First of all, I’d like to make it clear that I have nothing but love for anyone and everyone, despite different views. However, as a Christian, and as someone who values consistent thinking, I can’t help but raise my eyebrow when someone refers to themselves as an antitheist. For one, I think it’s very counterproductive and shallow to be anti-anything. To identify oneself by what he or she is not is rather confusing. Also, to identify oneself as being against a certain concept is not very productive, for you establish yourself as being against the current of one movement. That’s great, you don’t like religion, but that doesn’t exactly establish who you are or what you are about. Antitheism doesn’t really show what you believe in, but what you don’t believe in and what you are against, so I can’t really tell what direction you want to aim your time and energy towards.
My main problem with anti-theism is that I find that they’re usually led by hatred of something they don’t really understand. Richard Dawkins once said “I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” Now, I know a few people who like to claim that they don’t “need” religion. Well, will religion feed us when they’re physically hungry? No. Will religion protect us from forest fires, tornadoes, and getting mugged? No. But what religion will give us is this: when we are alone by ourselves in the silence, and we are not distracted by money, cars, sex, and power, we will ask this question to ourselves - why? We, as humans, are not contingent beings, meaning that our structure and design does not explain our purpose. A hammer has a structure that explains its purpose - the handle is meant to be held by human hands, the head is meant to strike down on flat surfaces, and the claw is meant to remove nails. Animals have purposes in nature - herbivores are meant to eat vegetation, carnivores are meant to control the population of the herbivores so that vegetation will not run scarce, and scavengers are meant to consume the waste of the dead. As humans, we tend to be at odds with this natural food chain. Furthermore, we have an advanced brain that endows us with critical thinking skills and the ability to ask questions such as these (whether to our benefit or detriment is a question in itself).
From the dawn of time, man has been asking why: maybe it’s gods, maybe it’s spirits, maybe it’s the world around us. But one thing you can’t say is that religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world, because its entire basis is to ask the most fundamental questions that speak to our entire being. Did a God really descend into Earth as man? Were we really made for this earth? Are we truly masters of our immediate universe, or does the world continue to move on with or without our consent? Does the world in front of us make sense, or is it all random chance? Is there more to this world than what we see? Is there truly right and wrong, or are we free to make up our own morals and values? These are the questions that religion asks and still continues to ask, and if it wasn’t for these questions, then we, as humans, wouldn’t have science, ethics, government, justice, civilization, and a guide as to figure out where these urges to do good or evil can lead us, whether in life or in death. Religion teaches us that there is more to the world than what’s in front of us, and that the purpose of the state of existence is beyond the circular argument of “because it just is”.
So you’re against religion? Why? Does it force us to ponder on these questions that we don’t know because it’s not in front of us? If you’re against religion because it’s the cause of *insert incident of human conflict here*, then I urge you to look outside your sniper scope aimed at the big R word, and remember that we, as humans, are ugly creatures at the worst of times: if not for religion, humans will turn to their worse sides for any other concept you can think of - democracy, freedom, the state, what have you. With that being said, many have tainted the name of religion. But what I’m trying to get at is that there have been accomplishments, both good and bad, for religion. What can you possibly get with anti-religion? What do you stand for but a not-something? Fighting with not-swords and speaking not-words for a not-cause. You can do nothing from this standpoint but turn back the hands of time before we are at a place where humanity was not a better state of being. Religion can be good. Religion can be bad. But it is necessary, for it caters to our ever-inquisitive minds and hearts as it attempts to find the answers to the questions we have asked since we were able to speak: why?