David Silverman – Fighting God & Firebrand Atheism

I love David Silverman. Why? Because he has the brass cojones to call a spade a spade, he doesn't soften his approach and he doesn't back down.  Recently, in Zurich, Switzerland, David gave a talk on firebrand atheism which relates to his new book, Fighting God.  In it, he talks about the fact that we as atheists need to be BOLD, we need to stop using euphemisms and talking around the subject and confront the issues of theism versus atheism head-on.  We need to grasp and own the facts, know that we have them and THEY DON'T.  This doesn't mean being a dick or being abusive, but owning the facts and using them to our advantage.

This is the message that has to get through to atheists in the US right now. We owe it to ourselves to be loud and proud about our atheism, so that people know that There Is NOTHING Wrong With Atheism ... because there isn't, yet there is PLENTY wrong with religion.

Break it down, David!

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Well, Loren, what else can I say? David Silverman hits the problem right on the head the entire way with this, and I'm going to have to make a CD of his speech here and pass out copies. I don't know how the subject matter could be put more plainly.

That is precisely why I posted this, Michael.  We as atheists need to quit pussy-footing around the subject.  We need to be proud of who we are, bold in our expressions and unambiguous in how we identify ourselves.  This is part of creating a united front of atheism which cannot be dismissed or denied, and becomes a true force to be reckoned with.

We. Are. Atheists.

David and others have been giving me the courage of my convictions lately too. Here’s my story….Last week I needed to buy a money order for $277.00. They sell them at the customer service desk in my local grocery store and they charge $0.59 for them. It was pretty busy in there that day and there was only one young man working the customer service counter. I waited in line and when it was finally my turn, I told him what I needed and gave him $300.60. Meanwhile, other employees milled in and out of that area with questions for him, the phone rang, and the line behind me got longer. While on the phone, he took my money and started creating the money order. Then he started counting out my change….$82.71. I stopped him when he had counted out over sixty dollars and showed him his mistake, he had entered $360.00 instead of $300.60. He thanked me profusely for being honest. I think I said something like “well, you are pretty busy, I can see how it could happen”. He began to do whatever it is you have to do to reverse the transaction and do it correctly. He told me a second time how much he appreciated me being honest. I remember I said I wouldn’t have wanted it to come out of his paycheck or anything. The line behind me was even longer now. Actually more like a clump than a line. As he handed me the correct change he thanked me a THIRD time for being honest. I decided to go for it. I said “Oh, you’re welcome” and, looking first at him and then the crowd behind me, I smiled my friendliest smile and added “and I’d like to say nice and loud that I am an atheist. Bye bye!”

Carolyn, You go, girl! Here's a hi-five. 

It's fun to live openly, proud, and strong. 

Ditto from me!

Carolyn, you wonderful sneak!  OUTSTANDING!

Way to go, Carolyn!!

It might have been some of those people's first exposure to the idea that morality comes not from some hypothetical invisible being, but as Joan summed it up so well:

morals and ethics come from being born a social animal.

Way to go, Carolyn. It's time people understood that our morality comes from the societal structure that we live in and not from an imaginary god. Yes, a Hindu can be as moral as you. How would that happen if it was all about the biblical god?

Good for you Carolyn.

Loren, I so agree with you and Silverman I can't put it any better than your statement, 

"This is the message that has to get through to atheists in the US right now. We owe it to ourselves to be loud and proud about our atheism, so that people know that There Is NOTHING Wrong With Atheism ... because there isn't, yet there is PLENTY wrong with religion."

We don't have o be mean or brutal or petty. All we have to do is state the facts. If others feel assaulted or brutalized or demeaned, it is their own history hitting them where it hurts! 

Postscript:

There is another version of Silverman's speech which included a Q&A session.  In that session, the issue of anti-theism came up.  David suggested that, even though firebrand atheism IS anti-theism, we should not identify as anti-theists.  Reason being: anti-theism may be misconstrued as being against THEISTS when we want to identify as being against THEISM, the institution and not the people.

I thought this was an important point and worthy of mention here ... so I did!

Thanks!

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