In another thread in "Origins" Adriana Heguy wrote: "What has changed since 1976 is that the ignorant creationists, intelligent designers or whatever they chose to call themselves, have made more of a push than ever before, and we run the risk of creating a generation of kids even more ignorant of science and the scientific method, a generation of kids for whom critical thinking has been substituted by indoctrination and pseudoscience. The stakes are high. No wonder Dawkins is getting more vocal. We must get our message across or we will be failing the new generations and we will fall into obscurantism once again. The best ally the creationists have is religion. This is their weapon of choice to blunt the senses and the mind. This is why we must combat religion and other supernatural nonsense."

In short, seeing that Adriana Heguy is right in highlighting the grim situation that we may be in danger of partly losing the present struggle against the "ignorant creationists", we need to take the fight to them more pro-actively.
Darwin began so well.
150 years later and a billion supporting scientific experiments later, we have all the evidence, but are we not surrendering some of our solid ground by default through not attacking creationism and supernatural nonsense with better-directed arrows and arguments?

Seeing that over the centuries, ignorant religionists have sneered at us at best and slaughtered us at worst, we should raise the stakes by publicly ridiculing and mocking them for their superstitions and dishonest use of, and premeditated avoidance of, good science.

This is their Achilles heel.
Can we suggest that disdain, derision and scorn is the answer?
This could be our weapon of choice.

After all, their attempts at faking up stories or studies that satisfy themselves and their gullible followers stand and quiver on the quaking quicksands of unintelligence.
Their fraudulent reinterpretations of good science hurt us unfairly. Their stance is nothing better than unintelligent illogical trash.

How best to act?
At every opportunity one could pour scorn on silly superstitions, at the same time emphasing the solid scientific evidence for what it is. Religion is laughable and should be laughed at. We have been quiet and polite for too long.

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm not so sure about this, actually - although I do find it appealing. People don't like to be scorned or disdained, and that stance is unlikely to change many minds. The major problem with our side in Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos was pretty much exactly that unwillingness to engage with the other side. Isn't ignorance better addressed with firm politeness?
Firm politeness is what we have been doing for decades. It does not seem to have got us far.

This is why I'd like to see a different approach tried.
After all, what we are putting forward is actually the truth, with the purpose of combatting lies and distortions.
I understand that, but I would question whether outright rudeness will get us any further. It doesn't seem likely to win hearts and minds.
And not only in the US, either. But I would still resist stooping to scorn and disdain. Humour is another thing.
Scornful mockery of their ideas and their bass-ackwards use of reasoning and rational inquiry are my favorite tools o' the trade when dealing with them. I avoid personal attacks (that's their bread-n-butter and I happily leave them to it), but make no pretense of accepting their views as valid or otherwise worthy of respect.
I’m with you Aaron; there is no reason to engage them with reasoned argument. Using reason will only serve to raise their crackpot ideas to the level of controversy. Humor is the only way out of an engagement with a crackpot (short of just walking away laughing).
However, this would be a very poor response with an armed and drunk opponent on 2nd Amendment issues.
They already have a "win 100 bucks" monthly contest on the Atheists in Action website.
Note that there's already been a Blasphemy Contest which not only drew some GREAT entries but gave rise to a winning phrase which could also pass for a slogan:

Faith Is No Reason.

Personally, I LOVE that phrase [no, I'm NOT going to marry it!], and I think it makes a great base-point to rally around and to confront the theists.

Or you can fight nonsense with nonsense and use this other slogan: Faith is a Four-letter Word.
Clever. Very appropriate.
A variation could be "Faith isn't reasoning".

This follows the idea of an election-winning slogan invented by the advertising company Saatchi and Saatchi a couple of decades ago and used by the Conservatives against the Labour party: "Labour isn't working".
There was much unemployment, and the ad's picture showed a long trail of people signing up for the dole.

What ad picture could we conjure up?

I'm beginning think "london bus slogans".




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