• http://www.synapses.co.za/ Jacques Rousseau

    Here’s a blog post in reply that readers might find interesting, and a comment from me in reply to that blog post: http://www.skepticink.com/notung/2013/07/04/atheism-and-anti-discrimination-a-reply-to-jacques-rousseau/#comment-951582915

  • http://evidenceandreason.wordpress.com/ Jason Bosch

    Wouldn’t it first be necessary to know why someone became an atheist? I essentially agree with everything you’ve said. There’s nothing about not believing a in gods itself that stops you discriminating but it does remove a lot of the reasons. However that’s assuming the person is atheist because of a lack of evidence for gods. If they became an atheist because they disagreed with some of it’s rules or just found the idea distasteful then there is no reason to think they would be more rational and so abandon things like sexism or racism.

    Atheism also doesn’t address the more secular reasons to discriminate, some of which one may perhaps even arrive at rationally. For example, it wouldn’t be irrational for one to be xenophobic to protect one’s culture as the influx of foreigners would change and/or erode it. It would be irrational to say that one’s culture is perhaps superior or more important in an objective sense but I’m not sure if it would be irrational to say that it is subjectively and act accordingly.

  • Mort Telford

    I see your point … but wasn’t atheism one of the cornerstones of Nazi ideology? Isn’t the belief that there is a supreme, eternal arbiter who you will encounter at the end of your time on earth the ultimate motivation to treat other people fairly and with kindness (no racism, sexism or any other “ism”)?

    • http://www.synapses.co.za/ Jacques Rousseau

      Even if that Naziism stuff was correct, Mort (and some might think it odd that it’s not in history books, but only spoken of by religious folk. And also, some might think it odd that the main Nazi exemplar, Hitler, said things like “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter”) then it still wouldn’t be relevant to this post. Because even if there was a better way to get to certain “good” social values than non-theism, this post deals with the extent to which atheism might. It’s not about who “wins” in some big contest.