1. Religion & Spirituality

Liberation Atheology: Criticism of Theism, God, Religion as False, Irrational


Why are so many atheists critical of religion and theism? Not all are, and in fact some atheists are religious themselves, but it is common -- especially among secular, naturalistic atheists in the West. Atheists' reasons vary and include the belief that theism is wrong, irrational, and harmful, that religion has been a powerful force for violence and xenophobia in history, that secularism and liberation from theism and religion are necessary for social and political liberation generally, that supernatural beliefs retard social and scientific progress, and that supernatural religions have outlived their usefulness.
  1. What is Liberation Atheology?
  2. What is God?
  3. Theism & Theists
  4. Why Don't Atheists Believe that God Exists?
  1. Arguments for the Existence of God
  2. Arguments Against the Existence of God
  3. Theology & Apologetics

What is Liberation Atheology?

Given religion's role in preserving, defending, and justifying oppressive systems and ideologies, nothing progressive and no liberation can be achieved without taking on religion first. Even progressive believers have had to start with criticism of their own traditions. Liberation atheology stops trying to replace a bad religious system with a slightly less worse one. Instead, the goal is to reveal how oppression depends on religious beliefs which should be dispensed with anyway.

What is God?

When debating the existence of god, perhaps the most important step is the one that gets overlooked the most often, and by both atheists and theists: defining what is meant by the concept 'god.' You can't debate the existence of something unless everyone is clear what it is they are talking about; otherwise, people might be talking about completely different things.

Theism & Theists

To put it simply, theism is a belief in the existence of at least one god - nothing more, nothing less. Theism does not depend upon how many gods one believes in. Theism does not depend upon how the term 'god' is defined. Theism does not depend upon how one arrives at their belief. Theism does not depend upon how one defends their belief. That theism only means "belief in a god" and nothing more can be difficult to understand because we don't normally encounter theism in isolation.

Why Don't Atheists Believe that God Exists?

A common question which atheists hear a lot is 'why don't you believe in God?' Theists, religious or not, have trouble imagining why anyone would not believe in at least some sort of god, preferably their own. When a belief occupies such a central place in a person's life and even identity, this is understandable. The fact is, there are many reasons why atheists might not believe in any gods. Most atheists can cite multiple reasons and every atheist is different.

Arguments for the Existence of God

There are a wide variety of arguments used by theists in their claims that their god exists. Here you will can read critiques of such arguments, including arguments from design, cosmology, morality, Pascal's Wager and more.

Arguments Against the Existence of God

What are the principle arguments in favor of atheism? Why is atheism more reasonable or rational than theism? Among the arguments raised are those from evil, from non-belief, from cosmology, from incoherence and more.

Theology & Apologetics

Theology describes the study, writing, research, or speaking on the nature of gods, especially in relation to human experience. Typically the concept includes the premise that such study is done in a rational, philosophical manner and can also refer to specific schools of thought - for example, progressive theology, feminist theology or liberation theology. The study of theology is usually done in religious institutions where the promotion of religious beliefs is part of the mission.

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