I'll take the middle position.? Both are the best approach.
You need to aggressively attack religion.? Religion likes to presume itself off-limits to critique.? Take a look at any of Bill Donohue's rants and you'll see that his job is to be offended at anything that doesn't shed Catholicism in the best possible light.? The same holds true of Muslim leaders who will call Jihad on anybody who even makes a cartoon Mohammed.? Other examples abound.? Without a loud voice, religions will continue to keep their converts shielded from any alternative worldview.? And there is a lot to rant about.? Religion is causing increasing harm to society.
One of the best tools for this is humor.? Converts are tied to their religious beliefs by emotional hooks.? Humor breaks through those bonds, and opens their eyes to how others view them.? This often makes them rethink their beliefs and leaves them more open to reasoned arguments later.
On the other hand, you?also have to work with religion.? There are religious groups that hold some of?the same values we do as individuals.? For example, I happen to be liberal and I have worked with?a liberal Christian group.? The only issues where we differred were religious ones.??In other?aspects, we held the same views.? For example, that?Christian group was?staunchly for separation of church and state.??The church and state issue is an important one to most atheists, but it is not just an atheist issue.??The only way to truly have freedom of religion in this country is for the government to stay out of it.
We have to show religious people that there is a common ground on which we can work.??For example, when we talk about morality, we have to nudge them to think about why something?truly is good or bad, other than just "God said so".? In addition, it is useful for us to work alongside them in charity work.? It gives us a chance to show our "good side" as well as explaining our non-religious motivations for helping others.? They can relate those to their own reasons for doing so.
So, both approaches have their uses.? I wouldn't put either one of them above the other.
On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 1:23 PM, Kevin Grishkot <[address removed]>
OK, since I don't have much in the way of official business and updates, I thought I'd spice things up by having a debate among ourselves. ?The debate topic will be: ?Aggressive Atheism vs Passive Atheism, which is the better approach? ? So, I'll be taking the position endorsing aggression, who wants to be moderator and who wants to take the counter position?
?Skydivers don't knock on death's door; they ring the bell and run away... It really pisses him off.
The World Famous Tink. (I never heard of you either!!)
AA #2069 ASA#33 POPS# 8808EAC Chairman, Division of Skydiving and Sushi consumption.
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