Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Things atheists could do without...

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You could probably devise quite a long list, but one thing would surely be anti-religious video games. A graduate of the University of Virginia has designed a game where the object is to prevent the spread of Christianity and Islam by travelling through history killing those religions' key prophets. As if that wasn't inflammatory enough, the ultimate aim of the game is to behead the prophet Muhammad.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the developer has chosen to keep his identity secret though, given the fact that publishers are fairly unlikely to be queuing up for the rights to his game, he's probably pretty low on al-Qaeda's hitlist right now.

Still, as the report from Virginia news channel WSLS10 shows, silly ideas like this give people a good excuse to have a go at atheism in general. The game's creator seems to think he's doing non-believers a huge favour – "Atheists have never really had anything to speak for them like this" – but with any luck few people will agree. If this game does actually exist, it sounds just as bad as the fundamentalist Christian title Left Behind: Eternal Forces (aim: convert or kill the infidels) and we think we'll give it a miss.

14 comments:

HumanistDad said...

Why could atheists do without anti-religious video games? Should we ban anti-Nazi video games?

A fictional game, book or movie that plays with the idea of killing an ideology before it begins does not offend me (an atheist). My problem is only with the statement that a game like this has anything to do with atheism.

Atheism is not an ideology. It's simply a denial of supernatural gods. You can't really do anything 'in the name of atheism'. There is no dogma, book or manifesto.

Chris Hughes said...

This atheist could do withut video games altogether...

Bob said...

Eugh. What a stupid, gratuitous idea.

Imagine a video game about travelling through time killing Galileo, and Voltaire, with the ultimate goal being to castrate Bertrand Russell.

I'd think that was pretty hateful and pathetic.

TLP said...

Screw that, I want the game :D

Anonymous said...

The religious right in America seems to be really going after atheism as can be seen from this article on atheism which is quite popular on the internet.

Jason said...

The truly ironic part is that the goal of the Left Behind game actually ISN'T "convert or kill the infidels." The rumors have been found to be completely false by IGN, GameSpy, Ars Technica and myself, who've all actually played the game. From the very first accusation, the game's producers vehemently denied them. That's obviously not the case here. Other than hiding like a coward, this atheist is obviously very proud of the goal of his game.

Ted Goas said...

I agree with Bob. I mean sure, we might be atheists, but going back and killing religious figures? Seems like a bit much to me.

Pretty hateful. Kind of stooping down to the level of religious fundamentalists.

Strappado said...

He should have given it more than 2 minutes of thought.

Instead of targeting various prophets(which has free speech implications), the object could have been to defend yourself against the inquisition, stop a crusade etc. I.e. making a game where the aggressor is religious, and the player is just defending himself, like in any war game.

Still, many would say that it demonizes religions(Imagine a Christian game where the object is to fight the "Atheist Communist hordes"), but it would be a tad better than executing some old man that for his time was no worse than anyone else.

The only kind of game which I truly would support, then, would have to be more of the more intellectual sort. Say, how about exposing "what really happened" when the grave was empty. I assume there's a lot of potential for that kind of game, and it would be educating rather than just plain violent.

Mike said...

I suppose I would not be in favour with this game as it presupposes that these characters existed. Jesus in particular there is no historical evidence for.

As humanistdad said, Atheism is not an ideology. It's a denial of the theistic position.

The game itself doesn't appear to have been released other than just putting the "idea" out there with a screenshot(s). Might just be vapourware at this stage.

serpentdove1 said...

Response to comment: "You can't really do anything 'in the name of atheism'. There is no dogma, book or manifesto."

Man's own religion usually descends to the fleshly life to which they themselves practice ~ Jim Andrews

SerpentDove said...

Response to comment: "Atheism is not an ideology. It's simply a denial of supernatural gods. You can't really do anything 'in the name of atheism'. There is no dogma, book or manifesto."
Atheism is a religion. Many atheists organizations register as religious organizations (e.g. in the U.S. as a 501ce). Man is made to worship. When you do not worship God you do not worship nothing, you worship something else (e.g. self deification, wealth, lust, etc.). Man fills the void with his own god.

SerpentDove said...

Response to comment: "Atheism is not an ideology. It's simply a denial of supernatural gods. You can't really do anything 'in the name of atheism'. There is no dogma, book or manifesto."
Atheism is a religion. Many atheists organizations register as religious organizations (e.g. in the U.S. as a 501ce). Man is made to worship. When you do not worship God you do not worship nothing, you worship something else (e.g. self deification, wealth, lust, etc.). Man fills the void with his own god.

SerpentDove said...

Response to comment: "[Defend yourself against the inquisition...stop a crusade."
Many people throughout history have acted un-Christian naming the name of Christ but not following his teaching. "Cultural Christians" do the same today. Some of the most dangerous false teachers are in the organized churches today. These same churches killed Christians throughout history. Read:
Reformation Time Line
http://www.applesofgoldbiblestudy.netfirms.com/Denominations%20Comparison.PDF

SerpentDove said...

Response to comment: "[W] might be atheists, but going back and killing religious figures [in video games]? Seems like a bit much to me. Pretty hateful. Kind of stooping down to the level of religious fundamentalists."
It might come to that--a day when Christians are dragged out of their churches. First, the liberals took the churches (e.g. turning them into bars and stores). It is the liberal who is intolerant of dissenting views. Blogger "Strappado" seems to dislike the Pope. The Pope teaches people to practice a religion. Christianity is faith in the person of Jesus Christ not "religion" per se. The gospel of salvation by grace by faith is not taught in the Roman Catholic church. It is a religion of workslike all religions of the world. Christianity is not work-based but faith-based. " For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8, NASB)."