Salon magazine recently published this piece “15 Ways Atheists can Stand Up for Rationality” by Jeffrey Tayler.
Jeff brings up the most excellent but often overlooked point that children are born non-believers. “All of us, without exception, are born knowing nothing of God or gods…”
As a Developmental Psychologist I might add children don’t suddenly spout out Osiris, Thor, Zeus or Jesus along with momma, juice, kitty when their first words appear. Mr. Tayler goes on to say it requires instruction, nay indoctrination, to get a child to acquire the idea of god(s). Jeff goes on to suggest us non-believers should be more “out” and even “up front” with our rational skepticism and rejection of indoctrinated religious beliefs. He provides 15 ways we can respond to typical religious retorts, claims and situations. Right on Jeff, we can all be more strident!
One of my favorites is his #4 that religionists love to throw at us:
“If you’re an atheist, life has no purpose.”
Ya gotta love that one, dontcha? Loving your spouse, children, family, accomplishing some of your life’s dreams, getting laid regularly and with great vigor, helping your fellow man, making your little corner of the world a better place, being a good neighbor and citizen, getting laid… as if these things weren’t enough. No, one needs to glorify some ethereal entity with abject toadying and strive to follow all his rules for purity to wind up in some imaginary mystical realm for eternity, to do what? Without this life has no meaning?
Jeff suggests we counter with reminding our religious friends that “solving the world’s problem’s through rational discourse” is a plenty worthy enough goal to make this life filled with purpose. I personally would have added getting laid on a regular basis makes life worth living as well for many of us at different times in our lives, but hey that’s just me.
Jeff’s other 14 suggestions for asserting our rationality is well worth the read. It was refreshing for me and some real conceptual validation to hear someone else calling for more stridency on the part of us non-believers. Hell, yeah! It is time we challenge the religious nonsense that is taken as the unquestioned norm in our culture, and on a daily basis!
Information Kills Religion™
We can win…