killed 50-70 million ( and Stalin, at least 3 millions ( we could say that these atheists were acting like religious leaders, but then we’ve established that atheism is no safeguard about the human impulse to religion, and that atheism itself can be a religion.

    • sapblatt Says:

      James – thanks for reading and making thoughtful comments – you are being far too generous with Stalin – more like 20 + million.
      The essay was a thought excercise designed to start dialogue – which it did…there is no way religion is going away unless it is forced away through tyranny and opression. My argument is that religion is a large part of the worlds problems and if people step back and think for themselves a bit (and not let dogma speak for them) we would all be better off. My utopia would be no religion…
      Thanks again for taking part.

      • james k. Says:

        so we need tyranny and oppression?

      • sapblatt Says:

        James –
        No – we need people to think for themselves away from dogma – religion is not going away – but we need people to stop having a hate filled dogma that is based on religion – whether it is the American religious right, the Taliban, Israel’s oppression of Palestinians or the Hindu/Muslim – Pakistani/Indian issues. In the instances I just listed you will find tyranny and oppression, or at the very least the desire for tyranny and oppression of one group over others.

      • james k. Says:

        is a hate-filled dogma based on religion worse than a hate-filled dogma based on atheism? (i’m thinking again of mao and stalin.)

      • sapblatt Says:

        Hate is hate – oppression is oppression. The difference lies in the method – I do not suggest government supported atheism or outlawing god and religion. I want people to “see the light” of the man made god and religion and I want people to think for themselves – not base their actions on the tribe. As I said – this is my utopia – it is not going to happen, but I would like it to.

      • Markus Says:

        Mao & Stalin advocated hate-filled dogma based on state sponsored oppression, NOT based on atheism.

      • sapblatt Says:

        Part of Mao and Stalin’s oppression was from the outlawing of religion

      • Markus Says:

        But Michael, what you and I are advocating is reason…we are asking people to think for themselves, rather than to follow religious dogma. There is a big difference between promoting free thinking vs. forced state sponsored non-theism. What you and I are advocating doesn’t even come close to resembling anything that Mao and Stalin professed.

      • sapblatt Says:

        I agree with you Markus

      • james k. Says:

        “Mao & Stalin advocated hate-filled dogma based on state sponsored oppression, NOT based on atheism.”

        state sponsored oppression isn’t an ideology. it doesn’t motivate one. atheism does motivate and direct one’s actions.

      • sapblatt Says:

        I would say that it is an ideology – not a religious ideology – but still…
        Atheism can be what you say – but it does not have to be.
        I do not feel it dictates anything that I do – of course it negates certain things – I do not pray, worship, believe in higher powers, etc…I do not follow any set atheistic dogma

      • Markus Says:

        I think of religion like MacOS or Windows, while atheism and agnosticism are like open source Linux.

  11. Caroline Says:

    I was raised in the Fellowship of the Unitarian Church which is pretty much about Fellowship and being a good mber of society and trying to walk a path of living the Golden Rule. My parents came from very opposite faiths by birth and chose Unitarianism precicesely
    because it welcomed and celebratedany other viewpoints. Right or wrong that still is my moral compass. It has soothed me in difficult times. I have friends of many faiths and judge them on their actions and deeds and not what their worship or non worship approach is. Live and let live and doing so in peace isy goal. There is right and wrong in every organized group, religious or otherwise. I can only influence my own path. My choice is to believe in a higher power but also to take a primary responsibility for my actions and behavior. I recognize that those choices are mine to make. I am grateful
    for that.

  12. Caroline Says:

    Sorry for all the typos. I am super tired and did not proofread first. But you get the basic idea I was expressing despite the typos. I hope.

  13. sapblatt Says:

    Caroline – no need to apologize – thank you so much for reading and participating – I hope things are going well for you. – take care,

  14. Stephen Christensen Says:

    I am an active Mormon, but I try to live my life as the Christ in the Bible and Book of Mormon would have me live. I agree, that many Christians follow the dogma and letter of the law and not the spirit. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, by Christians, that I am going to hell because of my beliefs. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, by my fellow Mormons, that I am going to hell because of my beliefs. I desperately try to be forgiving and tolerant and I think I succeed for the most part. I would never consign anyone to hell because they don’t believe in a higher power, I wouldn’t even be condescending towards them as it is only by the Spirit of God that I have the testimony of God that I have, otherwise, I would be an atheist also.

  15. Mark Koller Says:

    Love the article. All of the worlds worst atrocities have been a result of religious differences and mandates. Even amongst factions within their own religions you see hatred, murder and slavery. Look at the Christians in Ireland, Muslims in all Islamic regions, etc… the list goes on an on. Thank you for your continued effort in bringing to light the horrors of Religion.

  16. sapblatt Says:

    Mark – thanks for reading and commenting. Michael Shermer read this and sent me similar comments – he sees tribalism as the big issue – and of course religion is one of the biggest users of tribalism. Thanks again – and I love your two quotes on your FB info page (Paine and Dawkins) – take care – Mike

    • Mark Koller Says:

      Mike, thanks for the comments. Another concern many fellow atheists have is the Christians trying to take claim to this country. They will not accept the fact that in no way is this a Christian country. It is obvious that our founding fathers went way out of their way never to include God or Christianity into our Constitution. There was no mention of God in our currency nor did the pledge of allegiance ever mention God originally. I have great concerns that people in this country have never followed history and are being convinced that we are a Christian nation when in fact it could not be farther from the truth.

  17. Larry Says:

    I think there needs to be some clarification here–the founding fathers were not atheists. They were certainly suspicious of the power of institutionalized religion, so they were definitely anti-clerical. I think it’s a mistake to assume that because they left God out of the Constitution, etc. that they were pursuing some anti-religion agenda.

    They most likely did not want an established church here in the US because of the damage state religion did in Europe–they were definitely influenced by the Enlightement and believed that religious freedom would be possible if people were allowed to choose what God/god/gods to believe in.

    Another point to consider–religious zealotry was at its lowest in the late eighteenth-century in the US. I think that their views reflected those of many residents of the US…

  18. sapblatt Says:

    Mark and Larry – thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking comments. For the most part I have felt that the founding fathers were generally deists – believing in a supreme being but in no way religious. There are exceptions of course – Franklin and Paine may have been atheist – of course, if you think of how impossible it is nowadays in our alledgedly Enlightened society for a politician you can only imagine how it would have been in the 1790s – nearly 100 years ahead of Darwin and other science.
    Thanks again for contributing.

  19. SolvoReputo Says:

    Many of the founding fathers have very famous quotes that are construed as being anti-religion/church, which they are. What they did is make us a nation without an established religion/god that we all had to follow/warship. They wanted to make sure that the nation did not split because of religion. Their thinking was very agreeable compared to the politicians of today who a great many say falsely ‘This is a Christian nation!'(they then exclude the agnostic/atheist population) and get elected year, after year. What ever happened to being ‘politically correct’ and not excluding minorities? or for that matter studying history to realize the nations roots?
    -Solvo Reputo, a proud atheist

  20. Angela Says:

    Please be sure to check out:
    For more information on the flotilla.

    The “peace activists” that were killed and injured were actually terrorists.

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  24. Matt W Says:

    This is just a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Let me explain:

    Isn’t atheism just another ‘religion’, just another “group” to belong to? If you define religion as a belief in a god, then obviously atheism would not be considered a religion. However, if we define ‘religion’ as a way of explaining the world and how things really are, then atheism is just another ‘religion’. But since that word is loaded with baggage, let’s use the term ‘worldview’; atheism is just another worldview (as is Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc ad infinitum.). Atheism is just another collection of thoughts and ideas that attempt to explain the world.

    The real problem is not in any particular worldview one holds (this being only the fruit of the problem); the real problem lies at the heart of every person–a corrupt heart that is bent on not submitting to the very God who made them and sustains them. The reason so many religions/worldviews exist is because man is a worshiper at heart. This takes form in one of three ways: worship of the one true God, worship of other man-made gods, or worship of self (e.g. atheism). We reject God and devise all sorts of ways of denying him, atheism just being the most blatant and unabashed attempt.

    Atheists like yourself are just as guilty of all of the ills you claim religion is responsible for. Your voice is just another voice in a chorus of people claiming to know how things really are. Atheists are no different than any other person (like me) laying claim to the one true way of interpreting the world. So don’t come off all high and mighty. Humble yourself and realize that atheists are just like any other person laying claim to the truth.

    It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    • sapblatt Says:

      not the same thing.
      Thank you for reading and taking part in the discussion – that is why I do this – mike

      • Matt W Says:

        You’re welcome. Can I ask what you mean by ‘not the same thing’? I will assume that you mean atheism is not the same thing as religion. With that I partially agree in that religion lays claim to some higher deity (usually) whereas atheism denies any higher deity or the like; rather, in atheism, man (or at least his reason) is the final determiner of what is right and true and good. God is done away with since, to an atheist, he doesn’t exist in the first place. Would you agree with this characterization ?

  25. sapblatt Says:

    HI Matt – Yes – I would.
    god is a non factor in the side I take – to me, god is a creation on man’s mind.

  26. sapblatt Says:

    Matt –
    I would also agree that there are atheists out there who behave “fundamentistic” and do seem to have a dogma – but it really is an “anti-dogma.”
    take care

  27. Matt W Says:


    Would you say you have a good understanding of the Christian worldview? As you have agreed, I have articulated at least a fair summary of the atheistic worldview. But, I wonder if you have a good grasp of what Christianity teaches? I assume you have some conception of it. But have you had someone from the Christian faith explain to you what they believe and why they believe it?

    For instance, you say that god is a creation of man’s mind. Christianity teaches the exact opposite: atheism is a creation of man’s mind. Both of these ideas can’t be right (reason states). So, one question to ask might be: why do two reasonable people arrive at two different conclusions. (Although you may view me as unreasonable given that I believe in a god, which, according to you, is a creation on man’s mind and therefore, unreasonable. Yet, interestingly, if god is a creation of a reasoning man’s mind, why is god unreasonable?!?)

    In any case, I have found that atheists usually do not have at least a basic understanding of the Christian worldview and therefore really do not know what they are rejecting. For instance, have you heard of the theological understanding of the “noetic effect of sin?” This concept is central to our understanding of human nature within the Christian worldview and in part explains why there are so many religions in the world. Interestingly, Christopher Hitchens himself had never heard of this concept when it was first presented to him by a theist in a series of debates he participated in. Yet it is a key theological concept to understanding the nature of man.

    In any case, would you be able to articulate a good understanding of the Christian worldview? I would like to see you do so so as to at least show that you know what you are rejecting in favor of atheism. And if you can’t, I would certainly be willing to give you a brief summary of the Christian worldview.

    (To be fair, I know in your blog post you weren’t trying to reject Christianity in particular, only theism in general.)

  28. Matt W Says:


    I was hoping for a response (you may be busy with other stuff, and you have responded to other posts of mine). But I was hoping to engage you a bit more about your blog post (Atheism – the savior of the world).

    In any case, I’d like to offer you at least a brief explanation of what I brought up in my last point: the noetic effect of sin and how atheism among other things is a product of this. And, yes, I will be appealing to a passage in the bible. I hope you read this entire post, in the interest of a fruitful discussion.

    In short, the idea of the noetic effect of sin is this: When man originally sinned, that sin not only corrupted his moral compass, it corrupted his entire being: flesh, will, and mind. It is this last point (the mind) I would like to focus on. I will quote the verses below, but here is what I think is a good summary of it:

    God has revealed Himself to each man and woman. His eternal power and divine nature are known through what He has made. Man knows God exists and is accountable to him but is neither grateful or thankful to God nor do they want to honor Him as God (for it requires man to acknowledge His dependance on God). So man attempts to suppress this truth through unrighteousness, attempting to cover over this knowledge. That unrighteousness (or sin) takes many forms, one of which is through “foolish speculations”. Those speculations are sometimes simple arguments like, “I don’t believe God exists”, to sophisticated forms of religious and areligious thought (e.g. Buddhism, atheism, etc.). Whatever form they take, it is all an attempt to cover over this truth that God exists. It is interesting to note that what man ultimately does when attempting to deny God’s existence is that he doesn’t not worship; he worship that which God has made, whether it be the physical world (naturalism) or himself (reason/atheism): “professing to be wise, they became fools,23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures”.

    In any case, according to the bible, atheism along with other religious and “areligious” thought is the product of man’s mind attempting to suppress that which they know to be true about God. The simple fact is that they don’t want to submit to him, and so man devises all sorts of ways of explaining him away. And since man must worship something, sometimes it takes the form of an organized religious system. That is why there are so many religions in the world.

    Anyway, that is what the bible teaches regarding man, sin, and the product of man’s sin. That is why atheism exists; that is why so many religions exist. They are attempts to explain away God.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, Mike. Let’s continue the discussion. Here is the passage I wanted to quote.

    Romans 1:18-23, 28-32
    “18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools,23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures…    28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

    • sapblatt Says:

      Matt – I apologize – I do try to respond to all – I will give this attention later tonight (or by the end of the week) when I have time to do it thoughtfully.
      Thanks as always for reading and taking the time to comment.
      Take care

      • Matt W Says:

        No problem. Hey, in this age of instant communication we (I) tend to expect a response at “Twitter speed”! HA! In any case, thanks for the follow up.

      • sapblatt Says:

        I hate twitter because you cannot respond intelligently with a 140 character limit!!

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