Most of us here would agree that rationally, the death of religion, or at least reducing it to silly superstition in the eyes of the vast majority, would be unimaginably healthy for the human race.

But to what extent (if at all) should we actively work to bring that about without becoming the hypocrite evangelists we so revile? "It's ok for us to shove our belief at you but not ok for you to shove your belief at us."

The first defense of this is that our 'belief' isn't a belief; it's rational, empirical fact. But bearing in mind that most theists genuinely see their belief as a given fact where does our rationalizing and reasoning end and outright attack of another's freedom to believe in Santa Claus or Jesus or the Easter Bunny begin?

I myself do believe in spreading the good atheist news so to speak. I feel I was brainwashed by Christianity as a child and am grateful for those who spoke the voice of reason, validated my own internal questioning, and did their part to help lead me out of the cult. I feel almost a moral obligation to point those in the Emerald City in the direction of the man behind the curtain so they at least have a fair chance to discover for themselves that the Wizard of Oz isn't a real wizard. But I also believe in an individual's right to choose to stay in that cult, to believe in the Wizard despite all evidence to the contrary, without undue pressure or interference on their rights from me.

So where is that line? And do we have an ethical/moral obligation to cross it or to stay behind it?

Views: 69

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Tarquin St John Sh'gn'sty

I don't personally know ANY atheist who has ever claimed the death of religion will improve humanity. I certainly don't. In fact I think such a claim is Utopian nonsense..

 

Does it mean that you do not believe that eventually atheism will prevail and all religious belief will be discarded? I think this outcome is a matter of time. Atheism is truth and not faith, so ultimtaly everyone is going to know the truth. This will be the death of religion and I have always tried to say that atheists sould evolve a new social system so that the society does not see a vaccum.It is possible to do this if we realise the need for this, and then there will be no utopian claims. We probably have a 100 years to do this.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

I don't believe that killing religion would be good for mankind in and of itself, but it seems reasonable to suggest that mankind would benefit from the understanding of why religion and god are not even necessary in the first place.

So, in a sense, if everyone applied a bit more reason and logic in beneficial way, I think that everyone here would agree that society would inevitably lean towards atheism.
Well said!

Destruction breeds destruction, education encourages advancement. If we exist only to destroy that which stands against us, we will only leave ourselves open to another movement which will seek to destroy us.
A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge

I will not claim to have a definite answer here, but the words of Dr Sagan are logical. As are Tarquin's. I Believe the evolution of society requires the eventual downfall of religion as we know it today.
But as Tarquin implied ( I think) it will be replaced with something else. Humankind seems to require it.
I suppose I was too harsh and not clear when I said "death of religion." I do indeed love and find great value in myths of old. But what I meant was the death of religion as a literal, I-have-an-imaginary-friend-in-the-sky-who-will-smite-you construct.

As it has been said by so many in so many ways, as long as there is one true god, there will be killing in his name.
How we do it is the independent streak running through the human race. We basically play the "I'm strong enough that I don't need your flotation device called 'God' to keep me from drowning in sorrows 'cause I'm just strong and independent like that. That's how I roll." card.

..."I'm standing on the firm ground here. You... You're sinking. I find your floatie toy cumbersome and unnecessary, as I am in no danger of drowning this far from the water's edge." said the Atheist Evangelist to a Theist.
So it seems that instead of making fun of theists for not being able to "swim" through the storms of being human in an indifferent universe, we should concentrate on building their social, emotional, psychological, and physical stamina. Would this be reasonable? It could be like a "self-help for the intellectually feeble and emotionally unstable".

How do you make sure you are always standing far enough away from the "water's edge"? Do "high waters" only engulf theists?
It could be like a "self-help for the intellectually feeble and emotionally unstable".

LOL! I would absolutely buy that book!
There's no need for the atheist to go around trying to "convert" their fellow citizens into embracing atheism. We atheists are on "defense" whereas the theists are forever on "offense". We have more than enough opportunities to engage others and express our views because the theists attack us and we not them. We do not want to be the "offensive" offenders!

Think of the most offensive Jesus people you've ever encountered and how distasteful you found them and their methods. Now think of an atheist wearing a Richard Dawkins Scarlet "A" Tee-shirt doing just about the same dang thing. Not a pretty picture, is it?

We have enough opportunities to convey the atheist world-view in our debates with the evangelizing Jesus people naturally. Let us not be the ones who people find so offensive because of our going on offense. Let the curious come to us.
Think of the most offensive Jesus people you've ever encountered and how distasteful you found them and their methods. Now think of an atheist wearing a Richard Dawkins Scarlet "A" Tee-shirt doing just about the same dang thing. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Kinda/sorta my point.

As has been discussed here, on the one hand so many theists believe what they believe largely because truths about their religion have been censored from them. Just as most of us here are quite grateful that someone showed us the light, should we not also be helping others out of the cult?

But at the same time, we don't want to become the Atheist Evangelist.

A fuzzy line to be sure.
Just as most of us here are quite grateful that someone showed us the light, should we not also be helping others out of the cult?

I could be wrong but I think that most of us probably staggered into atheism without any live assistance.
I did for sure...It was things people said to me,or I heard them say to me ...Also the simple act of going to church and having to listen to the same cold bs year after year that really turned me away from the dark side.
I think we would be better without religion,look at secular countries like Sweden. They do quite well for themselves.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service