Can’t Atheists Just Leave Believers Alone?

Short answer: No

Religious indoctrination too often creates a biased and distorted foundation, which leads to bigoted and sexist beliefs, as well as oppressive behaviour which is used to limit the rights of other humans.

Claiming anything is morally or ethically wrong (such as same sex marriage or equal gender roles) requires more evidence than quoting ancient texts of improbable supernatural events, written by Middle Eastern desert nomads, in languages different to that which was spoken and translated many times since.

Neuroscience, psychology, biology and evolution have more complete and probable explanations for how moral and ethical behaviour developed for social cohesion, as well as how same sex attraction arises naturally in mammalian populations.

A favourite retort from theists is that they have historical precedent or traditional validity, however if this was true Christians shouldn’t eat shellfish or wear mixed cloths or do any of the other things Leviticus and the rest of the bible forbids, and more seriously stoning, slavery and racial segregation would still be legal while women’s voting rights would not.

Until religions have either more proof or verifiable evidence of the omnipotent supernatural being(s) they claim as the source of their “superior” morality, or a better and more probable explanation of why some humans should not have equal rights (due to their sexual orientation or gender), then their claims have less legitimacy and validity than what should be the default position:

      Equal rights for all humans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or belief (as long as that belief does not impact the equal rights of others).


  1. Actually, the atheistic regimes of the 20th century were more oppressive, sexist, and murderous than any Christian society has ever been.

    • Which regimes specifically? Nazism, Communism and other dictators like Pol Pot did not oppress people “in the name of atheism“, unlike most theocracies which limit freedoms via supporting doctrine (Islam being a particularly good example).

      Even if an oppressive autocratic state happens to be more secular than sectarian it is not necessarily so that the oppression stems from lack of a religious doctrine, it is more likely that the dictator in control is using violence to control the population, regardless of his theological belief system.

      At any rate the worldwide atheist movement is not advocating totalitarianism or fascist rule, rather equal rights for all, including believers as long as their beliefs do not impede the equal rights of others. A good outline is from the Atheist Alliance in 2011.

      Whether a supernaturally-based belief system is valid or superior to a secular framework is a separate debate, and part of the reason why atheists won’t leave believers alone. The evidence in support of the improbable supernatural parts of religions is not compelling or reliable enough to claim superiority and continue to base societal structures upon.

      The time has come for religiously-based or even informed government to stand aside and give way to a secular and truly equal basis for human rights.

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