Of Moral-Less Atheists
I just wanted to say great work with your web site. I am a young atheist and I have to deal with Christian preconceptions of moral-less atheists and so on every day. I only wish there were more of these sites on the main-stream.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Clay Felty"
Subject: Re: Great Site!
Date: December 12, 2001 10:17 AM
Thanks for writing! It's good to see that you recognize the problem and can identify it happening to you in your day-to-day life. Believe it or not, once you've recognized this problem, the solution, at least for your own life, is all downhill. And if enough of us catch on and see what's happening to us, we already have the numbers and the clout to put our collective foot down. We can do this if and only if we are aware that it is happening and realize that we can change things.
The problem is getting the message out But the biggest problem with that, I think, is putting it into the right words. For this reason, we ask especially younger readers to write about their experiences and to tell us about their ideas.
This is important: Just the right turn of phrase will carry its own message -- under its own momentum. The more people who write to us (and similar forums) about this and other problems we face, the more likely it is that a righteously poetic way of making the statement will come out.
Thus, if you have any ideas as to how to put this "Myth Of the Moral-Less Atheist" to bed -- forever -- we'd be more than happy to hear those ideas. You never know when the way you put something into words might be what catches on. We're seeing this happen in other ways within the atheistic communities, and it's very exciting to watch somebody's idea suddenly spread throughout the community. To be a breeding ground for such ideas is one of our goals for this Forum.
Anything you can contribute to helping us express the fact that morality does not necessarily come from religion would be most helpful toward making this situation much easier to deal with, if not for you here and now, then perhaps someone in the future will not have to go through what you're enduring now, what I had to endure as a kid, and what I'm now enduring as an adult! We have several arguments in our Forum and elsewhere that thoroughly refute this notion, but we are always looking for new and better ways to put this into words.
Thus, you can make a big difference if you have any stories or experiences and would care to jot them down, or would like to write down a description of some of the conversations you've had with Christians in this respect (you don't need to have "won" the argument, because just knowing what they're up to can do a world of good).
Many have done this already and readers now have quite a collection of experiences on which to draw, to help us all try to figure out how to reduce the impact of this myth, and reduce the incidence of this myth being told.
Better yet, if you have any suggestion as to effective ways to respond to people who treat you as if you have no morals because you do not believe, put them down and let the rest of us put your ideas through the rigors of reason-based examination!
Who knows? the idea that's floating in the back of your mind might be new, one that we have not heard before! or, the way you put it into words could be that one metaphor ("meme") that catches on and finally accomplishes the goal of denouncing this myth on a wide scale, thus reducing or even eliminating its use from our culture.
That's what I'm hoping most for this Forum, to try to discuss ways we can work toward reducing this and other myths and slanders that do great harm to a class of people who, as a class, have harmed nobody.
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