Has Atheism Become A Religion?
In 2009 an atheist summer camp for children was set up in Somerset professing to be a “godless alternative” to religious camps. In itself I guess Camp Quest has been a long time coming in a society which, to a degree, regards itself as perhaps too sophisticated to accept the ethos of religious teachings or following from whatever faith or source. Or so we are told by a media obsessed by political correctness. Yet, by its very existence, it has become a belief system in itself like any other belief or opinion of faith. Therefore I see it as a hypocritical self defeating exercise as it does nothing but bring people together who all think the same thing: ring any bells? My only criticism of this ‘faith’ amongst other faiths is that it may exist to indoctrinate the vunerable into believing that other faiths have no relevance or grounds for existence. To my knowledge there is not one religion that exists purely to denigrate another or to criticise the lives of believers. It was reported at the time that Camp Quest organisers use a fake ‘idol’ and a fake ‘historic book’ to illustrate the futility of following any religion. Criticism of this nature is usually aimed at the Christian community within the UK as it is often seen as an easy target for criticism: Christians are not known for ‘biting’ back. Yet the organisers of this camp have overlooked one seriously salient point. Their faith in the belief that they don’t believe in the existence of God, and their overt displays of such, is a direct attack on all established religions in this country. Objectively I see this as nothing more that an antagonistic stunt to ‘wind’ folk up. Much in the same way as if someone were to organise a heterosexual rights march through London as some kind of homophobic statement or the setting up of a white police officers association. In theory, both are achievable and could be done in a free society yet I dread to think what the reaction might be to either. A part of their doctrine is their objection the exposure of the young to religious doctrine and yet they are using children in a cynical stunt to prove a point. This is blatantly wrong and is the argument of the inarticulate. Clearly this is a ploy being adopted by defensive individuals whose argument is falling on stony ground. In any event, the use of children of any age for some kind of dogmatic project is diabolical. (Supposing, of course, that one believes in the existence of a Devil). Here is a group that had a golden opportunity to provide a non religious summer camp of quality without the need to stoop so low as to illustrate their scepticism and cynicism by directly attacking the belief in a God, such as that espoused by millions of Muslims, Jews, Hindu’s, Sikhs, Christians and others. Rather them than me. Hence the term ‘Atheism’ is, like ‘Avant-garde’, self defeating and as such proves itself to be irrelevant to the discussion. Their mission statement back in 2009? It is “dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method… and the separation of religion and government”. Sounds like a belief system to me.