January 12, 2012

The Danger of Freethought

governments fear thinking individuals

Atheists are commonly viewed as potential threats by religious individuals. This is often justified by their concerns about our morality, as many doubt that we can be good without their preferred god(s). I think it is also fair to speculate that we may be viewed in this manner because our presence reminds religious believers that the might be wrong. However, I've been wondering lately about whether an even more important reason for perceiving us as a threat might be our tendency to question the status quo, particularly the religious privilege that is a central part of it.

As the quote above suggests, freethinkers may be dangerous to those who seek to maintain the status quo. I certainly think this applies to government. Why do we have only two political parties, and why do both of them seem to be determined to keep implementing failed policies? Why are we willing to trade so many of what used to be regarded as basic civil rights away for the illusion of safety? Why do we tolerate a corporate-owned media that rarely confronts politicians with even the most blatant lies?

Besides the perceived danger to government, religious beliefs and institutions are also relevant. We examine the many absurd things religions ask their adherents to believe, seeking evidence and finding none. We raise questions about the societal benefits of antiquated religious institutions and point out the disparities between what some religions have evolved into and the scriptures they still try to claim.

I can see why we may be seen as something of a threat by those desperately trying to hold onto power, whether it is governmental power or religious power.

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