Talk:Antireligion

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Linguistics[edit]

this should probably be spelled "anti-religious", as an English coinage. A more learned coinage would be (avoiding mixture of Greek and Latin), "contra-religious". Please substantiate that this is even a word. not just a domain name, or else explicitly make it an article about these websites. dab () 23:55, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

[1]==Notable people== I included Karl Marx because he was a materialist who apparently made some noises against religion in general, including his famous Opium of the People/ Opiate of the Masses scribblings. Thus, he was probably an antireligionist. 204.52.215.107 22:45, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Just because he was "probably" an antigrligionist doesnt mean he actually was. If you wish to include someone in the list that you are unsure of, please first go and find a source that comfirms that they are antireligious (yes even if you put "allegedly" in). Remember we are presenting a collection of information, not our own deductions from information. Just a reminder :-) Jarryd Moore

Removed Marx. He was an atheist, but I can't find any proof he was antireligious. His "opiate of the people" remark is usually taken out of context; in-context, it suggests that religion is a natural and possibly positive or negative result of living in an unpleasant world. In his time, opiates were considered legitimate and useful painkillers, not strictly harmful recreational drugs as they often are considered now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.194.186.9 (talk) 05:29, 26 November 2008 (UTC)


Also, Brandon Boyd does NOT SAY that he's an atheist. He simply says that he opposes Christianity, and implies that he feels that way about organized religion in general. So while he's anti-religious, he's not necessarily an atheist.--Josh

Wouldn't Lemmy Kilmister from the band Motorhead be on this list too? I thought he hated god and all religions

What about William Blake? Didn't he feel organised religion repressed true spirituality or something? The flying pasty (talk) 21:19, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


I removed Adolf Hitler, because anyone who has read the speeches of Adolf Hitler can see clearly that he frequently made statements in support of Christianity and Christian themes. The only references used to proclaim him antireligious (or that he was an atheist) are "Hitler's Table Talk"[1], which is not speeches he made, but rather dinner conversations that people around him later recalled him saying. Plus, there is already an article in Wkipedia all about Hitler's Religious beliefs, and it does not support the claim that he was anti-religious. [2]Dwirish (talk) 20:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality[edit]

This article is ludicrous, it paints anti-religonists with some kind of generalizing brush that Atheists have been getting away with for decades now. That is, that *we* can refer to ourselves in the 3rd person and apply any positive adjective we wish. I.e. O'Hare and other Atheists claiming "Atheists would rather do X than Y." But when the same generalized tone is applied in a perjorative sense, they scream bloody murder at whoever dares to 'stereotype' them.

I think this article may not be quite neutral, or at least, takes the stand point that antireligion is a strange, minority concept. compare the wording of this article to that of an article on a religion. (30/10/2006, 5:54 UTC))

I agreed with the above comment that this article may not be quite neutral. It most definatly does differ from the tone and such of an article on religion such as Christianity. It is not wikipedia's policy to present an article that places a certain emphasis or tone upon the information it contains. I strongly reccomend that the neutrality, noteably the undertone, of this article be discussed and reviewed. Jarryd Moore 16:03, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

This seem to have been corrected, coz i can`t find any violation as of now Dec 9th 06, as far as neutrality goes, nor any inference to atheism. I`ll therefore remove the Neutrality dispute disclaimer.Slicky 22:20, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

anton lavey / satanism ?[edit]

Two editors just added, in rapid succession, Anton LaVey and LaVeyan Satanism. The first four words of the satanism article state "Satanism is a religion...." I realize that he defines his religion differently than most do, but I don't see how this can be "antireligion". --lquilter 02:28, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Douglas Adams[edit]

Is Douglas Adams really antireligious? There's plenty to say he's an atheist, and he certainly used religion in his humour, but I'm not sure that it extends to antireligion. A lot of statements could be seen as ambivalence ("2000 years after some guy got nailed to a tree"); or even opposition to atheism ("[Man provides] proof of the non-existence of god. ... As an encore he goes on to show that black equals white, and get killed at the next zebra crossing"). Likewise, he also made humour at the expense of democracy ("the wrong lizard might get in"), so is he antidemocratic? I would hesitate to attach too much weight to his comic texts. --h2g2bob 13:05, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I suggest rather than quoting random assortments of Mr. Adams books, you read the interview which is actually linked as the citation on the page (that's what the citations are for; providing evidence.) It does directly address some of your questions. If you still want to discuss this after having read the interview, please do. It certainly never says "I think all religions are destroying the planet", but it does come across as pretty anti-religious to me, esp. for being from a polite Englishman. (I hadn't previously read it, just read it in response to your comment. So I'm basically agreeing with whoever first listed that.) --Jaibe 21:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I think the cite pretty much covers it. VanTucky 21:31, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

reversion wars over Scientology[edit]

Some people who don't think Scientology is a religion keep making Christianity and Islam the only example religions in the intro to this article. Personally, I think all three are objectionable belief systems serving ulterior motivations, although no doubt important and even life saving for some of their believers. I don't see that the antireligion page is a very good place for having this dispute. But I strongly object to the removal of content which results in the implication that only mainstream religions can cause people to be antireligious. The introduction as it is written now has a very broad definition of antireligion which is quite different from simple atheism.--Jaibe 09:06, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I've just made a compromise revision myself, but I'm not at all sure I like it. The point of that sentence is supposed to be that people can object to either organized religion or superstitions in general. Cults are certainly organized religions.--Jaibe 09:12, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The point is not about Scientology being organised (as a cult or otherwise) or being supernatural, or that antireligious people object to it. I myself am about as as rabidly antireligious as it gets, and I think Scientology is the biggest load of crap out of all three examples. But the argument is over whether Scientology is a religion at all, even a cult one. To comply with NPOV and the actual definitions on that and the Church of Scientology articles, you can't label it a religion. I tried to think of an NPOV way to label it a pure superstition, but that didn't jive either. This isn't about censoring the antireligious objection to Scientology, it's about keeping in line with NPOV. VanTucky 15:44, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
How about this version?

Antireligion is opposition to some or all religions in some or all contexts. People who are antireligious may see religions as dangerous, destructive, divisive, foolish, or absurd. This opposition may be confined to just organized mainstream religions such as Christianity or Islam and include minor religions such as cults; extend to organized belief systems not supported by empirical evidence (such as Scientology), or may more generally include all forms of belief in the supernatural.

VanTucky 15:58, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
How is this different from antitheism then? -- 62.143.100.196 15:30, 15 October 2007 (UTC) (an atheist agnostic antitheist)
Not all religions are theistic, some have no deities at all so antitheism doesn not directly include opposition to them, antireligion would. 134.243.210.14 (talk) 19:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Taking Daniel off[edit]

It is true that daniel dennett wrote a book about a religion as a natural phenomena, but he does think religion should be discarded. He stated himself that it would be arrogant to discard faith and he is simply trying to understand human nature. The book states that religion should not be offlimits to science. If you don't believe me here is a link.[[2]] Trilobite12

I have never heard of this term before as distinct from atheism[edit]

Could we have some sort of reference or authority for the claim that "antireligion" is distinct from atheism. I am quite interested in atheism, yet I have never once heard of "antireligion" being an alternative. The list of people here seems to be so similar to a list of atheists that it conflicts the opening about how the two terms are different. Epa101 (talk) 17:10, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


OF COURSE they're different. An atheist is a person who doesn't believe in god(s), but they may not see any problem in other people believing. In contrast, this article is saying that antireligious people are, ANTI RELIGION. As in they DO have a problem with other people putting their faith in invisible spacemen who never answer them. The point is... I can not BELIEVE in squirrels, but that is different to if I didn't believe and thought squirellism was an evil that needs to be expunged from society. That would be anti-squirrel. Healyhatman.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.149.114.32 (talkcontribs) 19:43, 24 December 2007

So anti-religion against all religions? even atheism? Is atheism a religion? Isn't a religion a BELIEF... so isn't atheism a religion of disbelief? How can one be "antireligious" when all people possess an opinion. It's a logical paradox. 72.221.114.113 (talk) 08:21, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Should this article be merged?[edit]

I'm not going to take any formal measures at this point, but I'd like to ask whether this article should be merged into Atheism. The distinction between antireligion and atheism is not clear; almost any expression of antireligion falls under one or more definitions of atheism, particularly strong atheism. Furthermore, a two-sentence definition of antireligion followed by a long list of people said to be antireligious simply does not seem to merit a separate article. --7Kim (talk) 18:28, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

My thoughts exactly. I clicked on this article expecting some definition of anti-religion and explaining it as distinct from atheism, but neither issue is addressed. Plus, it's even more confusing when you consider whether anti-religion should be merged with atheism or added to the Criticism of religion page.--Lord of the Ping (talk) 07:11, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty clear really. You could believe that God is about as likely as the tooth fairy but still think it is good that other people believe. Many atheists are like this (see Breaking the Spell, where 'belief in belief' (that is, belief that belief is good, even when you don't believe yourself) is discussed). You must realize that there are many dimensions to religious beliefs and attitudes. Interest (the question of whether there is a God is important grading into who cares?; belief in God's existence (the spectrum of theistic probability); opposition to religion (antireligion, grading into indifference to religion and then "belief in belief" or pro-religion); there are probably more that I haven't thought of too. There may be some causal connection between these continuous variables (e.g. people who are anti-religious are probably unlikely to believe in God) but they are still measuring different things.
I think there is more overlap with criticism of religion than there is with atheism, though the two should probably remain distinct. How this is distinct from antitheism is slightly less clear to me; they seem to be occupying very similar niches. Richard001 (talk) 02:28, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
antitheism is opposition to belief in deities, and antireligion is opposition to religion. There is going to be some overlap, but you can be opposed to belief in deities while thinking organised religion is good and you can be opposed to religion but for belief in deities. So they are similar, yes, by no means identical, and the arguments supporting and opposing each position are quite distinct. DaveChild (talk) 14:34, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Why SOME religion ?[edit]

Why not use definition as: "Antireligion is opposition to religion." instead of "Antireligion is opposition to some religion.". It makes no sense there. If it makes sense there, why it's not in the next sentence, eg: "People who are antireligious may see SOME religions as dangerous, ..." XNathanielX (talk) 22:20, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Teller[edit]

Penn is mentioned - shouldn't Teller count? 91.84.182.207 (talk) 16:09, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Christian antireligionist?[edit]

This article seems to be antireligion = atheism. I'm a man of faith, but I would identify as an antireligionist, and I would see Jesus as antireligionist. Isn't there any prominent theistic antireligionists? 91.107.53.111 (talk) 19:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The article already mentions a number of antireligious theists, like William Blake. However, there isn't any basis for the claim that Jesus was antireligious. -Silence (talk) 03:51, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes I was wondering about Christian or other theistic antireligionists. Could it not be made explicit who is a theistic antireligionist and who is not? Seriphyn (talk) 12:43, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


Difference between antitheism and antireligion[edit]

Could somebody please explain the difference. It doesn't say anywhere in the article why there is a difference, it just says that there is, and I don't get why. Aren't theism and religion the same thing? Jprulestheworld (talk) 11:37, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Theism is simply a belief in God or gods. Religion includes organization of people with the same beliefs and includes practices in worship of God, gods, or other supernatural forces. So, antitheism is directed at changing people's minds. Antireligion is directed at disrupting organizations and changing people's actions. Debates, published opinion articles, harassment, imprisonment, torture, and murder have all been used in support of one or both of these positions. It is the goal not the means of reaching it that distinguishes these positions. Fartherred (talk) 05:08, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Bogus Figures[edit]

The figure of 21 million victims of antireligious politics of the Soviet state is clearly bogus. Here is an article in Russian, where its author calculates up to half a million repressed on religious grounds in any way(mostly sent to GULAG) The same article quotes the total number of criminal verdicts 1918-1953 as 4 308 487, 835 194 of them -- death penalty. The total number of repression victims (executed, jailed and resettled) is about 10 million people. Causalities in the Russian Civil War amounts to about 2 million (both sides). And I may remind you, the site I quote is an Orthodox site, where people are clearly not interested in lowering the figures. They come to the above mentioned 500 000 as an upper bound, there are other scholars giving figures like 5 times less. The only way to get 21 million is to add here all the famine victims maybe, (because officially overwhelming majority of the population was recorded as Orthodox Christian before the Revolution) and count them as "Christian dead by actions of godless government = martyr". So I edit the numbers. As well as sentence about Church property: by law, church buildings and so on were not property of Orthodox Church, but were state property, rented by the Church, since the 18th century. RlyechDweller (talk) 04:55, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

include all reliable sources, dont cherry pick. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.188.96.167 (talk) 10:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, teach the controversy, baby! Russian history scholars versus American baptist preachers. Should we add also tens of thousands persons killed on the altars of Satan in the USA every year, maybe? RlyechDweller (talk) 19:57, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Original mix and match[edit]

The article claims but does not prove that there is any difference between atheism, antitheism and antireligion. The term "Antireligion" is in use indeed, but in a couple of books I perused this was nothing but a synonym to atheism. Please provide solid references which define "antireligion" as a separate concept. Otherwise this artisle is to be replaced with a disambiguation page. Yceren Loq (talk) 00:38, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that the topic of this article is actually [[Antireligious persecution]] or [[Anti-religious persecution]]. It is not about a philosophical position, but the use of physical force, as provided by law or outside of a legal framework, to prevent people from practicing, teaching, or spreading religion. The existence of such persecution is documented well. Changing the name of this article and perhaps dropping a category or two might be possible. I do not understand what is intended with a disambiguation page. Do you intend that the content should be dropped or moved to another title? Fartherred (talk) 04:34, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
The article on [[Religious persecution]] is mainly about those with one religion persecuting those with different religions. Atheists persecuting religious people is relatively new to history. The instance in the French revolution may have been the first. It is not so new that people should be ignorant about it and maintain that if people had no religion there would be no persecution. Attempts to eliminate religion have involved the worst persecutions in history. This is a topic that ought to be addressed on Wikipedia. Only the titles of articles and categorization are in doubt. Fartherred (talk) 04:59, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
But it seems we already have an article mostly dedicated to the persecution of religious people by atheists - namely [[State atheism]]. If any article should be renamed to [[Antireligious persecution]], it's that one, because it contains far more information than this one. So maybe this article should be rewritten to focus on persecutions carried out by atheists who were not in control of a state? That would avoid overlap with state atheism. Or maybe this article should focus on antireligion as an opinion rather than a historical practice, and therefore discuss the writings of antireligious authors and the reasons people have given for opposing religion? I don't know - what do you think? Ohff (talk) 22:51, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I would favor renaming [[Antireligion]] as [[Antireligious persecution]] because it deals with a wider topic even though State atheism is the more developed article. I have added a reference to [[State atheism]] in the ==See also== list. The antireligious thought could be moved to an article named [[Antireligious thought]]. A few people should agree to do the work of splitting the article into two or better yet one reliable person should agree to do it. Let me know if you find a willing slave. - Fartherred (talk) 22:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
On second thought the antireligious thought could be moved to [[Irreligion]], [[Atheism]], [[Agnosticism]], or [[Naturalism]], wherever it would best fit. - Fartherred (talk) 23:58, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This thread seems closest to the year old OR tag I just removed as stale. Atheism, anti-theism, and anti-religion are all distinct. The second is largely made up and would implicitly a kind of theism, if not a another word for atheist. Anti-religion however is epitomized by the so-called Church or the Cult of Reason which actively evangelizes against forms of belief not solely based on reason and experience. 72.228.189.184 (talk) 20:23, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

OK, my misconstrual of anti-theism to something typically encountered but not what's referred to by that name here. 72.228.189.184 (talk) 20:27, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems that this article is about argumentation and actions intended to discourage the practice of religion in general. The [[Cult of Reason]] is only one type of Antireligion. Perhaps the article could be split into [[Atheistic persecution of religion]] and [[Atheistic propaganda against religion]] as distinct from religious persecution and propaganda against other religions. I am not sure I understand your point. - Fartherred (talk) 20:34, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Order of describing persecutions[edit]

In describing the persecutions of the Khmer Rouge religion should come first because this is an article about antireligious activity. That it was a part of a more general persecution should be second. I will restore that order. - Fartherred (talk) 10:37, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

You make a good point. I agree, so I have not changed the text. However, in another paragraph, I did change the adjective "violent" back to "extreme." I feel this change is necessary because the word "violent" is too specific to describe what happened in the Stalin period. Killing clergy was violent, yes, but was it also violent to turn churches into museums? No... So we need a word that includes both the violent and non-violent aspects of Stalinist persecution. I thought extreme would be a good word. Ohff (talk) 22:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I do not see that refusing to allow religious persons to do scientific work is less extreme than refusing to allow buildings to be used for religious purposes. How do you make such a judgment? - Fartherred (talk) 02:52, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Religious persons were (mostly) barred from doing scientific work during the Stalin period as well (let's leave aside for a moment the fact that many religious persons could hide their faith and so on). The comparison is not between (a) refusing to allow religious persons to do scientific work and (b) refusing to allow buildings to be used for religious purposes. The comparison is between (a) refusing to allow religious persons to do scientific work and (b) refusing to allow buildings to be used for religious purposes and refusing to allow religious persons to do scientific work and taking a number of violent measures. Clearly, in this case, (b) is more extreme. Of course, I'm entirely open to suggestions for a different word we could use. "Extensive," maybe? The early Stalin period saw many more antireligious measures than other periods, so those measures were more extensive at that time. Ohff (talk) 06:40, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
By the way, what do you think about my proposal above to change the focus of this article? It would be great to have an article that traced the development of antireligious thought (i.e. the opinion that religion is bad) from its earliest recorded instances to the present day. This would go back much further than the French Revolution. Ohff (talk) 06:56, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
So, you feel that violent is unsuitable because it fails to describe one of the types of persecution under Stalin. On the other hand you feel extreme is suitable because when comparing religion based employment discrimination to the total set of Stalinist persecutions, religion based employment discrimination is less extreme. I agree that we should compare religion based employment discrimination to the total set of Stalinist persecutions, the violent destruction of religious buildings, the violent beatings of religious people, and the murders. Let us leave aside for a moment the contention that anyone who makes a claim to be not religious in order to get more cushy employment is telling the truth, no matter how many times that person has attended religious meetings. The choice of extreme instead of violent is utterly without logical support and should be reverted. - Fartherred (talk) 10:49, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Totalitarian bias[edit]

The History section is awfully biased towards presenting antireligion as something almost synonymous with being a genocidal totalitarian state. It's completely casual in doing so, for example "The Khmer Rouge attempted to eliminate religions and all else relating to the old culture of Cambodia. In the process they killed nearly 1.7 million people". The entirety of it will need careful rephrasing and much more extensive set of examples, so that it shows a picture of actual history of antireligion, not history of political religions wiping out theistic religions.mathrick (talk) 15:47, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

The AGF explanation would likely be that the extreme examples are the most ready-to-hand. Ca you think of others that could be included? --— Rhododendrites talk |  22:06, 9 December 2013 (UTC)


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