Steve Neumann says,
I’d like to challenge all atheists, myself included, to refrain from posting disparaging commentary about Christian newsmakers on Facebook and other social media sites — including blogs — for one month. Let’s call it The Atheist Positivity Challenge, or the APC for short. The purpose of this challenge is to draw attention to two things: The fact that gloating about the lunacy and misdeeds of specific Christians is not only unnecessary, but probably counterproductive; and the need to rehabilitate the reputation of atheism in America.
So then what would they talk about?
While many millennials are de facto atheists or agnostics — or at least politically secular and socially tolerant — atheism still doesn’t enjoy a very good reputation in America. In a 2011 survey, for example, atheists were distrusted as much as rapists; and even this year atheists and Muslims are in a statistical tie for most disliked. This is the main impetus for the APC. I think that we outspoken atheists, the ones who actively contribute to the culture wars by blogging, writing articles and engaging in public debates, have to ask ourselves: Are we sincere when we say we have a positive worldview? I mean, it’s not enough to just have positive beliefs — that is, beliefs in something, as opposed to not believing in God — what is needed is an emphasis on positivity itself.
Confidence in confidence alone? Well, it worked for Sound of Music. Anyway, the atheists have a head start; no one claiming to represent them has beheaded any journalists recently…
His plea is of interest here at UD chiefly because Darwin’s most zealous defenders are predominantly atheists for whom it’s really a religion (and a pretty intolerant one at that) and Bible U profs embarrassed by their fellow believers.
Oh wait. I know! Here’s a winning ticket: Atheists move beyond Darwin. Dump trashy icons of evolution. Start to get serious about what really happened. Abandon lawsuits. Recycle picket signs. Address huge problems in science publishing today.
Then the Maher-Dawkins problem will solve itself. No need to invite them; they wouldn’t even be interested. But some people might be. Freed of dogmatism, evolution is an interesting subject.
And their reputation can only improve.
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