What The Fuck Are Atheist Doing?

So it seems to me that exposure of atheists and atheist issues has been on the rise in the last few years. I think this is a wonderful accomplishment and to be taken very seriously.

There are recent books which have been New York Times best sellers like The God Delusion, Breaking the Spell, The End of Faith, God is not Great, Infidel and others. We have a wonderful recent movie from Bill Maher; Religulous.

If you are into new media like I am it is impossible to keep track of all the freethought podcasts out there. Blogs are even more ubiquitous. We are getting our message out there.

In Canada and England we are boldly beginning to advertise on the sides of buses. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has advertised on billboards here, in the U.S.

Skepticism is thriving on new media. I follow several websites.

Science enthusiasm is rife with wonderful products, has anyone watched Nova lately?
There is great stuff online like Edge.org and Vega science trust, and I also enjoy the science channel, animal planet, and National Geographic on cable.

So what are we doing?

We have resources?

We are producing?

What are we doing?

What is our objective?

Do we just want to get rid of religion?

Is there nothing else that is a common goal to the sentiments of those who oppose religion?

Is there a common thread for the goals of skeptics, atheists, and science enthusiasts?

Is there a deeper sense of shared common values?

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Comment by River Otter on March 23, 2009 at 8:09pm
I fight for the following.

Seperation of Church and State.
Keeping religion out of our schools.
Getting the "in the closets" out
Reaching out to the fence sitters.
Changing attitudes about Atheists.
Changing the tax exempt status of the church.
Fighting bigotry and ignorance

Not on my priority list but important non-the-less.

Getting god off our US currency
Getting the Bible out of our court rooms
Bringing the Pledge back to it's orginal state.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on March 23, 2009 at 6:20pm
I can imagine the outcry if Number 6 were ever attempted. There would be an awful lot of holes.
Comment by Marcus Harman on March 23, 2009 at 6:00pm
I think many atheists are truth seekers. Most atheists I have met are gentle, reasonable and kind. We cry out in indignation at the oppressive behaviour of the church against many sections of our communities. I don't just mean Gay and Lesbian Humans. What about the thousands of women in the dark ages killed as witches? What about the slaughter of the Cathars by the Spanish inquisition? What about the institutionalised blindness of the Church in Europe in the period 1933-45 while Jews were systematically denied freedoms, rounded up, segregated and murdered - again? What about the Vatican's tacit acceptance of the Facists in Italy and promise not to stand candidates against Mussolini? What about the buggeration of young boys by clergy and the Catholic church's intervention to protect pederast priests? What about Pope Benedict's continuing edict banning the use of contraceptives condemning millions in Africa to continued poverty, starvation and death? These are just a nano selection of the heinous crimes against humanity perpetrated by but one religious sect. I therefore call into question the universal right of worship.

The truth is, we are all linked. Religion serves only to set us apart from each other, to keep the "bloodlines" pure and to "enshrine" cultural systems that were devised when the quickest way around the planet was under a sail. Most of all, religion serves to keep the religious organisations rich beyond measure. Religion dampens the mind and makes it dull because it renders it's sufferers incapable of rational thought and actually causes the sufferer to reject rational truth on the grounds of religious incompatibility. ( been there, eaten that snake).

Mindcore is right to ask the questions he does, and I second what he says.

I suggest that a starting point would be something like:

1. complete separation of religion and state
2. complete separation of religion from education ( Children can pray in church / mosque / synagogue / temple etc, but not school)
3. removal of the requirement in the UK to commit a daily act of worship in school
4. removal of charitable status for religious organisations ( they are all fabulously wealthy and they should be taxed just like any other business)
5. dissolution of all "faith" schools
6. Religious reform, requiring removal of clauses promoting murder, rape, slavery, war, persecution and other such crimes against the person from scripture
7. World wide and cross cultural population control (via contraceptives)
8. Establishment of a World Council
9. Re prioritisation of funds towards manned spaceflight
10. Explore space
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on March 23, 2009 at 12:38pm
I don't think that getting rid of religion is necessarily a good thing. Everyone has the right to hold ridiculous beliefs.

What I want to do is remove the power which religions currently have so that they are prevented from harming others in the name of doing good and damaging the environment and the planet so that the future of humanity is bleak and its demise is hastened. I want to see the closure of schools which pervert general education in line with the teachings of a particular religion or ideology and fetter and constrain the minds of the young so that they have little or no defense against marketing and indoctrination.
Comment by Mindcore on March 23, 2009 at 5:28am
I agree Mark.

But humor me, why promote critical thinking and evidence based rationality?
I think thats the discussion we need to have.

I feel strongly about this because I want people to use critical thinking and evidence based rationality in shaping the world we live in. I want people to vote smarter, shop smarter, and make smarter civic decisions all around.

I believe people who live thoughtless lives are harmful to themselves and others.
Comment by Mark Stanbrook on March 23, 2009 at 5:21am
I think the shared value is that of Critical Thinking, of evidence based rationality. And the goal is to promote that in all areas. Getting rid of religion would merely be a result of the success of that!



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