Monday, March 26, 2012

We need to work harder

I'm really enjoying all the media coverage that atheism is getting in the wake of the Reason Rally. One thing that has jumped out at me is the old debate about whether or not atheists should proselytize. How aggressive should we be? It turns out it's not just me who is put off by Dawkins and Hitchens (of blessed memory) and the more aggressive sorts.

I guess to me, that's part of Humanism. If I'm in favor of human dignity, how does telling someone they're stupid for believing in God increase that person's dignity, or mine? There are so many reasons that people are religious, and most of them are helpful--community, tradition, family, charity, philosophy, etc.

It also has to do with why we need a Humanist religion. If we make something that's attractive and vibrant and satisfying, then it will grow on its own. And we can do that. It's just a matter of time and effort.

I just got a copy of Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton. I'm looking forward to seeing what he has to say about the importance of ritual in our lives.

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