Shermer On Rational Atheism
Michael Shermer recently published an open letter to Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens in Scientific American. In it, he cautions against the overweening perception of atheism among the majority of, if not most of, society at large. He offers five concepts that, if kept close at hand, may help to reduce the amount of antagonism that is currently being stirred up by those who feel threatened by the growing popularity of atheism.
- Anti-something movements by themselves will fail.
- Positive assertions are necessary.
- Rational is as rational does.
- The golden rule is symmetrical.
- Promote freedom of belief and disbelief.
I think that it is good to keep in mind that, just because atheists don't have a burden of proof necessarily, it doesn't mean that we don't have work to do. Although there may be more of us every day, we're still in the vast minority, and it would be foolish to expect those who disagree with us to just roll over and acquiesce to our respective worldviews.