Submitted By: Being Human
It is quite reasonable to ask why active atheists are often spending their time just opposing something. Atheists are not bringing any new ideology to replace the religions. They just claim that people can live a fuller and freer life without the reigns of religions.
Why am I spending my precious time writing these words? I could as well leave the whole business and just admit that some people think like me and others do not.
The issue is not so simple, however. This attitude is quite justified if religion is a private matter and it is not on offer every day in daycare, in preschool, school, boy scouts and even in communal care for the elderly as is the case here in Finland, which has a reputation as an extremely secular nation.
If also the important Rites of Passage, like birth of a new baby, marriage, funeral could easily be arranged without bringing religion to the game, there would not be a need to bring atheist thinking to the public eye.
If the often surprisingly conservative religions would not be threatening the basic rights of women and the sexual minorities or they would not be threatening the right of free expression in so many countries, there would not be any need for atheist activity.
As long as there are remnants of old religious attitudes inbuilt in the very foundations of our nowadays so extremely secular society, there would be no need for an active counterbalance.
There is a however now a need to remind people that religions are manmade ideologies and power structures that have goals of their own. There must be atheists to remind people that the real motivation for religious organizations are not always the common good, but the continuation of their own power and wellbeing of their very own organization.
The new wave of atheist thinking brought about by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett. Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray and many others is presenting a quite new and open challenge for the established religions, when the old atheism was more of a harmless club for those who had chosen atheism on their own.
Atheistic activism is however nothing more sinister than speaking and writing about the alternatives for religions.
Atheism is not forced upon helpless drunkards in shelters, it is not marketed with clubs for small children, it is not smuggled to the songs for boy scouts and it is not forced to people going through the greatest moments of joy and grief in their lives. People are not enrolled to be members of atheistic communities only a few months after their birth without asking their permission.
All these systems inbuilt in the framework of our society guarantee that the religious communities get their lions share of all the people in the society.
This automata will not go away before the basic structures of the society are modified so that do not support the spreading of these religious ideologies.
Atheist have a need to bring out their opinion, if they want others even to know that there really exists an alternative for a blind faith in old books.
Majority of atheists can well live with things being as they are now. Many are not even willing to argue with the nice ladies in the daycare-center why even their own children are not allowed to hear about the sweet child Jesus as is happening every day in daycare-centers here in Finland.
There are however a growing number of those who are really proud of their own decision to embrace a way of thinking that frees a human to mold his own view of the world freely without the ballast of old superstitions. These people are willing to speak out their minds to bring about a real change someday.
more at http://beinghuman.blogs.fi