American Atheists: harvesting the cosmos to battle god.

This pretty much sums up why American Atheists is about my favorite atheist organization.

In a bold move, the organization announced today the installation of the George Watley Solar Array on the roof of its headquarters in Cranford, NJ.  Not only will the solar array generate 100% of the electrical needs for the main office, it will also produce a surplus of energy. The additional electricity will be sold back to the localelectric company, generating revenue for the American Atheists Legal Fund.

President David Silverman stated, “As atheists, we understand that the responsibility to make positive change in our world lies within us, not in a supernatural force or deity. We take this step toward a better future with great pride.”

We can pray or we can recognize the reality of the world around us and, through our understanding of how the universe works, bend it to work in our favor.  This is why, for every problem we have ever solved, human intellect was our salvation, not Jesus.

Big kudos to American Atheists!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Adam

    “As atheists, we understand that the responsibility to make positive change in our world lies within us, not in a supernatural force or deity.”

    I’m so stealing this one.

  • baal

    It’s pretty amazing how much removal of supernatural thinking is a motivator. The difference between “do good things and think god loving thoughts leads to more love and god in the world so good things then happen” and “I see there is a problem and here’s my idea on how to solve that” is huge. It’s the difference between generic acts and specific ones or the difference between external agency and “shit! I need to be the one to do this”.

  • http://deep-friedfreethinkers.blogspot.com/ Nathan Piccolo

    Just Awesome!!

  • iknklast

    Another win for Dave Silverman. He clearly wants to be a moral leader in the world. I support that fully.

  • RuQu

    This is a great step, and leads to the obvious question, “What’s next?”

    If, as atheists, we acknowledge that we must be the instruments of change in the world, what do we need to do to improve it? So many of our efforts are aimed at fighting religion. How much of our effort is aimed at saying things like “Climate change is happening. We need to prepare.” or “Our current economic system is highly unjust and irrationally unsustainable. How can we order things differently?” Very little, I’d say, and we should probably ask if those priorities are in the right order.

    Is the change we want to see just the reduction in religious practice/presence in the public sphere, or is it a more rational and secularly oriented world?

    • TonyR

      @RuQu

      I think those are great questions to ask, and we certainly should be asking them. However, I think that the focus of the American Atheists movement (and all worldwide atheist organizations) should be to confront and rid ourselves of the superstitious drivel that is the cause of so much strife, inequality, hate, and regressive thinking. etc in the world. Let other groups (which you or I are also probably already members of) do the work in the areas of environmentalism, economic reform, etc. I am a champion of rationalism but I see too many distractions for progressive organizations which end up tripping them up so I would caution against encouraging it here. That is all. Thank you for standing with us.

      • RuQu

        My point is that it’s not enough to say “stop believing silly things.”

        You have to provide alternatives.

        “God does not exist. He can’t do anything to stop global warming. It’s up to us to switch to green energy sources.”

        “God can’t stop malaria from killing 655,000 people a year. $5 mosquito nets can.”

        “Praying won’t stop hurricanes and sea level rise from wiping out coastal cities. Increased survey and civil engineering funding and reform of federal flood insurance policy can.” (ie, only reimburse flood losses if they move outside of the sea level adjusted 100 year floodplain)

        It’s not enough to say that human reason trumps God every time. Believers are not rational. One anecdote is all they need. We need to step in every time God gets the credit, shine a light on which humans really deserve the credit, and highlight human solutions to problems that still need work.


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