>I agree with Bwambale, I too feel a lot without the nod to religious
>symbolism. Some of us seem to feel the need to replace the sense of
>community and the numinous offered by religion. This is like saying
>the wonder we feel as a child about Santa Claus needs to be replaced
>with some “Santa” replacement. We don’t replace one illusion with
>another, the world as seen through the lens of science and our senses
>gives me great wonder and awe. A look through the Hubbell telescope
>beats a burning bush any day.
>Pat O Brian
Yes, I think we often get obsessed with religion. Who needs it?
And I cannot understand why we would want to have a dialogue with religion.Religion is a
powerful, lucrative industry. What do we want to tell them? How to increase their profit,
their power? First off there is no point in trying to convince religious leaders that
their philosophy is not a rational one –they already know that, that is why they are the
Who do we want to have a dialogue with?
(1) Politicians;we need to let them know that we are a large voting bloc so be careful
what kind of legislation you pass.
(2) We need to have a dialogue with advertisers, we need to convince them that placing
ads in humanist publications will pay off and to not be so scared of ads that might offend
a few believers.
(3) And we need to have a dialogue with the media–we need to show them that we count and
that our opinions are not as offensive to the public as they think.
And how do we get this done? Here we seem to run into the bash or not bash problem and I’m
beginning to think this is because we are ‘miscommunicating’ with each other.One humanist
says let’s not bad mouth religions ( not religious people– why would we do that?) but in
the same breath says we should stop them from praying in public. Well, I know how I would
feel if someone complained about what I was doing in public. Are we as offended by this as
some Muslims were over those cartoons?
I am confused.
And how can we keep thinking we can make major changes to the public’s perceptions by
reasonable dialogue. Did women gain the right to vote by being reasonable? Not according
to the press at the time who saw them as rude disrupting hyenas.
Did Gays just write a sonnet that captured our imagination? No, they had to shove their
homosexuality in our faces before we were able to see them.
Did a couple of Greenpeacers have a dialogue with the governments? Not till editorials
were complaining about their highly offensive and illegal acts.
The point is that in the last thirty years we have only been permitted two dialogues with
the public, with the press– Getting the abortions laws squashed and petitioning against
the “god in the constitution thing”
Note in both cases we created a backlash, and I contend that if we cannot create a
backlash we will not be permitted to sit down at the table. We can wail around amongst
ourselves but no one out there can really hear us any more than can we hear a tree
falling deep in the forest.
Compare this with the success of Dawkins. While we were suspiciously nudging the religious
rock,looking for faults, Dawkins came along and overturned it to show the world what
religion was really like. And did he get himself a dialogue? Did he ever–even we have
bus ads, thanks to him.
Again,I don’t see any point in having a dialogue with religion–our aim should be to
create dialogues with the general public–these are the people who do the voting– and I
hope we never replace religion with another euphemistic vision of the world. Nothing needs
to take the place of religion,period. Alice in Wonderland was always a better story.