Don't worry though. It's only of atheists.
Hank Fox shares a historically relevant fear of one of the most important issues facing our species. It was enough of a personal concern to be amongst the biggest reasons I started blogging. To catch you up, he's posted a couple of newspaper stories he's found which are sympathetic to unbelief, and suggests that those who agree do the same.You may have noticed that it's more my style to just be atheist; that I talk a lot about issues and ideas about how there are more reliable sources for material reality and the astronomical record of our universe than gods. I'll tend to focus on what is ridiculous about a certain specific belief and why such beliefs have served their purposes. I love it when homo sapiens discovers new and more efficacious solutions to what used to be "God did its".
HOWEVER, before any of us get too happy-faced, notice this article, from the University of Minnesota’s UMN News:
From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in "sharing their vision of American society." Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.
Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. "Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years," says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the study’s lead researcher.
I've printed out the first two articles, and I’m giving them to the religion reporters at my local newspapers, to urge him to do a similar story on atheists, on the religion page. (If they see that other papers are covering atheists sympathetically, they might be more inclined to do likewise.) Maybe with a couple of suggested themes, like "The Atheist Next Door," or "How Non-Religious Parents Teach Morality."
The only reasons to still hold religious beliefs are all cultural and either disinterested, which is hardly akin to devout, or genocidally interested. Now the latter may qualify as devotion, but I find it hard to imagine loving something which requires and exacts such immoral and antisocial behaviour as does the god of Abraham, for a relevant American example. And you can pick any god you choose and find as many "golden rules" as requirements to murder.
Put aside the "thou shalts ... " and you can see that humans have an illustrious and horrifying History recorded of our species actions. From this we really are able to look back and see what kinds of actions work for the material health and welfare of our species, and which work only to satisfy the interest of small and self serving elites.
Not that I'm against elites, nor the benefits they can receive for cutting the edges of human progress.
I just can't stomach it or stand by whilst some feast on the work and fear and ignorance of the much greater numbers of people who are indifferent to why reality is what it is; whether it's God or inevitablility or L Ron Hubbard's greatest granny! The masses are people who just want to know how to get along and make reality work out best for them, their children, and those they love. That's all any of us really want; however we entreat to live our lives and where ever we put our emphasis. And, yes folks, that includes atheists.
I'll let Hank finish this off. We all emphasize different things, but in this, he speaks for me quite well.Just so you know, I feel a sense of urgency about this. Much as I think it’s possible to spark atheism (and reason) in these coming generations, I believe even more that we’re on the tipping point to some really ugly stuff in America, and the world.
If we don’t manage to wrest the tiller back from “them” and steer a more sensible, rational course, I think all 6 billion of us are screwed.
Sitting back and coolly saying “We atheists don’t proselytize” is no longer the best course.
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