”Today is Openly Secular Day and Tom Krattenmaker uses the opportunity to bring up five challenges atheists still face.Do they actually think that talking about the fact that they have no common set of values short of scorn for religion and those who are religious is going to help their image? This first issue seems to point to the tone-deafness and lack of self-examination that is common to Atheists, although it is not value, it is a failing. It is demonstrably is a feature common to the narcissistic elite class.
I wanted to summarize his points and add a few thoughts of my own:
1) Even though we’re despised in some parts of the country and discriminated against in some ways, we don’t really get bullied or picked on. That makes it harder to gain sympathy for our views.
Krattenmaker is right (and I’m glad he is, because the alternative would be awful). We often make a lot of comparisons between our movement and the LGBT movement, and this is one area where that just falls apart. LGBT individuals have it much worse than we do on this front. (For that reason, I don’t buy the notion that the treatment of atheists is “America’s last prejudice.”)
That said, how do we make people more likely to trust us or consider us electable? Atheists who have the opportunity to do so need to talk more about their values and share stories about what they’re gone through. We have to find a way to get people who might disagree with us about God to be on our side in other ways. That doesn’t happen if we spend a lot of our time insulting them (publicly or otherwise).”
”2) We have a shitty reputation.Thinking that the slightly-milder-than-Dawkins snark of Tyson (also known for falsehoods) is a helpful feature is also odd. Tyson is so obviously self-absorbed in his eliteness and superior Materialist status that it is nauseatingly obvious that he is an Atheist even before he belittles religion. It becomes apparent that Atheists can’t recognize hate speech when they agree with it and think those same thoughts themselves.
We do. And what I said above still applies here. When you think about the most famous atheists — known to people beyond our community — the ones who immediately come to my mind are comedians (who mock religion) and authors (who criticize religion). All of that has it’s place, no doubt, but whenever possible, we need to promote and support voices who are tough to dislike. It’s tough to find Neil deGrasse Tyson-types who can reach out to multiple kinds of audiences without necessarily alienating them while talking about atheism (which Tyson doesn’t do). But the more people like that in the public eye, the tougher it is to pretend we’re all evil and immoral.”
”3) Too many people think God and morality go together.
That’s unfortunately true as well. Once again, this is a matter of stressing our Humanism: That not believing in God or an afterlife compels us to act certain ways right now. We have to fight for civil rights and against injustice because it’s not like these things will all get sorted out after we die.
Already, there have been advertising campaigns stressing how we’re “good without God,” though a catchy slogan is no match for tangible actions. That means more volunteering, more charity work, and being on the front lines on issues where religion gets it wrong.”
Many people recognize that there is no standard moral code at all which attaches to Atheism. They already know that moral behavior does not necessarily attach to those who actually do have a code; so how could moral behavior attach to those with no code at all, except whatever they make up themselves? So this is another tone-deafness issue with which Atheists are afflicted. Good Without God still resonates with Mehta, even though it is obvious that there is no Atheist definition for "good", and non-Atheists know that intuitively because it is self-evident. (There are several features of Atheism which are self-evident to everyone except Atheists; and that indicates an Atheist mental issue.
”4) We dismiss religious groups that might otherwise be natural allies on a host of church/state separation issues.First off, if there actually were any “natural allies”, under what common grounds could that alliance happen? As for common core values, there is no realistic possibility since Atheists have no common core values which are not attached to their rejection of ALL the morally grounded worldviews of all others. Rejection and denial are the only common core which Atheists have.
I’ve definitely experienced this, but that’s changing. That’s why Foundation Beyond Belief always includes an organization run by (non-proselytizing) religious groups in our slate of charities each quarter. That’s why the Secular Student Alliance has done more work recently with the Interfaith Youth Core. That’s why I’m a firm believer that achieving our common goals is more of a priority than debating who’s right, whether we’re supporting progressive churches for being LGBT inclusive or joining religious leaders in protests when we see racial inequality.”
The whole point of Atheism is rejection of non-reductionist, non-materialist ideas and the worldviews which are deduced using those ideas. Atheism is 180 degrees out of phase with non-Atheism. And for the most part Atheists are proudly elitist in their contrary views. They take those contrary views on purpose, not on the basis of any rational value, but purely on the value of having views which are contrary. That's what sets them apart, and makes them "elite"; they reject that which is "common". So how can they have anything in "common" with putative allies?
”5) We have to stop being the “others.”I don’t think Atheists are demonized. I think they enjoy their perception of their "high intellectual status" (gained by uttering three words, “ain’t no God”), a status which they know sets them apart from the herd, a class which they scorn and spurn at every turn including in their Atheist churches which employ the ridicule of comedians rather than the moral lessons of real churches. The "othering" comes first from Atheists themselves, as they remove themselves from the scorned herd - the other. By "othering" the herd, it is only natural that they are "other" than the herd themselves. It is a tautological condition of Atheism with respect to non-Atheism, the same as NOT X is to X. There is no possible remedy for such a problem of mathematics and logic, which dictate "othering" for the set, NOT X, which is outside the set of X.
Krattenmaker is saying that most people still don’t know any open atheists, and that makes it a lot easier to demonize us. That’s why events like Openly Secular Day are so important, and why I just love to see people using new media to speak out about their non-belief. They’re using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and their campus groups to send messages to strangers who may not know what freethought looks like. This is such a huge change from a couple of decades ago, and it’s only going to get better on this front in the future.”
And the “use of new media to speak out about their non-belief“ can’t possibly help their image, since those images are also of rejection, scorn, elitism, and irrational materialist claims about existence as well as false and denigrating imagery of actual believers. Think about the movie "Religulous" for example.
As for Freethought, it is exactly "free": free of grounding logical principles and free of moral tenets which define an Atheist moral basis. In other words, Freethought is freely irrational and freely amoral. And that condition of mental anarchy leads very quickly to Leftist, statist, elitist top down control of the scorned classes. It's a very natural extension. And it is so obvious that is virtually self-evident - except to Atheists.
”To be sure, those aren’t the only challenges we face, but they’re pretty accurate from a broad public perspective. I’m an optimist about all of them. When you considering how much worse things were for us, on all five fronts, a few decades ago, it’s incredible how far we’ve come. The path ahead of us looks bright.”Mehta thinks that these statements by Krattenmaker are “accurate”. That being the case, and if that thought process is extended, then it is made clear that Atheists have no concept of what their actual problems are regarding their desire for being accepted as “normal” people (who might vote for one someday). That self-blindness seems to be a disorder, and narcissistic disorder seems to come very close. Here’s why: Narcissists believe that other people have the problem, not themselves. Their self-image is that of flawlessness, of having no defect in either thought or behavior. They thus are above the others, above those with the actual problem, and therefore they are superior to them. Further, narcissism is untreatable because the narcissist will not work on issues which he knows he doesn’t have.