Stand Up and Be Counted

Monday, 30/03/2009 ≅15:44 ©brainycat

pharyngula said it perfectly:

This is one of the reasons we godless need to be militant in expressing our ideas: there are children out there right now who have the potential for genius, but their talents are being shunted into the futile wasteland of religiosity. Yes, there are a lot of atheists in the topmost ranks of successful scientists, but it's not because they are intrinsically smarter than someone who believes in gods — it's because they more easily embrace the mode of thinking that is most productive and successful in scientific fields, and are less burdened with absurd presuppositions. Let's stop handicapping our kids.

[Insert diatribe wherein I explain the preposterousness of being "shrill", simply because I have a view of the world contrary to the culture I'm surround by].

Speaking out as an atheist is important. Even more important, is bringing perspective and scientific rigor to our words and actions. While nothing any of says will create thinkers out of dedicated dogmatists, what we can do is explain in everyday language the concepts and processes that shape our world. We must discuss the issues of the day with facts and intellectual rigor to interject a rational worldview into the swill that [the media establishment] has filled our neighbors and coworkers with.

I don't engage religious people on religious terms, but there's more than enough room to engage them on facts. The best way I've found for creating space for open inquiry in dogmatic persons is to present irrefutable evidence that is outside their comfort zone, but not too far. Additionally, when they talk about "those people" I interject anecdotes from my extensive experience with "those people". Again, I don't expect to create an open minded person, but my goal is to make sure that the realities they unwaveringly subscribe to do not hold up for everyone around them.

Be Provoking: