• aldewacs

    I suppose it would be nice if the religiously unaffiliated members of society could somehow be ‘grouped’ into a cohesive unit. That might certainly give that group a voice where currently, for all intents and purposes, none exists.

    However I’d prefer to look at it another way.

    First, it’s like a breath of fresh air that it is now generally recognized that about 20% (and growing) of the population does not identify as being religious. It’s even more meaningful that these numbers can even be discussed in polite company – a major change from a couple decades ago when President Bush Senior supposedly stated that “Atheists should be considered neither citizens nor patriots”.

    Second, it is important to note that a growing core of non-religious citizens can provide a balance against the historical religious influences that have infiltrated politics and secular life. “Infiltrated” as in infected education, discourse and policy setting with religious myths and dogma that has no place outside of the religious clubhouses.

    Sadly, the very nature of disbelief (lack of proof that religious claims deserve credibility, and not a strong belief in an affirmative opposite) means that there does not exist a clear connection between non-believers. Their nature is to be skeptical and fierce individual thinkers rather than to be joiners and followers. Unifying them under a common banner is not going to be easy unless they perceive a common or personal interest – or a common enemy. Continued attempts by the religious groups of marginalizing non-believers is paradoxically the most likely to cause the non-believers to congeal into a more cohesive entity.

    In the first world countries, the growth of non-belief in younger, educated, all-questioning citizens is probably unstoppable regardless of what organized religions do, but attacking non-believers with magic incantations quoted from holy books will likely just speed up the process. General information and education are not friends of religion, and vice-versa. Second and third world countries will experience the same trend as they emerge from poverty and lack of education.