Re: [bostonatheists] Chris Stedman to talk tomorrow at 7:00 in Concord

From: Mike H.
Sent on: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:21 PM
While I do agree that religion has many problems as related to civilization, I do think we need to be able to say what we would replace it with in terms of a spiritual/moral/reasoning compass. While we have pieces of that in place, the pieces need to be turned into coherent programs and proposal. That is hard, since many of us don't feel we need such programs (and we do have a bit of it in place).

Also, I believe we should be pointing the way to fixing our society and environmental problems rather than just alleviating them -- which is what most (feel-good) religion is content on doing. Don't just feed the poor, eliminate poverty. Don't just save a species, save the planet. I call them overarching issues.


From: John Lauritsen <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, May 8,[masked]:11 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] Chris Stedman to talk tomorrow at 7:00 in Concord

On 05/08/[masked]:03 PM, Zachary Bos wrote:
>> Have you read Chris's book, John? Or  else whereof is your knowledge of his work? I happen to be familiar with PZ's criticism's of the HCH crowd, and find of them depends on misconstrual.

Yes, I have read it, and have mixed feelings.  I also know Chris and
Greg, and appreciate their positive efforts while disagreeing with
their criticisms of "toxic atheism" or "atheist fundamentalists".

> It's a big tent movement, secularism... room enough for all sorts of

projects and priorities. What helps most is that we show good will

(without ceding the right to constructive criticism) to the people who

share our most basic goal. That goal, for most nonbelievers I know, is

not the eradication of religion, but a change in the culture such that

atheism is no longer politically and socially devalued.

Yes and no.  I believe that *humanism* should be a big tent, in
which *anti-religious* atheists are included.  With regard to
"our most basic goal" or ultimate goal, as it were, I would
like to see a rational world -- one without superstition
of any kind.  I agree with Bertrand Russell:

    My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard
    it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold
    misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that
    it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped
    in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian
    priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time
    they became able to predict them. These two services I am
    prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.

John Lauritsen

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