Militant Atheism is Not Angry Atheism

I am a militant atheist. I will, when invited, tell you why atheism is correct and I will publicly and strenuously promote this view. Many of my opinions on the nature of religion will not rest easily on the ears of the faithful. This doesn't mean that I think religious folks are stupid or ignorant. In fact quite the opposite, as some of the most intelligent, thoughtful and awesome people in my life are very religious (you know who you are). It means I would like you to understand the world the way I do, because I believe it to be the truth. This, fundamentally is the same position that most self-identifying faithful folks are in. Anyone with a shred of conviction in their beliefs must be making an assumption of truth.

It is not possible for everyone to be correct.

The important questions that scientific or the theological minds must ask themselves is when is it important to express your beliefs, what tolerance should you show for other's beliefs and how can you disagree so fundamentally with potentially no hope in reaching an agreement?

Your beliefs are not entitled to special protection. While we enjoy the right to hold and practice our religions or not-religions in much of the world, when you share your beliefs you invite the debate and challenge of those beliefs based upon the same freedoms that allow you to hold them. If your convictions are not sufficiently solid to weather this disagreement there is no sacred defence which you may invoke - the only defence of your beliefs is your own steadfast understanding and expression of them. It is your right to hold those beliefs that we should be united in standing for, even as we would work to persuade each other of one faith, another, or none at all.

To demean or belittle each other should be beneath us all. Persuasion and education are the tools of enlightenment and understanding; neither law nor bullying is the appropriate mode of preserving what we hold to be true. "I believe you are wrong" must not be an inflammatory position when matters of faith are necessarily irreconcilable in this context. We simply don't have the time and energy to waste on such fruitless resentment.

We have to learn to be OK with being wrong in the eyes of others, and remember that ultimately these beliefs hold us accountable primarily to ourselves.

Nerd Tribalism

Writing Tips