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

From: John L.
Sent on: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:11 PM
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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