Thursday, May 02, 2013

Time to talk about goals.


There was a movement a few years ago to denigrate the use of labels to describe people, because folks tended (and still do) to just put a label on someone and leave it at that. Single labels are just wrong, because every human is a varied and complex being. All of us have the ability to change our demeanor and our behavior, depending on where we are and what we are responding to.

Take me. (Please!)

I'm a dad, a husband, a blogger, an IT tech, an IT supervisor, a neighbor, a friend, an atheist, a male, an American, a Nissan Altima owner, a Mac user, and I could go on and on. Each of these things describes a different aspect of who I am and what I do with my life.

Right now, the label that counts is New Atheist. Also blogger!

As one of those, I have a number of goals.

I want to educate people so they know and understand atheists better.
I want to help other atheists in their search for what that is supposed to mean.
I want to be part of the atheist movement that will enlarge the political influence of that demographic.
I want to encourage other atheists to "come out" so our families and friends, coworkers and neighbors can get to know us as atheists so the stigma of that label is erased.
I want to erase the influence of religion in human affairs.
I want to encourage better moral choices by others based on human well being instead of Bronze Age values from a religious book.

Big goals. Obviously, I can't do these things myself, and many of them probably won't be completed in my lifetime, even were I a younger man. But I can be open and verbal and as literarily verbose and prolific as possible in spreading the word and encouraging others to work towards these goals.

This blog is to help others see the world from an atheistic viewpoint. I want you to see things from an atheistic colored pair of glasses. I want to help you remove the religious blinders so you can see just how wonderful this world can be and how the restrictions of religious dogma limits your life choices.

A large part of my atheist "ministry", if I may hijack that word, is to open people's eyes to the very real harm that religion can and does do every day around the world. Especially in our back yard. I want to examine the way that religious values tilt and distort reality and human relations so that our actions are not only harmful to others, but to ourselves, even as we think we are saving up points to get into heaven.

I want to open people's eyes to the way that religion contributes to violence, especially nation to nation violence, which contributes so much to the lowering of the standards of living of the entire human race.

In short, I want, in some small way, to make a difference.

The best way I have is through three kinds of activities.

First, through this blog and on Facebook. I've tied the two together, so that this blog is shared there, and the page is named the same as this blog. So, I can educate people through the written word, on one of the most powerful mediums ever invented by the hand of man, the Internet.

Second, by simple human interactions. I am largely out as an atheist. In some venues, like at work, I don't advertise it, but I don't hide it if it comes up in conversation. Family and friends know. By simple example and living my life as best I can, I "witness", to hijack another Christian term, so that others can see just how an atheist can be just like the regular Joe that I am.

Third, by being active in my area in humanist and atheist groups. I host a meetup discussion group every first Friday at my home, and have for over three years. We meet and discuss current events, view videos and other literature relevant to the interests of the group. This enables more people to be able to meet in an atmosphere of like minded and opinioned people where they don't have to watch their words to avoid offending the wrong people.

All of us can do at least the second two. Not everybody is good at writing. Not everybody is good at public speaking or has a large enough space to allow meetings. We all, however, can show the world that atheists are just like regular folks, and aren't the monstrous baby-eaters the religious fanatics would have them think.

So, lets get out there, show the world who we are, and emulate the gay movement, so we can gain the influence to shut the religious right down and reduce their political influence to what their numbers really deserve.

We are the New Atheists! We should be and can be more militant in our approach to our opponents, and make no mistake, the ultra religious ARE our opponents, if not out and out enemies.

So lets act like it.

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