I come from a very religous family , I have friends from both spectrum of religousity /belief . What I find that is grating me personally is that need by a lot of people to assert their correctness by tearing the other guy a new one. I used to feel that need when I was younger , but with age comes nonchalance, you just realize that people live within their own worlds and the true miracle is that any group of people exists as a group.
What helped me get to this is the realization that although “Good Ideas Need To Be Nurtured, They Don’t Need Anyone Trying To Shove Them In Anybody’s Throat”.
Although, based on what little I pretend to understand of the mathematics of evolution, the goodness/fitness of an attribute over that of the norm does not mean it would be carried over in successive generations, it depends on how well it helps the species survive. Which I interpret to mean in the case of ideas : How right an idea is does not mean that an idea would survive, it is how well an idea gives rise to other people believing in the idea. In some ways what my analysis is pointing me towards the feeling that their strategy is counter productive; as I believe the quoted article is saying.
With religion, I think atheists have the same dissonance going on. If they really think the world would be better off without religion, they shouldn’t hate religion and call believers fools. Any successful new belief system must appreciate the beauty of what it’s replacing and strive for backwards-compatibility. If Matthew 1:1-16 hadn’t explained how Jesus’ lineage fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 1:1-5, it wouldn’t have gotten where it is today.
So I put it to declared atheists– the ones who fly the flag about it, not the ones who are quiet or closeted: Do you think that most of humanity is A) hopeless and doomed to kill each other because of their stupid religious beliefs, or B) capable of coming to and benefiting from your views?
I think closeted atheists who participate in other religious activities are the future of atheism. They know that prayer feels good without a needing brain scientist to tell them, and they know you don’t need God to want to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and provide homes for the orphaned. What if they simply stopped reciting the words that they didn’t agree with during religious services, without calling attention to it? In many places I don’t think they would be kicked out or turned upon and beaten just for that.