Just don’t call it atheism

Thanks to Dr. Clam for providing today’s link.

According to this article in the New York Post the Chinese government is stepping up its policy of cracking down on Christians. We already started discussing this in some other comments, so I’m just going to copy and paste my response to it from there:

“In May, a national “blue book” report listed religion as one of four “severe challenges” to national security in China (along with the import of democratic ideals, the influence of Western culture and uncensored Web access).”

The Chinese crackdown on religion quite obviously has little to do with a disbelief in god and everything to do with a severing of unauthorized avenues of power. To call it atheism simply because it is anti-religion would be like calling the policy of censoring the Web Luddite. I have little doubt that if atheists in China became as organized as religions and in the numbers that religions have in non-government sanctioned groups, then they too would be beaten down.

Very worrying news for not only freedom of religion but also freedom of association.

5 thoughts on “Just don’t call it atheism

  1. Marco

    Just Don’t Call it Atheism
    Again if we look at philosophies as volumes in idea space rather than the copout “We just don’t believe in God” defence, this explains why people like me and Chris would reject your assertion (That it isn’t “atheism”).

    The primary reason I would look at philosophies this way is because by your definition/defence I would be classed as atheist, and I agree with very little of the ideas that are highly correlated amongst people that identify themselves as atheist.

    We talk about these ideas all the time in this blog and others – The idea that religions in power are dangerous, especially the idea that “atheism just means you don’t believe in God”, ideas that morality has nothing to do with a belief in God, etc. etc. These are ideas that are not scientifically validated, do not stem from a disbelief in God but are just highly correlated to people that disbelieve in God in a way that identifying with “atheism” defines. I reject that a disbelief in God defines atheism, as I have a disbelief in God as defined in God Delusion and for that matter God’s Undertaker and do NOT identify with atheism, whether new atheism or old atheism or atheism as defined by an atheist.

    When I talk about something or someone that is atheist, I am talking about what is encapsulated by the correlated views, not just anyone that disbelieves God.


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