Saturday, September 12, 2009

Atheism and politics

Atheism and politics

Is politics at the core of our cat herding dilemma? You bet it is. So let's take a look at it.

What are the chances that two atheists will agree in every way on how to solve a particular problem? That's what we're asking in ever case where an issue of law, of national policy or of any social concern is raised. And whenever more than two atheists become involved in answering a question (outside of whether we believe in the preposterous notion of gods existing) sides will be drawn and ideas will oppose each other.

But what does this have to do with atheism? Not a damn thing except that it currently functions to push us apart rather than draw us together.

If we shy away from ourselves, from our atheist selves and our groups, because we fail to reach a unified consensus over who is right (or right wing, if you will) and who is wrong (or left across the isle, out in the cold) on any given question, political or not, we will in essence be doing ourselves a disservice.

Fear of losing our individual atheism does not stand as reason enough to avoid debate and politics. Should we fear becoming divided out of our atheism, so much so, that we find ourselves tip-toeing around keeping silent about our views in order to preserve our atheist commonness and communities? Certainly not. Atheism isn't a fragile conviction (as gods are fragile)... No! Atheism is within the core of each of us; moreover, it is set in firmly by reason, so firmly, that it will withstand any assault (short of factual god supporting evidence) to divide it out of us. Our atheism makes sense to us far more than any senselessness we may attribute to an opposing political opinion on whatever issues of the day may be under question.

Atheism must see itself as tomorrow's society, politically and socially - a society built entirely of atheists - since, in fact, that's very possibly where mankind is headed. We must embrace the political issues in need of solutions and solve them by reason, through open discourse held in open atheist forums.

Rather than stepping back from discussions over the hottest political issues of the day, fearing that we'll risk our unity as atheists in the doing, we must instead come together because those divisions exists. Our discussions and our resulting consensus (once decided) for solving any given issue weighs in importantly. We are the voices of reason. We must step up to that responsibility.

My atheist conviction isn't weak from being founded by my gut, by mere feelings. It is derived from and seated in my brain. It's there by reason of reason and its there to stay.

I have no fear of being divided away from fellow atheists or from atheism by mere political differences of opinion. Politics will always be around just as atheism will. Both are part of reality. (We can't say that about everything, can we?) I welcome political discussion with atheists. Religionists, on the other hand, belching gut driven emotions in the places where sound reasoning ought to rule, won't find a mat at my door.

Atheists: I urge you to become involved politically, both at the level of broader society, nationally and locally, as well as at ground level within our own groups. And I'll go a step father... I urge you to change the name of your regular group meeting to "Forum" and to hold open forums regularly each weekend. It's time for atheists to become the community model for why people ought to gather in mass on Saturdays and Sunday mornings. Let's set a new stage of example and give the world a better reason for weekend assembly - one of purpose. Call it Forum.

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