Philobiblon: Fuel for radical atheism

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fuel for radical atheism

The greater the levels of "popular religiosity" in societies, the worse their social health, as measured by indicators such as "levels of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases". This is the conclusion of a study reported in the LA Times.

"Secular, rationalist approaches to problem-solving emphasize uncertainty, evidence and perpetual reevaluation. Religious faith is inherently nonrational. ... historically, societies run into trouble when powerful religions become imperial and absolutist."

I'd agree with all of those, and add too the importance of women being allowed to play their full role in society, thus increasing its numbers of productive members. (Something that every religion I know of fails to allow for.)

Which brings me to an excellent Joan Smith column in today's Independent. Sadly it is hidden in the subscription service (here if you happen to have it). But read a paper copy if you can.

She's arguing that if the ridiculous new planned legislation against inciting religious hatred comes in, there should be accompanying laws banning gender hatred, given the still rampant misogyny in British society. As she, bravely, suggests, that should deal with a significant number of religious texts.

I do keep thinking I should become a radical atheist - the problem is, of course, that a rational, balanced view of the world tends to make one neither a preacher nor a radical. But someone should take on religions - no, I'm not biased, I mean all religions.


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