On Statheism: Why do so many Atheists Worship God?
That there are so many parallels between organized religion and statism and that the largest group that people generally assume are rational, atheists, often adopt statism (worship of the state), has led to the creation of a term you can search for on Google, YouTube, and even Urban Dictionary: statheists (pronounced stayth-e-ists).
"But Justin," you say, "that term is stupid because you're taking two things which are completely separate and lumping them together for no reason." No. Not for no reason. Because they should friggin' know better. I could call a biologist who denies evolution a "dumbscientist" and I bet people would find that term useful.
The term hypocrisy ties together two seemingly unrelated things. Statheism ties together a group of people who realize worshiping something non-existent and, furthermore, unworthy of praise by traditional human moral norms is a bad idea but fail to recognize that worshiping a state is a bad idea. Nearly all the problems they have with god are ones I have with government and for the same or very similar reasons. They're not being rationalists even though they're purporting to be.
And, I know, some of this is a bit strawmanny. Deal with it. (⌐■_■)
Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don't, but the statistical validity or effectiveness of the system is not questioned. If you get what you want it was god's/government's will. If not, then it wasn't part of the plan.
Praying does jack shit except help you buy into god. Voting for president (assuming all adults in the U.S. vote) = 1/(310,000,000-75,000,000) = does jack shit except help you buy into democracy.
All is well because...
God/the government is the provider of all things good and necessary for life. If you suggest separation from God or government, you want people to suffer. Government is good and loves the people and has their interests at heart. Sure, there are some corrupt politicians but it's those damn lobbyists.
Never mind what Lord Acton said because...
God/the government is all powerful and its wrath is to be avoided. My god can beat up your god... you wouldn't want a crusade/war would you? If you get sent to hell, it's your own fault for being gay. If you get sent to prison it's your own fault for breaking laws.
That'll teach you to try to be saved by works and judged on the character of your heart...
One is not saved by works/earn the fruits of their labor. Salvation/taxation/legal justification is required. Pay your damn tithes or bad things will happen to you either in the afterlife or now. Don't like what the priests or government is doing with the money? Too bad! Talk to them or vote but never never stop paying. Remember, all that you are and have done is only possible because of god or the government so don't you dare take the glory for yourself - and don't cop out with attributing things to society either - there's no society without government!
Government is instituted on earth to accurately reflect will since...
Voting ensures that those who get into power truly reflect the will of the people. Theists say the same thing about a few bad clergymen making The Catholic Church look bad. The priests/bureaucrats are not to be questioned since they have been ordained by god/the people. Once you've voted, your job as a citizen is over. Do not question the executive orders or mandates or appointments because they've been made by those who have been voted in and thus, indirectly, are the will of the people.
If you doubt this you are breaking...
The first commandment: God/the government is angry and jealous, and you shall have no other gods/organizations you serve before him/it. Want to start a business without going through a bunch of regulations which provably don't promote the "general welfare?" Idolater!
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life because...
Mankind is flawed, requiring the leadership of god/a government. The original sin was disobedience to god/greed/personal interest. People are generally bad and need to be led. (Yet these "bad" people are allowed to vote and be politicians for some reason.)
Since you have original sin you're bound for...
Hell isn't an option you want to take. Secession from the effects of god/government isn't allowed - you are not allowed to make heaven on earth. You can live in hell or Somalia. Before Dante's Inferno, hell was merely separation from god. Somalia is separation from government (please ignore all the mini-state warlords and the instability brought about by states using their fisheries as their waste dumping ground).
Bonus similarity: both are hot and water is scarce.
If you want to avoid hell, you need to have faith since...
You cannot question the laws or demand logical justification for anything god does or any laws made. The church and courts will say that only they are masters of hermeneutics. If the bible or laws appear to contradict themselves or make no sense, it's your misunderstanding of them. Read the bible or the many volumes of USC. You were born into this sect/country and stoning people who work on the Sabbath or caging people who smoke a plant are just part of our holy book's dictates.
But you don't need to question these things because you're part of a special group since...
You were born into a world where you're part of a collective whether you want it or not. At least with a state you can leave... to another state but you can't escape statism (unless you go to Somalia - har har amirite guis?) With god you have to move to another universe.
Worse, this involuntary grouping comes with these things called duties (which look surprisingly like mere expectations from others, but... somehow aren't)!
Unfortunately for us...
There's this thing which hates god's children; if anything bad happens, it's the devil/free market. People are just trying to make a buck off of the suffering of others. Compassion should be completely selfless like when you vote to give the money other people mistakenly think they own to a third party. Remember, compulsion is the ultimate compassion because people have to be forced to be good.
To beat the devil, you need to study the word and...
The bible is the word of god and is not to be questioned. The constitutions are the word of governments and not to be questioned. Parts of the bible are cherry-picked when convenient. Parts of laws are cherry-picked by courts when convenient. But they always have good reasons! And ignorance of the law is no excuse even though that standard doesn't apply in any other field but law. If it turns out there is one true god, then all the people who never heard of it and go to hell have no excuse for their ignorance either, right?
Following the word requires sacrifice...
I'm all about owning your values and paying the costs of having them - to express that value into the world. Mindfully. Mindfully. How many soldiers got roped into battle thinking they were making the citizens of the U.S. safer or protecting democracy or freedom or such other nonsense? How many Christians were fed to the lions (yes, I know it probably didn't ever happen) because they wouldn't renounce something they had picked up from a charismatic charlatan?
There's also the "we're all in this together" form of sacrifice. Most of what taxes go to is of this type. Plant your victory garden, citizen, and get your ration cards! I'm not saying hyper-individualism creates stable societies. But I am saying worshiping mindless, unproductive sacrifice and scarcity is disgusting to me.
Such dumb ideas are probably beaten in early in a form of child abuse...
Why wait until children reach the age of reason before filling their heads with a desire to prostrate themselves before institutions? There is a difference between recognizing the benefits of rituals and habits versus getting others to adopt them unmindfully.
It's child abuse to tell children there's this cosmic father figure who'll send bears to maul those who make fun of god's prophets and that god's wrath is just, but it's not child abuse to tell children that they'll be taken away and possibly raped for possessing the wrong kind of vegetation and, even though the drug war makes that situation unfortunately real, tell the children it's also just or for the public good.
That story is more salable with...
Heroes, even flawed heroes, are easier to identify with than a cold inhuman system which marches along with the decisions and whims of billions of individuals.
Certain individuals who really sacrificed or advanced the system are canonized by the system to serve as an example to all who would follow.
Heroes and villains are the only humans mentioned. Everything is geared toward making the individual small and unimportant except as part of a larger whole...
Even the buildings are built far out of human scale and made overly ornate to shock and awe the individual.
Eventually individuals may internalize and worship the collective. To suggest that that might be harmful is met with anger or sadness or other expressions of fear.
When people have an emotional sunk cost in something that tends to make them...
Myopic apologists will claim that going to church gives people a chance to get a need for community met. Never mind that there are other ways to do that and religion has led to mass killings, war, poverty, famine, lack of opportunity, ignorance, etc. Government gives people a chance to pull together to coordinate addressing certain kinds of problems. Never mind that there may be other way to do that and that governments have led to mass killings, war, poverty, famine, lack of opportunity, ignorance, etc.
This compartmentalization leaves most of your brain unused resulting in a lack of imagination...
If you can't imagine how something came about or could be done, assume it needs to be intelligently designed or centrally planned. Always be looking for skyhooks instead of cranes. Never believe the absurd lie that order can come from chaos without a central planner. How can one be moral without god? How can one have roads without government?
Rebellion /"Chic Cosmopolitanism" - As sad as it is to say, some atheists are atheists simply because it's the cool thing to do. Church is for old people and it's lame. The younger generation is rejecting that a god exists and that's a trend one better jump on to stay socially relevant. An atheist who came to renounce all gods because it was cool probably doesn't have solidly-examined beliefs and probably doesn't even recognize the parallels between theism and statism. If statism is cool and theism is not then they wouldn't be hypocritical for adopting one and rejecting the other because they are in it for the cool factor not for ideological consistency.
But is statism cool? I don't know. A lot of Hollywood thinks it is. The U.S. has a hip black president who is a raging statist. There are many causes du jour which apparently "demand" statist solutions (such as Kony 2012).
Anti-Theists - Some people, while atheist, would actually be better called anti-theists. They see religion as a cancer on the world and those who continue to believe in god as either ignorant or malignant (malignorant). They not only reject the concept of theism - they actively hate it. In a case of subtle ad hominem, they reject everything else that theists have to say because they are wrong about one important issue. Theists tend to be conservative and therefore for free(r) markets and small(er) governments (except for the military, drug war, and social issues - fucking hypocrites). Since a theist is dumb/evil, then anything else they believe must be dumb/evil. Thus free markets and small government are dumb/evil. The enlightened progressives realize that god is a sham and religion is dangerous, therefore everything else they believe is true.
Angry at the Concept of God - some atheists came to the conclusion that god doesn't exist because they don't want god to exist. If someone wants to have a homosexual lifestyle (not that I care) and god is supposedly against homosexuality, then god can't exist. If someone wants "free" healthcare, education, etc., then at least some of the rights of those who are paying for those "free" things can't exist. These atheists are either delusional or selfish.
Bleeding Heart - these people purport to love humans (and probably do in a safety/egalitarian sense, not a power process/purpose sense). They've come to atheism because they see religion as a horribly destructive force (which it largely is). But they believe that a system based on compulsion - oops I mean compassion and evidence can help a lot of people. And they're not wrong - depending on what they mean by "help." They ultimately have incompatible goals with freedom-lovers because they want a different type of human happiness.
There are probably more types. But all of these types need to be addressed differently. Some are actually ignorant of the parallels and some wouldn't care even if they knew.
Various People on Statheism (or AtheistKult)
This ideology of mass mind control is known as statism. It's [...] a huge innovation over previous systems. Statist dogma absolutely pervades and dominates almost every single human mind, from the point they can talk, to the point they go six feet under. People are conditioned to faith in their rulers and the abstract institution they allegedly represent, so incredibly well, that they will literally attack anyone who dares even question this system. How much more total and cultish than that, could a system of mind control possibly become?
Have you noticed how many people literally worship the president? Sure, most of these believers don't literally say prayers to him... but of course they kneel in front of the ballot box, and they fervently await for their God "society" to deliver their idol into holy ascension. And, oh boy, do people still commit great acts of perversity under orders, including murdering each other and total strangers as well -- a quarter billion corpses just in the 20th century, excluding wars.
I think it went something like this: The state emerged, it seems, at the same time as organised religion. The two patterns reenforced each other. The state got started thanks to a rich availability of superstitious and easily manipulated subjects—“Pay tribute or the crops will fail!”, that kind of thing.
The state has been with us ever since. It’s taken different forms but the central idea that it’s right and proper to have an entity that aggressively seizes a large area of land, and then excercises a monopoly there on the use of violence and ultimate decision making authority, has never been seriously called into question. Statism, like religion, is an ancient throwback that we’ve been stuck with simply because it’s what people know, and people are afraid of what they don’t know. We haven’t yet experienced the cataclysm(s) that will remove it from our lives.
Even though we’re suckers for tradition, these days we’re far more skeptical than when the state got its start. If a critical mass ever becomes convinced that we’d be better off without it, I don’t believe that the conditions—extreme and widespread credulity—necessary for the emergence of the state would occur again.
You call yourselves Christians or Jews or claim to follow some other religion but the truth is what you call your religion is empty window-dressing. What you TRULY worship; The God you REALLY bow to; What you really believe in is the STATE.
Thou Shalt not steal, Thou Shalt not murder -- unless you can do it by way of government. Then it's just fine isn't it? If you call it taxation or war it stops being a sin right? After all, it was only your 'God' that said you shouldn't steal and murder…but the State said it was OK. It's pretty obvious which one outranks the other in your minds. Despite all the churches and synagogues and mosques we see around us this nation has One God and only One God and that God is called Government.
Jesus taught non-violence and told you to love your neighbour but the Sate encourages you to vote for people who will use the violence of government to butt into every aspect of every one else's life. Which do you believe? To those about to stone a woman who had committed adultery -- Jesus said 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'. But the State says it's perfectly fine to lock someone up if they do something you find distasteful such as prostitution. Which do you believe?
The Christian God says 'thou shalt not covet' but coveting is the lifeblood of the beast that is the State. You are taught to resent, despise and hate anyone who has anything you don't have. You clamour for the State to tear other people down and steal their property and give it to you, and you call that 'fairness'. The bible calls it coveting and stealing.
You are not christians, you are not jews, you are not muslims, and you're certainly aren't atheists. You all have the same God and its name is Government. You're all members of the most evil, insane, destructive cult in history. If there ever was a devil -- the State is IT. And you worship it with all your heart and soul. You pray to it to solve every problem, to satisfy all your needs, to smite your 'enemies' and shower its blessings upon you.You worship what Nietzsche called 'the coldest of all cold monsters' and you hate those of us who don't. To you the greatest sin is disobeying your God -- 'breaking the law' you call it as if anyone could possibly have any moral obligation to obey the arbitrary commands and demands of the corrupt, lying, delusional megalomaniacs who infest this despicable world.
Even your ministers, priests and rabbis more often than not are traitors to their own religions teaching that the commands of human authority should supersede adherence to the laws of the Gods they say they believe in. Several years ago i heard one pompous evangelical jackass in particular pontificating on the radio that anyone who disobeys the 'Civil Authority' be it a king or government is engaging in rebellion against God. Those were the exact words he used.
What if the government is doing something wrong? Well, this salesman for satan stated 'that is for the business for those in government and you are still obligated to obey'. Everywhere you turn be it the State or the Church, the Media or the Schools you are taught one thing above all else -- the virtue of subjugating yourselves to mortals who claim to have the right to rule you.
It is sickening the reverence with which you speak of the liars and thieves whose feet are so firmly planted on your necks. You call the congressman and judges honourable and you swoon at the magnificence of the grandiose halls they inhabit; The temples they build to celebrate the domination of Mankind. You feel pride at being able to say you shook a senator's hand or saw the president in person. Ah yes -- the grand deity himself. His royal highness. 'The president of the United States of America' -- you speak the title as if you're referring to God Almighty. The vocabulary has changed a bit but your mindset is no different from that of the grovelling peasants of old who bowed low, faces in the dirt with a feeling of unworthiness and humility when in the presence of whatever narcissist that declared himself to be the rightful lord and master. The truth of the matter back then and to this day is that these parasites who call themselves 'leaders' are not superior beings, they are not great men and women, they are not honourable, they're not even average!
The people that earn an honest living from sophisticated millionaire entrepreneurs; the illiterate day-labourer who's doing the most medial task you can imagine -- those people deserve your respect; those people you should treat with courtesy and civility. But the frauds who claim the right to rule you and demand your subservience and obedience -- they deserve only your scorn and contempt. Those who seek what they call 'high office' are the lowest of the low. They may dress better and have larger vocabularies and do a better job at executing their schemes but they are no better than pick-pockets, muggers and car-jackers. In fact, they are worse because they don't just want to rob you of your possessions they want to rob you of your very humanity, deprive you of your free-will by slowly leeching away at your ability to think, to discern, to act. Reducing you to slaves in both body and mind. And still you persist in calling them 'Leaders'. Leaders?! Where is it you think you're going exactly that would require you to have a leader? If you just live your own life and mind your own damn business, exercising your own talents, pursuing your own dreams, striving to be what you believe you should be -- what possible use would you have for a leader? Do you ever actually think about the words that you hear; the words that you repeat? You parrot oxymoronic terms such as 'the leader of the free world'. Even pretending for a moment that there's some huge journey or some giant battle that everyone in the entire nation is undertaking together that would require a leader -- why would you ever think for a moment that the crooks that infest this world are people you should listen to, emulate or follow anywhere?
Somewhere inside your mostly dormant brains you know full well that politicians are all corrupt liars and thieves; Opportunistic conmen, exploiters and fear-mongers. You know all this. And yet you still speak as if you are the ones who are the stupid, vicious animals….while the great, wise politicians are the role models; The teachers and leaders without whom civilisation could not exist. You think these crooks are the ones who make civilisation possible? What belief could be more absurd?! Yet when they do their pseudo-religious rituals deciding how to control you this week you still call it 'Law' and continue to treat their arbitrary demands as if they were moral decrees from the Gods that no decent person would ever consider disobeying. You've become so thoroughly indoctrinated into the cult of State-Worship that you are truly shocked when the occasional sane person states the bleeding obvious.