An atheist conundrum

Should atheists launch an all out offensive against religion?  I have two views of the matter.

Does the biggest Bible-thumping, anti-atheist, anti-gay, anti-evolution bigot have the right to believe as they do?  Yes.  That is one of my deepest beliefs, that nobody has the right to tell you what to think or believe.  I have my beliefs, you have yours, and we should just get along.  I am comforted with the knowledge that history is on my side.  The God of Bill O’Reilly will eventually go the way of Odin, Zeus, and Ra.  Since 99.9999% of all cults and religions throughout history have failed, it’s a safe bet that the current ones will share the same fate.

On the other hand.  Do you theists have any idea how aggravating it is to walk amongst adults who still believe in something akin to the Tooth Fairy?  And forced to be all smiles and go, “Oh, you have an imaginary friend, how sweet.” Perhaps we should take a stand; come out into the light and state publicly, “There is no god,” and to hell – as they say – with those who are offended.

How do we choose our path?  Personally, I’ve always gone for the slow, Option A.  I’ve never been big on the frontal assault on someone’s beliefs.  I’ve seen myself more as someone who pops in from an unsuspected direction, asks an unusual question, then leaves.  I don’t want to guide them from how they think to the way I think.  I want to leave something that hopefully takes root and changes their life.  I don’t want to tell people what to think, I just want them to think.

Lately, however, Option B’s War of Liberation has been calling to me.  Humanity has but two options – Evolution or Extinction.  While I don’t think religion will lead us directly to extinction, it could be a major contributing factor.  If Humanity survives the next few centuries, then I am sure that Option A will eventually win out.  But that will mean risking Humanity’s survival as well as allowing generations of adults to believe in the Tooth Fairy.

I believe it is my nature to stay with Option A.  But I will dream of Option B.

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3 Responses to “An atheist conundrum”

  1. I am comforted with the knowledge that history is on my side.

    Are you sure about that? Out of app. 6 billion people on earth today, 1.9 billion are Christian, 1.7 billion are Muslim. Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world. These numbers aren’t from the Southern Baptist Convention, this is the world history textbook read by high school sophmores, with no particular agenda or bias. As long as there have been people, there has been religious belief. Christmas and Easter must be hard for you. I know that every Easter, Time and Newsweek magazine come out with new articles about how faith and God are dead. But next year they’ll publish the same articles, proving once again that last year they were wrong. Jesus walked on the earth about 2,000 years ago, and yet 1/3 of earth’s population today still claim he is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Even if they’re wrong, I don’t think faith is going to wither and die like you suggest.

  2. I’m not speaking in terms of years or decades, but centuries and millennia. Of the 6 billion people on Earth, how many believe in Zeus? Yet if you were to go back several thousand years and told his followers that people would no longer believe in him, they would think you mad.

  3. For those who believe and have faith, I think their practice should be private. Why should their religious beliefs be national holidays? My office recognizes 7 holidays. Christmas is one of them. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not. What is wrong with that picture? I have not problem with people not being at work to celebrate their religious beliefs. I just don’t think they should receive special treatment. There are many other religious holidays that aren’t recognized. Muslims don’t get holiday pay for Ramadan or any of their religious holidays. Jewish individuals don’t get holiday pay or days off for Hanukkah. Why should the Christians be treated as though they are special with holiday pay and time off work set aside specifically for them? I really don’t think that’s right. If we want to have National holidays then they should recognize those who have furthered the country. MLK, Thomas Jefferson, or some other great man in history. Everyone should get off of work for Veteran’s Day not Christmas.

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