In the latest Scientific American, Michael Shermer warns fellow atheists “we should be cautious about irrational exuberance.”
We need to remember the following five rules:
- 1. Anti-something movements by themselves will fail.
- 2. Positive assertions are necessary.
- 3. Rational is as rational does.
- 4. The golden rule is symmetrical.
- 5. Promote freedom of belief and disbelief.
Shermer spends time talking about each of these separately. The most important thing for atheists to remember is this line, that comes via a very positive atheist:
As Carl Sagan cautioned in “The Burden of Skepticism,” a 1987 lecture, “You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don’t see things as clearly as you do. We have to guard carefully against it.”
Rational atheism values the truths of science and the power of reason, but the principle of freedom stands above both science and religion.
So to put this article in a nutshell: Don’t be a %&$# about atheism. Help others understand it. Be a model of what you want to see.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Scientific American, Michael Shermer, The golden rule, Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, religion[/tags]