Why All Atheists are Religious Fanatics.


Offering fire at the Karni Mata temple is said to be auspicious. The ladies stood by the railings not too confident of entered the rat-infected temple alter. (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

Fire offering at the Karni Mata or (Rat-Temple) is said to be auspicious.

Professor Noam Chomsky shocked the audience in Toronto a few years ago, when during a lecture he called writer  Christopher Hitchens a religious fanatic.  Hitchens, an avowed atheist has written books such as God is not GreatHow Religion Poisons Everything and has been in the vanguard of atheistic movement in the world.  How in God’s name could he be a religious fanatic?

Chomsky said Hitchens worships the state, which he said is a far more dangerous phenomenon making one do far more crazier things in its name. Its not just Hitchens, almost all staunch atheists in history have been religious fanatics. Stalin did not believe in God but he drumrolled  a state religion and butchered thousands at its alter.  So did Hitler.  In fact all communist regimes that denounce God prop up another in its place – namely the state.

The fact is there is little to put the person who genuflects before a God in Heaven apart from the one who bows before  a country. Both are worshipper of an abstract idea. In one case the idea is enforced by the priests and in the other its promulgated by the politicians.

Kiran Bedi along with Arvind Kejriwal were said to be the two hardline activists in the Anna Team. She was most vocal against the politicians. The most memorable and controversial moment was her enactment of politician' s  double dealings that she did with a ghunghat. She was also the most persistent flag waver. (sanjay austa austa)

Wave your Flag? Kiran Bedi waves the Indian Tri-colour at Ramleela Grounds during one of Anna Hazare's serial fasts.

There is also little difference between the motivations of the priests and the politicians. Both have an ideology or a belief system. The priest  has a religious one the politicians a  political.  Both need numbers to make the ideology relevant.  While one  looks for believers the other seeks voters.  There is another remarkable similarity between those who worship a God and those who worship a country. Followers of both have killed others (mostly innocents) and have died for their idea.  Both are called martyrs when  they die.

This is not to say that all those who don’t believe in God necessarily worship the state.  There are those who may be indifferent to both. There are atheists like biologist Richard Dawkins author of the seminal book The God Delusion who don’t believe in God but are not hawkish about any state supremacy like Hitchens  or Sam Harris.

But if you listen to Dawkins  or read his books or the books of Hitchens or any other atheists on the subject, the overwhelming impression you get is – these men   protest too much. That there is no God is such an obvious fact. Every one who is willing to emerge from the mist of conditioning and apply a bit  of common sense knows that.  Why waste so much time trying to prove the obvious  ?

Hans Raj Bhagat who got his job in CRPF crawls his way up to the Shrine to thank the Devi. Vaishno Devi, Jammu (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

A Hindu Pilgrim Crawls his way up to the Vaishno Devi Shrine, Jammu

An atheist and the believer are two sides of the same coin.  Both of them believe in something. The believer believes in God while the atheist believes there is no God.

Religion is a belief system . By taking a no-God position the atheists manage to create a belief system of their own. The belief system of the atheists  is based in disbelief of God but its a belief system all the same.

As all religions needs adherents so do  atheists. In fact the atheists today are more anxious about getting followers than the religious clergy. For instance   atheists in America are very concerned about their numbers.   They rejoice in the fact that  16 percent of the US population is atheists. They miss little opportunity to point out that this number is larger than the percentage of Blacks in America ( 12 percent).  Thereby suggesting the politicians  should give them adequate representation and importance. Richard Dawkins and his ilk deny this but their  books and lectures are nothing but an anxious attempt to get the numbers on their side.

To follow a religion means to be gullible or open to influence of some sort without the application of one’s mind.  Therefore it has never been too hard to convert a religious person from one religion to another.  This is true for atheists as it is for organized  religions. There are examples galore of atheists turning to Christianity, Islam or Hinduism. Famous atheists who became believers include Anne Besant, Antony Flew, Ted Turner and Malcome Muggeridge.

Sanjay bought this chair from the sets of one of Amitabh Bachchan's movies. The shoes that Amitabh wore in one of his moves sit on the chair. There is also the  portrait of the Bollywood superstar on the chair. Sanjay and his son worship Amitabh Bachchan in this temple here. The yellow shawl has `Jai Shree Amitabh' emblazoned on it. Sanjay has a special prayer or `Amitabh Chalisa' for Big B. He says Amitabh is a living breathing god in their midst. (sanjay austa      sanjayausta@gmail.)

Worship at the Amitabh Bachchan temple in Kolkata.

So who are you if you don’t believe in the absurdity of the existence of God?  The believers would immediately dub you an atheist.

My own position is this. I think the existence of God is a farcical idea.  But I am not an atheist. I simply don’t care about God. Why should I worry about the existence of something that is the creation of someone else’s fertile imagination?  But this world doesn’t understand you unless they give you a label. So the moment you say you don’t believe in God they call you an atheist or far worse an agnostic.

Even if one day the scientists prove the existence of God , there is no need to worship the  God. What for?  Would any levelheaded     God  want anyone to worship him or her? If at all he or she would rather  want you to pay your taxes on time, not spit on the road, or jump that traffic-signal  or abuse your spouse. But then that’s a completely different matter you would say wouldn’t you?

While some pray other feast . Scene in Bur Dubai. (sanjay austa austa)

Feasting and Fasting in Bur Dubai, Dubai


 (sanjay austa austa)

16 Responses to “Why All Atheists are Religious Fanatics.”

  1. Manjunath Shenoy says:

    Sanjay, this article was an eyeopener. It was such a different take from what we all assum

  2. Mat says:

    Maybe if you look into Bertrand Russel’s Celestial Teapot analogy this point will become clearer. One does not have to actively believe the pot isn’t there to lack a belief that the pot is there.

  3. Philip says:

    Not believing your claim does not indicate that we necessarily take the contraposition. Knocking down strawmen impresses no one.

  4. Ian English says:

    (1) I believe god does not exist.
    (2) I do not believe god exists.

    Completely different meanings. (1) is a belief, (2) is not. Atheism is (2).
    The first four words of (2) should also help explain why atheism is not a belief, Sanjay.

  5. Elvis Knucklehead says:

    “An atheist and the believer are two sides of the same coin. Both of them believe in something. The believer believes in God while the atheist believes there is no God.”

    An atheist say’s there is no evidence for any god(s). They do NOT say there is no god.

  6. Hal Helmboldt says:

    Any article that uses the two words “in fact” to encourage the reader to “know” that it is a fact is an article that fails right from the start. A well thought out article does not need the words “in fact.” If it is a fact, the reader will conclude that on their own. What this means is, it is likely not a fact at all which the writer points to, but pleading to the reader, instead.

    “Stalin did not believe in God but he drumrolled a state religion and butchered thousands of people at its alter. So did Hitler. In fact all communist regimes that denounce God prop up another in its place – namely the state.”

    What that statement says is, “All dogs die, nietzsche died, therefore nietzsche was a dog.”

    The title to this article is: “Why All Atheists are Religious Fanatics.”
    Yet, in the article is clearly states the following:

    “This is not to say that all those who don’t believe in God necessarily worship the state. There are those who may be indifferent to both.”
    (The “state” in the article referring to the replacement of religion).

    That makes the premise of the entire article contradictory in both, meaning and logic. All atheists are religious fanatics, yet not all atheists are religious fanatics. Where have we seen this before?

    God has been seen:
    (Gen. 17:1) – “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty ; Walk before Me, and be blameless.”

    God has not been seen:
    (Exodus 33:20) – “But He [God] said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”

    I am dismissing the entire article. There is nothing to argue or debate. DISMISSED!

    • sanjay austa says:

      Hal your Nietzsche and dog analogy makes no sense. Your example of infact is ‘in fact’ another example of use of semantics. I have not said that not all atheists are religious fanatics. Thats your interpretation again of people who do not believe in the existence of God. Atheists usually like to appropriate these people as their own. It can be hard for Atheists ( and believers) to understand that there are those who don’t believe in God but are not Atheists. To be an Atheist is to hold a position. Its an ideology all the same. Atheists want the numbers on their side. Hichens is a Good example .

  7. easwarc says:

    came across Amartya Sen’s writing about atheistic school of thought in Hinduism (carvaka).. not much separable are they 🙂

  8. pankaj anand says:

    Hi sanjay ,
    I completely agree with u on this. I don’t even remember since when I lost faith in god, but as long as I remember I never took god’s name when I was happy or sad or achieved some in life. But as I grew up my belief in non-esixstence of god grew stronger. Though I always like mythologies (ramayan, mahabharth) and reading about dharama & karma. I still don’t know whether i am a atheist or not, but I am firm believer of karma. I used to discuss lot of things about god, religion, dharam and interpretation of such things in details at my college time for hours with my believer friends :).

  9. Priyanka says:

    Again , I am blown away by your different perspective. Its amazing how different the world looks when you just change the way you look at it!
    Great Post!

  10. phoenix says:

    Brave and thought provoking article man! Needs more exposure!

  11. Uday says:

    Every position one takes is a reflection of an ideology, Sanjay. When you say “I think the existence of God is a farcical idea. But I am not an atheist. I simply don’t care about God.” — that is also an ideology. Not having an ideology is also an ideology. 🙂

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