Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Confidence or arrogance?

An atheist group has put up a billboard with the image above in New Jersey, prompting some accusations of insensitivity.  In response a Catholic group has placed a billboard nearby this one stating "You know it's real, this season celebrate Jesus."  Most passing drivers take little notice:

The Post found a few motorists who actually paid attention to billboards enough to have an opinion. One woman said, "We agree, Jesus is the reason for the season," but a Catholic man said he wishes the Catholic League didn't get into this pissing contest. "It doesn’t need to be plastered on a billboard," said Michael Gerber. "I should be able to celebrate in my own way. And if it’s tit for tat, it defeats the spirit of Christmas."
Are atheists becoming arrogant?  Are they the mirror image of fundamentalist believers?  All religions are implicitly (or explicitly) calling all other religions incorrect.  And the religious would say that atheism is yet another belief among many, and while it may believe itself to be special, is not.  An atheist would counter that atheism is not a belief but a lack of belief. 

The Humanist position is mostly outside of this argument.  Humanism looks to secular reasons upon which to base law and society.  People can still have their beliefs in revealed thruths if they find comfort in them.  Some of the religious find this position unacceptable;  all of society must follow the precepts of their religious truth.  This is what leads to the "mostly" in the previous statement.  Whether arrogant or not, or even if a particular religion turns out to be true, Humanists work to keep religion from encroaching into secular areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment