Atheism UK’s Key Principles
The following key Principles inform our policies and decisions.
Humans have fabricated religion
- Most religious texts are flawed and as fallible as the humans who wrote them. They must be criticised, challenged and, where appropriate, satirised or denounced.
- Religious organizations and communities must not receive privileges and immunities, such as tax benefits and protection from criticism or satire, which are denied to the non-religious population.
- Religious beliefs do not exist in isolation but are propagated from one person to another.
- All religion is a lie since it is based on a false premise – God or gods exist. All believers are victims of this lie.*
- Almost all atheists are agnostics, almost all agnostics are atheists.* (1)
God or gods do not exist
- Concepts of gods are myths created by humans.
- There are not two separate realms (the natural and the supernatural), but one (the natural).
- All gods are myths and lies.*
Morality develops independently of religion
- There is no divine moral authority.
- Although atheism is not in itself a source of morality, it frees morality from corruption by religion.
- The religious inculcation and indoctrination of children corrupt their morality. Children are not born with any religious beliefs or affiliations; these are imposed.
Religion inhibits rational thought
- Religion is based on irrationality, superstition and unsubstantiated beliefs.
- All Religions encourage and perpetuate prejudice, ignorance and intolerance.
- Religion inhibits critical thinking, discourages scientific enquiry and restricts human progress.
- Religions don’t generally deserve any respect.*
- All Religions are scams and a con game.*
- Don’t let ‘I’m offended by your words’ stop you from telling the truth about religion and don’t say ‘sorry’ when people are offended by your words.*
- Don’t let religious laws (cf. pictures of prophets) limit your freedom of expression since they have no authority over the non-religious.*
- Religion is not just incorrect, it is malevolent, it ruins lives, splits families, and justifies hatred and bigotry – whilst claiming to be the source of morality. People die due to religion.*
- Religion poisons everything. That is literally true when we consider the mind it infects. It makes good people do bad things, whilst thinking they are doing good, effectively turning good people into bad people, at least sometimes.**
- Religion deserves to die.*
Note: * quoted in Silverman, David (2016) Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin’s Griffin, Macmillan publishers. Clauses to be ratified by the Council of Atheism UK (update August 2017).
** Hitchens, Christopher (2011), God is Not Great, Atlantic Books Ltd.
(1) Silverman, David. Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World (p. 7). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.