Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blogging is one of many steps we need to take to spread atheism

Two more months and a week or so until I make a 16-hour long drive with my stuff, which my folks are looking after right now while I'm visiting them this summer, back to Madison. I'm visiting my folks right now, and it is nothing short of a pain in the ass (mostly because of where they live).

It occurs to me that much of my sentiments about atheism and about the stupidity of religion have been expressed elsewhere. I am not sure that repeating the same true things - which are true; at the same time, repeating them does not contribute much to the conversation or the movement - will make much of an impact in helping us atheists to at least be recognized as a group which deserves as much equality as anyone else and helping people to realize that religious conservatives are killing the world. In the end, it will be about writing letters to Congressmen, staging protests, educating people, and donating money to those who will help us.

Blogging certainly helps, but we cannot keep saying the same things - we have to keep explaining them further and make sure people are aware of where we have said these things, and we have to show by our actions that we are a group that needs to be listened to.

Ultimately, we will make religion meet its demise if we do it in a way that destroys it by bringing people to atheism. Religion was originally designed as a way to fill gaps in the human knowledge of the day before we figured out the scientific method - and it is important to make the point to people that atheism is a characteristic of we educated and we knowledgeable masses and has been for millennia. We are atheist because we know better. I am an atheist because I see no evidence for any deities; any evidence anyone has posited has incontrovertibly and always eventually been shown to be explained by purely scientific processes. Atheism is logical.

Karl Marx was astute when he said:

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Let me explain the quote: Marx makes the inference, quite correctly, that the vast majority of people - the unwashed, idiotic, poor, resourceless, uneducated masses - do not have the ability to understand and/or access the resources we have. What are they to assume, until they learn what a thunderstorm really is, what a thunderstorm is? Do they think it is the physically-manifested anger of, perhaps, an entity swinging a big invisible hammer or an angry sky god, which we know is nonexistent and completely impossible, but which they think is real? The part where he says 'Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification' is an indication of the times which he lived in, a time where, quite frankly, many people were idiotic and/or uneducated.

Establishing rationality, reason, and ultimately atheism in society may be dependent on establishing an environment where every single person on the earth has access to all information and lives under a government where they are free, justly-protected citizens with all the rights and responsibilities inherent therein and has both an adequate support system to support them when they fall and the discipline to pull themselves up and get to wherever they want to be in society.

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