Are we obliged to challenge religion as unbelievers?
Should unbelievers be actively challenging the religious and their ideas or should we take a more passive approach? Should unbelievers be working as hard as the religious, to promote knowledge over faith, reality over superstition?
I’ve been accused all too often of being too open and aggressive with my views on religion and it’s lack of validity. Often being accused of being ‘Just as bad as the evangelists’, pushing my ideas whenever I can.
This is my take on the issue…
It is our reasonability as unbelievers to point out the logical fallacies of religion whenever religion is presented or promoted. This should be done with the same vigor as the religious, to give young minds a chance to use all the information available in order to make informed choices. Simply leaving young minds unprotected from relentless religious brainwashing techniques that have been perfected over centuries is not an option, and quite frankly unforgivable.
Part of the problem, as I see it, is that rationality demands more brain activity than the irrationality of faith. Religion has a default ‘God did it, all you need is faith’ position that absolves us of our obligation to engage our brain and think. In fact the idea of surrendering your intellect in favor of faith is seen as a virtue - in my view a stupid idea.
‘Faith’ being the easy option, is easy to peddle, especially to the young. Once the belief system is entrenched, it takes a great deal of effort and mental anguish to break these belief systems and replace them with a system based on Knowledge and Logic. In my view it is better to compete with religion as early as primary school level (before indoctrination is successful) if not earlier.
This battle is basically an educational one. Kids need to be taught to be skeptical, to ask questions and to think for themselves. Our education system is far too ‘fact regurgitation’ orientated and not critical thinking & problem solving orientated, causing students to be vulnerable to accepting false ideas as true, simply because someone in authority said it was.
The idea that religion has special privileges and cannot be questioned is false and students need to be taught that surrendering their decision making to someone or something else is a very dangerous, bad idea.
It’s time to level the playing fields – presenting all sides of the argument at all times using all the information available to us, so that we can move forward to a sane, rational society, free from superstitious woo woo.