Freethinking for Dummies

Skepticism, secular humanism, social issues

Dehumanizing Atheists

This vile piece of hate came to my attention the other day:

Atheists are not technically human beings (they have no soul) therefore they are not protected by our nations laws and bill of rights.

Now, based on his other tweets, TeaPartyTony is nothing but a hate spewing, racist, misogynistic jerk.  I try to avoid these types, but what made this stand out for me was the part about Atheists having no souls.  

Given some of Tony’s other tweets, he expects to see atheists burn in hell, but here he says we have no souls, so I guess we can’t go to hell.  I doubt Tony sees the conflict between his two statements, but then again, I’m guessing that he probably doesn’t care.  In either case, he is putting atheists in a class of people who he considers to be subhuman.   

This tactic of declaring those who you dislike as less than human goes back into antiquity.  We like to think of ourselves as good people, or at least as adhering to some kind of moral code.  To hurt or kill another human goes against most peoples’ moral code, so when they find themselves in conflict with others outside their group they have to find a way to rationalize the hate they feel.  They need to make their opponents less than human, less like them.  This allows them to resolve the cognitive dissidence that they have to grapple with by treating another person badly.

Religion has a very effective way to dehumanize people.  It can claim that the hated group either have no souls, or more commonly, have souls that will be tormented in hell forever.  In this way, they become not so much less human, but less worthy of being treated like humans.  Using religion to dehumanize someone is even more effective than the usual method of just calling someone inhuman.  By claiming that their god has decreed that the hated person(s) are damned, all responsibility for hating, persecuting, hurting, and killing another human begin falls on the god, not his/her/its followers.

It is a very insidious, and very effective, way to justify treating others as less that deserving of the same rights that you have.

Atheists are not technically human beings (they have no soul) therefore they are not protected by our nations laws and bill of rights.

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August 23, 2012 - Posted by | Atheism, Religion, secular humanism | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Presumably American atheists are therefore not subject to the laws either according to his argument…

    Comment by sybaritica | August 23, 2012 | Reply

  2. Tony obviously is greatly confused or just trolling. However, I cannot speak for other religions, but your characterization of religion “Using religion to dehumanize someone ” does not apply to Christianity. Christianity is just the opposite, Christ said love your enemies. christians ar ethe one who are trying to “Humanize” the millions of unborn people under attack by those who dehumanize them simply for their own convience and irresponsibility. bazinga!

    Comment by Kerry | August 24, 2012 | Reply

  3. They love the spotlight, in my most humble opinion and with all due respect, I would not give “it” the time of the day, or at least use a pseudonym, John Doe.

    Comment by Tee R | August 28, 2012 | Reply

  4. what?

    Comment by kerry | August 29, 2012 | Reply


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