American atheists are on the rise. They have radically different visions of the future.The comparison to a convention of Non-stamp collectors is interesting. Read the entire article HERE. It's interesting.
Reason Rally 2016 believes science can cure the social ills of religion. But it isn't sure what a "healthy" society will look like.
What that voting bloc looks like is less certain. Decker is not proposing the formation of a new political party, and from the long list of Reason Rally's sponsors his movement suffers no dearth of extant advocacy organizations. Among the stated goals of this year's Reason Rally are comprehensive sex education, acceptance of climate science, and an end to discrimination against the gay community.
Is this only the Democratic Party, in secularly inflected tones? Several speakers in a row refer to what is being built as a "progressive" movement, but do speakers like Penn Jillette know? Do the attendees?
The first Reason Rally was more strident. It was militant — a celebration of defiance animated by a clear purpose, a style more typical of New Atheism as it has developed in the United States over the past 20 years, fleshed out by leaders like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, and lately as much dedicated to a disdain of the excesses of identitarian liberalism as to any particular account of empirical triumph.
Four years ago, Dawkins encouraged attendees to "ridicule" the faithful. As the Atlantic's Green reported then, "a band fired up the crowd with a rousing sound that lampooned the belief in ‘Jesus coming again', mixing it with sexual innuendo … Attendees sported t-shirts and signs with slogans like 'I prefer facts' and 'religious is like a penis' (involving a rather extended metaphor)."
This year, it is difficult to imagine that the organizers haven't asked the speakers to limit their politics, to remain "on-message" and positive. There is no denouncement of religion, only its consequences. There are no attendees holding signs that say "BAN GOD." There is nothing quite so pointed this time, but without this animating antagonism, what is left?
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Reason Rally: Once "Firebrand in the Belly", Now, More Like Post-Party Intellectual Indigestion..
VOX writer Emmett Rensin goes to the Reason Rally; returns without "reasons":