AS4: Is Atheism a Privilege for the Wealthy?

Have you been frustrated when you’ve heard anyone say atheism a privilege for the wealthy? You’d better listen to find out how the guys deal with this obnoxious claim!

3 thoughts on “AS4: Is Atheism a Privilege for the Wealthy?”

  1. I completely agree with the point that Thomas made that people that are downtrodden really have the time to put the necessary thought into the God question. Especially in the US, people are constantly surrounded by God this and God that. The position becomes the default when the country is roughly 85-90% populated by God believers or apathetic people that don’t speak up one way or the other.

    Like in many other areas of life, more and more people find their time being taken up by working on basic survival, there is less time reflection and thought beyond what is just put out there as flatly true.

    These reasons are why it is so important for Atheists to be out and vocal. People need to know that the option is there and available. Discussions about not only Atheism, but many related topics must be had. Simply getting along is not enough. People need to get involved in improving their lot in life and improving the lives of others around them. Banding together helps to push the tides in the right directions. If people don’t get together, opposing forces will win before we know what has happened.

    A bit rambly and diatribe like at the end, but enjoy!

  2. The first 164 pages of the Alcoholics Anonymous text – including the 12 steps – have not changed since it was first published in the 1930’s, even though a new edition is released every few years. That also includes a chapter called “We Agnostics” which uses insultingly ignorant arguments explaining how no one could truly be an atheist or agnostic, and a chapter called “To Wives” because all addicts are men with wives who just need to be a little more understanding. The 12 steps were directly inspired by the Oxford Group, a Christian organization. They had 6 steps which Bill W. extrapolated into 12 for AA. AA claims to be “spiritual, not religious” and points out that it’s “God as we understood him,” not a specific God. But most groups I attended closed each meeting with the Lord’s Prayer, and were not very welcoming to people with other beliefs or none at all. I knew one woman who was Jewish, and even she had a hard time.

    My mom was in AA for most of my childhood, so it became my “religion” more so than Christianity. They push children and family of alcoholics to join related 12 step programs even if they are not addicted to a substance (Al-Anon). In my experience, it was very much a cult and took complete control of my life. I wrote about my story for the Friendly Atheist – my story is the last on the page.

    1. I just started listening to the podcast. it is fantastic!
      I’d like to comment on AA. I went to AA for about two years around 2004/2005 on the recommendation of a treatment program I was in. Everything Anon says in his/her post is factual. It is a religious program, I’d even say it is a Christian program.
      AA may claim that you can pick any “god” as you see “him.” I guess Hera was out of the question. But at some step, you are required to get on your knees and pray and confess your sins.
      I stuck around for a bit, never getting past the god stuff (step 2) because there were some people there who were genuinely nice and interesting to talk with. At some point it hit me – why am I going to these meeting twice a week when I could be playing outside with my kids? That did it for me.
      The other aspect of AA that I find as bad as religion, if not worse, it the sense of powerlessness. You are told that you are powerless over alcohol, and must attend AA forever, or you will drink and die. It’s not a treatment program. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a cult, although some people would.
      I had enough trouble getting over my problem. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life going to a meeting and talking about it, or listening to people read boring books.
      If you are looking for people to be a guest on the podcast regarding this topic, I would be more than willing.
      Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply