Very interesting project, you are undertaking. Do you think the nontheism group is going to end up taking sides at some point? My guess is that the only response from them will be in the vote. Any move you take using old data is going to be perceived as backing old communist ideas. I can not give you any help in what you are asking for because I have no knowledge or research on what you are looking for.
Some ex-communists, or marxists are stressing their version of atheism, and i might have a lot of trouble to differ from them. Best way how to do it is “Celestial North Korea”, as some of politicians actually show neutral or adorable views of that ghastly regime. Also my view is to “live and let live”. As Hitchens did, I really enjoy beauty of the churches, i see them as a cultural treasure.
I am assuming you are dealing with the Eastern Orthodox church. Bartholomew’s book the “Encountering the Mystery” was said to be designed to appeal to the secular progressives. Never read it, but it may be worth checking out.
People from Czech, Slovak republic, Poland and Hungary recognize themselves to be in “Central Europe”, and its mainly for historical and cultural reasons. Historical are that those countries were part either of Germany, or Austro-Hungarian empire, we share culture, cuisine and even religion is being common. You would find here many catholics, protestants, and some newer “semi christian” denominations. Very few Eastern orthodox. Eastern Orthodox church begins to have influence more to the east - with Ukraine, while Serbia and Greece are the exception to the rule for historical reasons (Byzantian empire).
If you see catholics and protestants (Augsburg denomination), along with sausages and sauerkraut, you are most likely in Central Europe :)
But to my point… catholics and protestants. Some of them cautious about modern times, some of them sticking to ideas which modern society considers medieval. I would accept ideas which are against abortion, but they came up with conspiracy theories that EU is about to destroy “traditional family”, by teaching “Gender Ideology”. “Gender Idelogy” is a strawman created by mr. Anton Chromik and MUDr Eva Grey and Dr Rakús. In short its an appeal against broadening of rights of sexual minorities. (They cannot strip them of their current rights, but they dont want to grant them new).
And as I mentioned earlier, often i found myself in conflict with local christian politicians who accuse either metal bands, music festivals or even carnivals of spreading satanism. I had really good run last year, when band Arch Enemy (openly atheist band) was accused of satanism by dean of local christian college. He made his statement by analyzing lyrics. It was done in a manner that it could be recognized as a “defamation based on religion (satanism) or non-religion) against a group”, so when I wrote an open letter to the responsible politicians, they rather retracted their attempt to ban the festival.
Slovakia does not have any laws against religious sects of any kind, and religious freedom is ok. From time to time Christians tend to think that satanism, blasphemy are illegal, or attempt to victmize themselves on religious base.
Strictly, my point of view only. And coming from a background in business. If I had to choose a side to be on. It would be the winning side. And that would be your side. You got all the new data of a changing science going in your direction.
Belief and logic… I can barely discuss with people who believe they are winning in the afterlife. Their actions and recklesness have signs of a strange form of nihilism. “We dont care here and now, we care in the afterlife”.
I would stay away from the arguments approach. I know, that is the direction you want to go. Even if you win, at most you have is a movement. I would not worry about the metal festival or what the AZR is up to. Build your foundation first. For example, I am an Atheist. Really more of a nontheism. But I like the singing and social aspects of the small county faith based gatherings. I do not hide the fact that I am an Atheist. It is more of a generation thing at church. The only ones that seem even a little bit brother are people in my upper age group. The rest call me if I don’t show up and they want me there. Point being is that people want to understand me, and they ask me questions about being an atheist. And being an atheist is not being against religion. It is not believing in deities.
Well, people here dont ask, they might had an “atheist experience” of their own.
“Science was presented as absolute truth, however ideological goals were preferred over scientific or objective truth.” Sounds like you got what you need. Just get rid of the ideological goals. Stick to facts and science. We have in the last fifty years, more new found past knowledge that has been made public about religion than in the last thousand years. And in the last year new data has been coming out at a fantastic rate. For example, last week the timeline for migration out of Africa was changed from 50K to 220K years ago. That alone is a major change in science. Take the Hamitic Hypothesis for example, it doesn’t work very well in the 50K, but works fine in the 220K timeline. I would stick to and enforce the epistemology of the subject.
The experience which religious ppl had with “state driven atheism” wasnt positive at all. Now when they found out about Christopher Hitchens, and are already religious, they attempt simply to dismiss him as a leftist, or too aggresive.
Yes, Hitchens was aggresive, and i prefer more approach of Daniel Dennett in terms of making argument which is logical, but also strikes on emotional level. Thats actually where Hitchens succeeded, yet failed to some extent. When he was speaking about “Celestial North Korea” he got laughs, but what he expected was cold and silent audience which would understand that speaking of “Heaven” and literal Heaven, by people who are bound to support the idea are always biased, and always have more eartly motivations for making their statements. Dennett got laughs too, but at the times where he definitely expected them.
But none of those gentlemen actually has anything to do with the “marxist” atheism i described. Marx described “Heaven on Earth”, so there would be no place for man made religions. Ultimately it became as twisted as the idea of “Heaven in the sky” itself. I want to be clear that I speak about “Earth in Universe”