Who are we?
We are a group of activists who had been defending free thought on the internet individually before we came together to advocate for atheism, agnosticism and freedom from religions, in an atmosphere in which rulers and their partners keep harping on the freedom of supernatural beliefs, the simplest criticism are considered as “humiliation of public values”, and the mere existence of atheists counts as an offense to religion.
We decided to build up an environment of solidarity against religious dogmas, with the aim of empowering, encouraging and reaching out to other free thinkers.
What is Religion?
All the assumptions that we call supernatural today are based on human efforts to explain phenomena that the past generations could not understand by or make sense of. By the emergence of the modern scientific reasoning, this practical reason-for-being of religions has disappeared.
Religion was humanity’s first attempt to systematically investigate the causality relations in natural and social phenomena. As an attempt, it was the predecessor of modern science; being the first attempt, it was inadequate and inconsistent. Religion tried to respond to many socio-psychological problems and questions that were either already present or developed after the emergence of religion. In this context, we are aware that, while its practical reason-for-being is gone, there are still plenty of reasons for religion itself to survive.
Organized religion, from the very moment it emerged, has become a part of power relations. Today, religious institutions are still one of the most important tools to legitimize injustice, inequalities and all the miseries in the world.
Our common denominator is that religions are not just personal opinions. Instantiating from sexual orientations to basic rights claims and from formal education to gender politics, religion is a tool of sovereignty and therefore should be discussed on a social rather than an individual level.
The Historical Journey of Religion and Atheist/Agnostic Ideas
The history of atheism is as old as the history of scientific thought. For instance, and these instances are present all around the world, Ancient Greek thinkers of the 8th century B.C.E. chose, instead of attributing supernatural forces to natural phenomena, to develop a critical thinking and to explain the world with worldly tools. This conception has become the basis of the modern natural sciences we utilize today.
The history of the struggle for a better world is as old as the history of inequities. Until the end of the Middle Ages, those who fought against the power of religion again referred back to religion. The real means for the emancipation of humanity from religions emerged only with the Enlightenment. Thanks to modern science, religion has become obsolete for humans to interpret the world and their existence in it. The secularization of the world led to the criticisms of many other inequities that were practiced via religion. Thus started a process whereby monarchies collapsed, politics became public practice, gender equality was recognized (at least legally), laicism was adopted as a political principle, and public scientific education became widespread.
At some point, the appropriators of power realized where this was leading to. In addition to monotheistic religions being supported, many new-age religions (such as Scientology, Mormonism, Quantum Thinking) were released to the market. What is unquestionable and indisputable dramatically multiplied. With items like private property, “religious and moral values of the public”, state security and economic development, it has become either impossible or forbidden to reason beyond the irrational logic that the system imposes.
Recent political maneuvers, which bring gender equality into question, introduce the creationism nonsense into biology textbooks as an alternative opinion, and describe atheism as a perversion in religion courses, are just parts of this process. Today religion has become the institutionalized tool of exploitation that persuades the masses to the material inequities and the destruction of the global capital. This tool is presented as a painkiller to the 99% of society who lead a miserable and anxious daily life and thereby prevents the power of the privileged minority who lives off their misery from being questioned.
We are raising the bet.
What are our goals?
We came together, on a scientific and social basis, in order to fight against the institutionalization of religion. We believe that religion not only narrows down people’s ideas in the intellectual sense but also functions as a tool for oppression and exploitation. We imagine a world where free thinking and humane life are possible.
As mentioned previously, we are aware that religion is either the same thing as or else allied with the rulers. Therefore, we know that, along our path towards our goals, we will have to confront all the owners and protectors of the existing order.
What do we have in our agenda?
1. We aim at creating ways for atheists to come out. We object to free thought being caged into the realm of the internet and then also getting more and more suppressed there.
We think that each atheist to come out will have a significant contribution to this process. The social hysteria atmosphere that we are exposed to are produced by systematic hate speech, and its cracks lie in real human relationships.
2. We take a stand against the censorship on science and the current rush to falsify scientific facts. We assume a role in informing the public about the facts. Furthermore, we support all the activities in this direction.
3. We object to the rules and practices of a certain religion being introduced to the education system (either as compulsory or “compulsory-elective” courses) without the inclusion of any scientific critical thinking.
4. We see laicism as our political necessary condition not to be relinquished.
5. We are against the religionization of the social life and the indirect imposition of a religious lifestyle both by force or by regulations that would require such lifestyles.
1. We feel responsible and obligated to create social opportunities to come out and speak out.
2. We adopt a sceptical, scientific and critical approach.
3. We do not limit our critical approach with religion. We are against any kind of discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation and sexual identity.
4. We do not favor any of the ungrounded ideas. We are “narrow-minded” towards all the irrational nonsense ranging from pseudoscience to mysticism, from monotheistic religions to astrology.
5. While not hesitating to confront religious beliefs and institutions and criticizing religions, we do not approve of the humiliation of common people due to their religious beliefs. We take seriousness and sincerity as our political style.
6. We respect animal rights and all ecosystems as much as we respect human rights. We ground our lives and political stance not on the idea that the world was created for us, but on the knowledge that all beings in the world coexist as parts of the whole.
7. We take it as our principle to show solidarity to the individuals and groups compatible with our goals and principles stated in this text, and form co-operation with them within the bounds of possibility.
Freethought Movement – Özgür Düşünce Hareketi