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Coran Stow
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This was a question I thought about as I headed to the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia recently. "Why do I care about this so much that I feel I need to speak up and risk alienating my Christian friends in doing so?" Australia is even a relatively safe place to be an out atheist, because we don't seem to take religion as seriously as some other places. I went to the GAC primarily because of the awesome speakers, but I was also looking for good reasons to justify my atheist activism - I wanted to check that I wasn't being unreasonable in speaking out for atheism. What I found at the GAC was the most awesome community of freethinkers I have ever had the pleasure of associating with. It was, as you say Greta, "exciting, and inspiring, and hilarious, and intellectually stimulating, and wildly entertaining." I think the world needs more rationality, and said so. Someone replied that if you want rationality, then don't look to human beings for it. I thought that we could at least try, and (at the risk of making this TL;DR comment even more TL) I recently saw A.C. Grayling express that sentiment with an eloquence I find breathtaking. He said: "Humanity is an alloy, and we live with problems always, too many of them bequeathed by a past whose worst horrors (ideological oppressions not least among them) we strive with incomplete success to escape. "If nevertheless it is high-minded silliness to champion the cause of trying to conduct our affairs sensibly, and to free our minds and lives to the greatest extent conformable with our being social animals who owe one another moral regard, I embrace it with enthusiasm." That is why I am an Affirmative Atheist. I do hope, Greta, that when the history of the early 21st century is written you get at least a footnote, if not a chapter.
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Apr 30, 2010