Atheism, a positive pillar - opinion in USAToday
Posted: 18 November 2008 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2422
Joined  2007-09-03

[ Atheism, a positive pillar by Tom Krattenmaker]

Another favorable discussion of atheism in mainstream press.

When it comes down to it, the positive atheists aren’t inventing something new so much as highlighting something that has long been true about atheists. Namely, that non-believers have always stood shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens doing the things Americans generally do: working hard, obeying the laws, helping the needy and doing what they can to improve their communities.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2008 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

Thanks for that, Jackson. An uncharacteristically reasonable article in the mainstream press about atheism. Looks like the Atheist Alliance is doing good work.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2008 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

I wonder what this tells us about the contrast between the “positive atheists” and the “assertive atheists” such as Mr. Dawkins or PZ Myers. I have always felt some discomfort with the confrontational styles used by the latter group. Indeed, I have a strong preference for the former strategy. Are the assertive atheists making matters worse? Or is some degree of assertiveness a salubrious part of the overall political mix?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 November 2008 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14

I don’t think the more reasonable atheists would have gotten nearly the exposure without the efforts of people like Dawkins, Harris and Myers. IMO both camps play essential roles, and talk to different audiences.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2008 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  402
Joined  2008-02-24

My problem with that article is that they akargely seem to be repackaging and re-presenting what we, as atheists, have done for ... well forever I suppose. IN that sense, although I see it as generally a good thing, it’s just a PR exercise.

For the record I don’t see the difference between Dawkins, Myers and whatever this positive atheism is ... I think they are all positive.

Kyu

 Signature 

Kekerusey

“Keye’ung lu nì‘aw tì‘eyng mìkìfkey lekye’ung”
(Insanity, the only answer in a world insane!)

Atheists’s Heaven *** “Science, Just Science” Campaign *** Geekanology UK

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 November 2008 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2422
Joined  2007-09-03
Kyuuketsuki UK - 19 November 2008 04:42 AM

My problem with that article is that they akargely seem to be repackaging and re-presenting what we, as atheists, have done for ... well forever I suppose. IN that sense, although I see it as generally a good thing, it’s just a PR exercise.

For the record I don’t see the difference between Dawkins, Myers and whatever this positive atheism is ... I think they are all positive.

Kyu

  I agree with you…

public perception of atheism is really important; if we want to persuade people to consider skepticism-agnosticism-atheism, an important part of the equation is to make it socially acceptable by showing that people ‘just like you’ are atheists.

In addition, if there is an intermediate goal to increase tolerance for atheists, articles like this support the notion that atheists are not a threat—articles like these counteract stereotyping elsewhere.

The relevance of USAToday is that it has enormous circulation.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 November 2008 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  908
Joined  2005-01-14

I enjoyed the article, too.  But if you need to be reminded how far we still have to go, take a look at the responses to the article in the Fri/Sat/Sun edition’s Letters to the Editor.  One guy started off by stating that he didn’t equate atheism with immorality, then spent the rest of his letter demonstrating that was exactly what he did believe!  Another couldn’t seem to grasp the concept that if morality was a human invention, then we also came up with all the positive virtues as well.  He seemed to think that mankind invented Evil, but that Good just kind of fell from the sky!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 November 2008 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2422
Joined  2007-09-03
advocatus - 24 November 2008 08:07 AM

I enjoyed the article, too.  But if you need to be reminded how far we still have to go, take a look at the responses to the article in the Fri/Sat/Sun edition’s Letters to the Editor.  One guy started off by stating that he didn’t equate atheism with immorality, then spent the rest of his letter demonstrating that was exactly what he did believe!  Another couldn’t seem to grasp the concept that if morality was a human invention, then we also came up with all the positive virtues as well.  He seemed to think that mankind invented Evil, but that Good just kind of fell from the sky!

[  Here is the WWW site on USAtoday.com….]

I agree the glass is less than 1/2 full….

Profile