November 6, 2017

What Are You Doing to Spread Reason Today?

What are you doing to spread reason today?

I was just outside mowing the yard and dripping with sweat while cursing the many things I hate about Mississippi's weather. A thought occurred to me out of nowhere:
What will you do to spread reason today?
Many atheists complain about the lack of reason, skepticism, critical thinking, and/or civility in our discourse. Many of us insist that the world would be a better place if more people understood freethought and made a commitment to work toward it. And of course, many people (not just atheists) say they consider tribalism and polarization to be destructive forces we would do well to overcome.

These are problems none of us can fix quickly, easily, or all by ourselves. But that does not mean that there is nothing we can do or that individual efforts cannot help. Taking a critical look at our own behavior is a great place to start. So we should probably ask at least two questions of ourselves on a daily basis:
  1. What am I going to do today to promote reason, skepticism, critical thinking, civility, and/or freethought?
  2. How am I currently contributing to tribalism and polarization, and what will I do to change this today?
I'm hoping to spread a little reason today by writing this post. I think that one of the ways I contribute to tribalism and polarization is by amplifying some of the more tribalistic voices that seem to push division over civil discourse through sharing their content on social media. I will change this by sharing this content less often while making more of an effort to amplify reasonable voices that are more consistent with freethought.