Antireligion is opposition to en:religion of any kind. The term has been used to describe opposition to en:organized religion, religious practices or en:religious institutions. This term has also been used to describe opposition to specific forms of supernatural worship or practice, whether organized or not. Opposition to religion also goes beyond the misotheistic spectrum. As such it is distinct from deity-specific positions such as en:atheism (the absence of a belief in deities) and en:antitheism (an opposition to belief in deities), although "antireligionists", a neologism as of 2017, sfaik, may also be atheists or antitheists.
An Argument In Outline
A religion is a culturally dependent belief system.
Science/Reason is the one belief system that can produce objective truth about the real world.
Science is not culturally dependent, it is valid for all real beings everywhere and at all times.
A religion until it becomes something other than a belief system is a false one that may be prevalent in primitive cultures that have not yet achieved a thetic Scientific basing.
Since having a false fundamental belief system is bad in a way virtually nothing else can be, a moral/ethical individual will be anti-religious to the extent that they will seek the earliest possible resolution of any religion still posing as a system of objective belief into a vessel of cultural heritage.
A redact I made of the version of this § I found divided it into Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Religion, since iirc, it was mostly about excesses of state atheism. Restoring that division.
Freedom of Religion
Freedom is surely an illusion if it is an opportunity to do something grossly not in your own best interests. Nonetheless if people are truly free then they are free to do themselves ( but not others ) harm. Religions are not observed to be personal, private systems of belief, but rather ones whose adherents seek to expand or maintain a group of co-believers.
If they were private, personal, then there would be no need to protect them by various laws. It is in this sense that the religious generally understand Freedom of Religion, i.e. as a protected right to pursue their beliefs, often including imposing them on others such as their minor children.
Freedom from Religion
An early form of mass antireligion was expressed during the Enlightenment, as early as the 17th century. en:Baron d'Holbach's book Christianity Unveiled published in 1761, attacked not only Christianity but religion in general as an impediment to the moral advancement of humanity.Template:Cn According to historian en:Michael Burleigh, antireligion found its first mass expression of barbarity in revolutionary France as "organised ... irreligion...an 'anti-clerical' and self-styled 'non-religious' state" responded violently to religious influence over society. Critic of religion en:Christopher Hitchens was a well-known antireligionist of the 20th century who maintained opposition to religion, arguing that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as the method of teaching en:ethics and defining human civilization.
The en:Soviet Union adopted the political ideology of en:Marxism-Leninism and viewed religion as closely tied with foreign nationality. It thus directed varying degrees of antireligious efforts at varying faiths, depending on what threat they posed to the Soviet state, and their willingness to subordinate itself to political authority. These antireligious campaigns were directed at all faiths, including en:Christian, en:Islamic, en:Buddhist, en:Jewish, and en:Shamanist religions. In the 1930s, during the Stalinist period, the government destroyed church buildings or put them into secular use (as museums of religion and atheism, clubs or storage facilities), executed clergy, prohibited the publication of most religious material and persecuted some members of religious groups. Less violent attempts to reduce or eliminate the influence of religion in society were also carried out at other times in Soviet history. For instance, it was usually necessary to be an atheist in order to acquire any important political position or any prestigious scientific job; thus many people became atheists in order to advance their careers. Sources disagree on the results of the antireligious campaigns, with some claiming the death of 21 million en:Russian en:Orthodox Christians by the Soviet government, not including other religious groups or persecutions without killings, and other sources stating that only up to 500,000 en:Russian en:Orthodox Christians were persecuted by the Soviet government, not including other religious groups. The en:Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic targeted numerous clergy for arrest and interrogation as enemies of the state, and many churches, mosques, and synagogues were converted to secular uses. The en:People's Republic of Albania had an objective for the eventual elimination of all religion in en:Albania with the goal of creating an atheist nation, which it declared it had achieved in 1967. In 1976, Albania implemented a constitutional ban on religious activity and propaganda. The government nationalised most property of religious institutions and used it for non-religious purposes, such as cultural centers for young people. Religious literature was banned. Many clergy and theists were tried, tortured, and executed. All foreign en:Roman Catholic clergy were expelled in 1946. Albania was the only country that ever officially banned religion.Template:Cn
Authorities in the en:People's Republic of Romania aimed to move towards an atheistic society, in which religion would be considered as the ideology of the bourgeoisie; the rÃ©gime also set to propagate among the laboring masses in science, politics and culture to help them fight en:superstition and en:mysticism, and initiated an anti-religious campaign aimed to reducing the influence of religion in society. After the communist takeover in 1948, some church personnel were imprisoned for political crimes.
The en:Khmer Rouge attempted to eliminate Cambodia's cultural heritage, including its religions, particularly Theravada Buddhism. Over the four years of Khmer Rouge rule, at least 1.5 million Cambodians perished. A mere three thousand Buddhist monks survived the Khmer Rouge horror. There had been sixty thousand monks previously.
Notable antireligious people
- en:Thomas Paine (1737Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1809), English-American author and deist who wrote a scathing critique on religion in en:The Age of Reason (1793-4). "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish [i.e. Muslim], appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit".
- en:Karl Marx (1818Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1883), German philosopher, social scientist, socialist. He is well known for his antireligious views. He said religion was "the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness.".
- en:Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1900), German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, composer, and Latin and Greek scholar. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor and irony.
- en:John Dewey (1859Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1952), an American pragmatist philosopher, who believed neither religion nor en:metaphysics could provide legitimate moral or social values, though scientific en:empiricism could (see en:science of morality).
- en:Bertrand Russell (1872Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1970), English logician and philosopher who believed that authentic philosophy could only be pursued given an atheistic foundation of "unyielding despair". In 1948, he famously debated the Jesuit priest and philosophical historian Father en:Frederick Copleston on the en:existence of God.
- en:Ayn Rand (1905-1982), Russian-American novelist and philosopher, founder of Objectivism.
- en:Richard Dawkins (born 1941), English biologist, one of the "four horsemen" of en:New Atheism. He wrote en:The God Delusion, criticizing belief in the divine, in 2006.
- en:Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011), English-American author and journalist, one of the "four horsemen" of en:New Atheism. He wrote en:God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything in 2007.
- en:Madalyn Murray O'Hair (1919-1995), American atheist activist, founder of American Atheists organization.
- en:Steven Pinker (born 1954), Canadian-American cognitive scientist who believes religion incites violence.
- en:Enver Hoxha, Albanian communist leader between 1944 and 1985 who banned religion in Albania.
- en:Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet leader in 1953-64, who initiated, among other measures, the 1958-1964 Soviet anti-religious campaign.
- Vladimir Lenin, Soviet leader from 1917 until 1924, who, like most MarxistsTemplate:Cn, believed all religions to be "the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class".
- Pol Pot, was a Cambodian politician and revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge, who banned religion in Cambodia.
- Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Tamil politician, between 1938-73, who propagated the principles of rationalism, self-respect, womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights and eradication of caste in South India.
- Mao Zedong, Chinese communist leader.
- Bill Maher, who wrote and starred in Religulous, a 2008 documentary criticizing and mocking religion.
- Marcus Brigstocke, British comedian.
- James Randi, former magician, professional "debunker" of psychics, outspoken atheist and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.
- Philip Roth, contemporary Jewish-American novelist.
- Matt Dillahunty, Host of The Atheist Experience and former president of the Atheist Community of Austin, engages in debates with apologists.
- en:Anti-Christian sentiment
- en:Anti-Islamism, as distinct from en:Islamophobia
- en:Conflict thesis
- en:Faith and rationality
- en:Objectivism (Ayn Rand)
- en:Persecution of Christians
- en:Relationship between religion and science
- en:Religious intolerance
- en:Religious persecution
- en:Religious segregation
- "Anti-religion". Merriam-Webster Online. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anti-religion. Retrieved on 26 September 2017.
- "Antireligion". Collins Dictionary Online. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/antireligion. Retrieved on 26 September 2017.
- Bullivant, Stephen; Lee, Lois (2016). A Dictionary of Atheism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191816819.
- en:Michael Burleigh Earthly Powers p 96-97 Template:ISBN
- "Soviet Union: Policy toward nationalities and religions in practice". May 1989. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-12521.html. Retrieved on 2017-04-25.
- Template:Cite journal
- "Revelations from the Russian Archives: ANTI-RELIGIOUS CAMPAIGNS". US Government. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/anti.html. Retrieved on 2 May 2016. "The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed."
- World Christian trends, AD 30-AD 2200, p.230-246 Tables 4-5 & 4-10 By David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, Christopher R. Guidry, Peter F. Crossing NOTE: They define 'martyr' on p235 as only including christians killed for faith and excluding other christians killed
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- Template:RoMartiri pentru Hristos, din RomÃ¢nia, Ã®n perioada regimului comunist, Editura Institutului Biblic È™i de Misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe RomÃ¢ne, BucureÈ™ti, 2007, pp.34â€“35
- Brezianu, Andrei (26 May 2010) (in English). The A to Z of Moldova. Scarecrow Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8108-7211-0. "Communist Atheism. Official doctrine of the Soviet regime, also called "scientific atheism." It was aggressively applied to Moldova, immediately after the 1940 annexation, when churches were profaned, clergy assaulted, and signs and public symbols of religion were prohibited, and it was applied again throughout the subsequent decades of the Soviet regime, after 1944. ... churches were either pulled down or turned into facilities designed to serve secular or even profane purposes ... the Transfiguration Cathedral (previously dedicated to St. Constantine and Helena) housed the city's planetarium."
- World Christian trends, AD 30-AD 2200, p.230-246 Tables 4-10 By David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, Christopher R. Guidry, Peter F. Crossing
- Leustean, Lucian (2009). Orthodoxy and the Cold War: Religion and Political Power in Romania, 1947-65. la University of Michigan. p. 92-93. ISBN 3447058749. "One of the main aims of the regime was to transform Romania into a communist atheist society in which religion was considered the ideology of the bourgeoise. Thus in 1949, the Society for the Popularisation of Science and Culture was established. The main objective of this anti-religious society was 'to propagate among the labouring masses political and scientific knowledge to fight obscurantism, superstition, mysticism, and all other influences of bourgeois ideologies'. ...the regime's anti-religious campaign aimed to discredit the church and to reduce the influence of religion in society."
- January 23, 1999, issue of the London Tablet by Jonathen Luxmoore, Published by Chesterton Review Feb/May 1999
- Philip Shenon, Phnom Penh Journal; Lord Buddha Returns, With Artists His Soldiers en:New York Times - January 2, 1992
- Khmer Rouge: Christian baptism after massacres Template:Webarchive
- CRIMES OF WAR
- q:Thomas Paine
- Marx, K. 1976. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of HegelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Philosophy of Right. Collected Works, v. 3. New York.
- "Dewey felt that science alone contributed to 'human good,' which he defined exclusively in naturalistic terms. He rejected religion and metaphysics as valid supports for moral and social values, and felt that success of the scientific method presupposed the destruction of old knowledge before the new could be created. ... (Dewey, 1929, pp. 95, 145) "William Adrian, TRUTH, FREEDOM AND (DIS)ORDER IN THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, Christian Higher Education', 4:2, 145-154
- "I think all the great religions of the worldTemplate:Spaced ndashen:Buddhism, en:Hinduism, en:Christianity, en:Islam and en:CommunismTemplate:Spaced ndashboth untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true. ... I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue." Bertrand Russell in "My Religious Reminiscences" (1957), reprinted in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell 
- Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful! The Guardian, 2001-10-11 "Has the world changed?." The Guardian. Accessed 2006-01-29.
- Grimes, William (16 December 2011). "Christopher Hitchens, Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, Dies at 62". New York Times. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/arts/christopher-hitchens-is-dead-at-62-obituary.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. Retrieved on 15 February 2015.
- "[T]he Bible, contrary to what a majority of Americans apparently believe, is far from a source of higher moral values. Religions have given us stonings, witch-burnings, crusades, inquisitions, jihads, fatwas, suicide bombers, gay-bashers, abortion-clinic gunmen, and mothers who drown their sons so they can happily be united in heaven." The Evolutionary Psychology of Religion, presentation by Steven Pinker to the annual meeting of the en:Freedom from Religion Foundation, en:Madison, Wisconsin, October 29, 2004, on receipt of Ã¢â‚¬Å“The EmperorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s New Clothes Award.Ã¢â‚¬Â
- Template:Cite journal
- "Religion is the opium of the people: this saying of Marx is the cornerstone of the entire ideology of Marxism about the religion. All modern religions and churches, all and of every kind of religious organizations are always considered by Marxism as the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class."Lenin, V. I.. "About the attitude of the working party toward the religion". Collected works, v. 17, p.41. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. http://www.psylib.ukrweb.net/books/maenl01/txt17. Retrieved on 2006-09-09.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. http://arquivo.pt/wayback/20091007191524/http%3A//www%2Erandi%2Eorg/jr/072503%2Ehtml. Retrieved on 2013-10-09.
- "I'm anti-religious ... It's all a big lie ... I have such a huge dislike [of] the miserable record of religion." The Guardian, 2005-12-14 " The Guardian. 'It no longer feels a great injustice that I have to die'