Hello .. um.. not sure what your name is so I’ll say, Hello There, if you don’t mind being called There!
Found your site from NoBeliefs.com. I have been an atheist for quite some time but lately I have affirmed that position with some reading. Sam Harris got me started last year and now I’m going through some of Dawkins books. The more I read the more I say to myself ‘Duh’.
What really concerns me There, is that religion has such a strangle hold on societies of the world. In the US you see how poorly religion is impacting everyday life to the point that leaders, political, religious and most importantly TV personalities, say the most insane things that get accepted by the masses. It seems that religion can be used to justify any thoughts you have.
Anyway There, what is your view on the future of atheism? How There, do you think atheists can form a competent leadership role in teaching and ultimately having a society led by atheists?
So There, there you have it.
P.S. I’ve had fun with your name albeit one I gave you!
You are right that some kinds of religious thinking can be used to justify almost anything. In fact, I’ll go aread and say that pretty much any system that requires you to stick to a party line instead of making decisions for yourself can be abused in this way (Soviet Communism, for example).
You ask a very good question about what I think the future of atheism is and whether atheists can become leaders in the U.S. I tend to think that, as science progresses, there will be more atheists. I also know that this is a biased opinion and may very well be wrong. Many people find comfort in faith, and it may not be possible for humanity to become completely atheistc.
So far aswhether atheists can be leaders in the U.S. — I’m going to give you an answer that is going to sound rude even though I don’t intend it to be: I don’t care. I don’t care if the country’s leaders and teachers are atheists. I don’t care if every President for the rest of my life is a white Protestant male (although a change would certainly be welcome). What I do care about is whether the people in charge, and the peole that are educating our children, are honest, intelligent, rational individuals who can separate their religions beliefs from their reasoning abilities.
I have no confidence that having atheists in power would make the world a better place — I’ve seen too many bad atheists. Sure, I would love for there to be a great President who was also an atheist, but I’d love it because it would do good things for the image of atheists in the public eye, not because I think that atheism would necessarily make a leader more rational.
I hope that answers your question. (And I don’t mind being called “There” — it’s better than what some of my other correspondents have called me