Main Reason For Rise of Atheism
I found this little gem as I was going through my Google+ feed today. The Christians For a Moral America (CFAMA) website has a really “quaint” little pole on their website asking what their loyal readers think is the main reason for the rise of Atheism in America. and the options are as follows.
* Propaganda by Hollywood.
* Flaws in the education system.
* Broken families, divorce.
* Rise in homosexuality
Wow… where do I begin… OK well lets tackle them in order.
1. Propaganda by Hollywood. Hrmmm… that is curious. I personally have not seen any significant shift in the amount of Atheist oriented films recently. Having said that, it’s not surprising that a Christian organisation picks on another for using propaganda. After all, the Christian faith is one of the biggest propaganda machines we have ever seen. Repeating the same messed up dogma until people are so saturated with it, they can’t think for themselves is exactly how fundamentalist faiths pass on their viral memes.
2. Flaws in the education system. Well, I really probably shouldn’t say too much about the American education system as I am an Australian. I’m guessing that the CFAMA’s chief criticism would probably be based around most schools refusing to teach non-science such as “intelligent design theory” along side of science like Evolution. At the end of the day, the true marker of a good education system is that the students learn to think critically, and more importantly think for themselves. Christians like to say that you should always be searching for the “truth”, but it is curious how they react when their children actually seriously seek out truth and start asking first order questions like “What are the true origins of the scriptures”, “How exactly did we arrive at the dogmas we now hold as undeniable truth” and “why do all other fundamentalist religions/ideologies look and smell so similar to ours, just with different names and places”, or God forbid “Does God really exist", or “did we merely create God in our image”? It seems to me that the Christian search for “truth” has to be conducted within the narrow bandwidth of what the church hierarchy deem “safe”. I remember back at high school (when I was a fundamentalist Christian), friends of mine who were also fundamentalists were pulled out of science class when the teacher was scheduled to teach evolution. They obviously did not trust their child (16 years old) would be able to develop the cognitive skills to appropriately discern “truth”, and that the only way to ensure they found truth was to cripple their education. Fortunately my parents were not so blind as to do this, and I spent the year giving my poor science teacher hell and challenging everything about the theory of evolution. It wasn’t ‘til much later that I was able to unravel all of the pre-conditioning that my fundamentalist upbringing gifted me with, and be able to look at the facts with a critical mind. This I feel shows that the Australian education system worked.
3. Broken families and divorce. Ok this is a curious one. Not only because of the fact that the divorce statistics within the Christian church are pretty much the same as outside it, but also because there is NO logical correlation between “Broken families and divorce” and Atheism. Incidentally, it is also a known fact that arranged marriages in cultures like India are far more likely statistically to succeed than marriages in the US. Maybe the Hindus have the “truth”.
and finally saving the best for last.
4. Rise in Homosexuality. This again simply shows a distinct lack of correlation. Homosexuality is simply about being attracted to the same sex. It has no logical connection to choosing to believe in a god or not, and there are plenty of homosexuals who do. Perhaps the rampant victimisation and outright hatred shown towards homosexuals from within the church has given many little choice but to seek other avenues to find a spiritual path, but really the two are mutually exclusive. The CFAMA’s suggestion that this could be linked to the dreaded and feared “rise of Atheism” is just mindless fear mongering designed to keep their adherents from potentially having an open mind.
Of course the CFAMA forgot probably the most important reason that there may be a rise in Atheism, so I’m going to put it here, and hopefully it will get more votes than any of the others (btw vote by leaving a comment or by +1 on Google+), and that is…
* With unprecedented access to information and the free exchange of ideas that the internet provides us with, coupled with many countries focus on providing better education systems, more and more people are being able to employ critical thinking to challenge ancient dogmas that fundamentalist faith based organisations have for centuries dictated to their adherents, and are seeing how flawed some of the thinking really is.