[ExI] Muslim and Supermuslim: Toward Islamic transhumanism?

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Fri Feb 28 09:37:51 UTC 2020

On 28/02/2020 07:34, Giulio Prisco wrote:
> No trolling intended Ben, sorry if my post came across that way.
> I consider some expressions of atheism as a religion, because they
> exhibit many defining features of organized religions: Certainty of
> having all the answers, us against them, intolerance of those who
> disagree, at times open hatred. These are the bad features of
> organized religions, so in a certain sense atheism (of the militant,
> intolerant sort) is worse than traditional religions, because it has
> the bad features of religion without the good ones. I often say that
> atheism is the only religion with a really boring mythology.
> Of course this applies to*some expressions*  of atheism (of the
> militant, intolerant sort). I consider open-minded, live-and-let-live
> atheists as fellow seekers.

You're talking about two different things.

As Richard Dawkins has said, atheism is a religion in the same way that 
not collecting stamps is a hobby.

If someone asks me what team sports I participate in, I don't (usually) 
reply "not playing football".

If I try to stop other people from playing football, that's not a 
consequence of my not playing football, it's a consequence of my being 
an arsehole. Not playing football doesn't require one to try to prevent 
football-playing in others. In fact, it doesn't require (or, in itself 
lead to) anything except the lack of personal football-playing.

On the other hand, most religions do require their subjects to suppress 
other religions, in various ways, up to and including killing 
'non-believers', in the more extreme (usually 'fundamentalist') versions.

So if someone is an atheist, and a bigot, those are two different 
things. Atheism does not require one to be a bigot. Christianity, for 
example (in most of its forms), does.

You may hold up the example of Jainism as an example of a non-intolerant 
religion. Good for Jainism. That does't make atheism a religion, though. 
Jainism is still a set of beliefs.

Getting into the actual definition of the word 'religion' is a rabbit 
warren, with no real satisfactory conclusion. Some people have even 
concluded that the word is not really meaningful at all, but most people 
have something in mind when they use it. And all of the various 
somethings that they have in mind are not applicable to atheism, because 
they refer to the /presence/ of various factors, not the lack of them.

This is the core concept that it seems many people have trouble 
understanding about atheism, and is maybe why it gets misrepresented so 
much. It's not a belief, not a religion, not a social movement, or a 
club or a political stance, or even a world-view. It's simply the lack 
of a belief in supernatural beings and phenomena.

The fact that some people who lack such beliefs are also bigots is 
beside the point, and calling someone a 'fundamentalist atheist' is 
meaningless. It's like talking about a temperature below absolute zero 
(without any exotic physics, please). Similarly, calling someone a 
'militant atheist' is like calling someone a violent non-golfer. They 
may be a violent person, but they cannot violently not play golf, it's 
simply not possible. And if they violently try to prevent other people 
from playing golf, well, they're just an arsehole.


Ben Zaiboc

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