Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why bother..

People often ask why atheists and secularists bother to point out and criticise religious excess, contradiction and general lunacy, after all why waste time on something that you don't even believe is true?

I'm sure there are many reasons but I think the main one is this, Human beings (and I include myself in that set) have evolved to feel empathy and to abhor unfairness, we can't help ourselves, it's a biological condition of being a social primate. Of course there are exceptions to this, psychopaths have defects in their empathy systems (of varying degrees) and people can easily be indoctrinated to feel indifferent or even hostile toward those who aren't within whatever "in-group" they've been indoctrinated into, religious or otherwise. Even though millions of people live in secular countries today where discrimination based on religion (or lack of it) is a moot point, I would argue that for a lot of people religion (or the local interpretation of it) is a major justification for injustice, still.

I can only speak for myself on this but I suspect a lot of like minded people feel the same way, the reason I keep banging on about religion and the effect it has on the world (as I see things) is because of stories like this, a pregnant Sudanese woman (Meriam Yehya Ibrahim) who is sentenced to death for her religious views, she's not an Atheist, she's a Christian; but has the misfortune to live in a backward Islamic culture. This kind of thing is not an exception, it's the rule for a huge number of people on our planet and seemingly will remain so all the while people reject reason, secular justice and freedom.

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