March 7, 2010

Every Village Needs an Atheist

John Corvino, Ph.D., wrote an interesting post for 365gay.com titled "The Village Atheist." One part in particular got me thinking about atheism and the questions around if and how to promote it.
Frankly, there’s a part of me that feels a bit impolite even bringing up the subject [of nonbelief in gods]. I’m trying to get over that feeling, since I believe this nation could use a healthy dose of religious skepticism. A great deal of mischief gets licensed in the name of faith, giving people “infallible” backing for their prejudices.
Atheism for the good of society. I agree completely. We do need more religious skepticism in the U.S. It is not simply a matter of assisting others in the de-conversion process (although that is important to) but one of introducing skepticism toward religion into the public discourse.

As Dr. Corvino suggests, one of the most important things each of us can do to change the world for the better is to contribute honestly to the public discourse. We can "provide an example of a thoughtful, real-life openly atheist person to people who had never knowingly interacted with one." Like Dr. Corvino, we can stand for "truth, and courage, and integrity."

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