A more empathetic atheism

A thing that many atheists need to realise is that even though religions may be objectively and demonstrably bad, there are still good people who, because of their upbringing, give credit for their goodness to their religions.

Such people need to be talked to and reminded that they are good people because they are good, not because their religion makes them good. In our quest to criticise religion, we should avoid alienating these good people. They're not bad human beings. Just brainwashed since childhood to think that the only reason there is anything good in them, is because of god or religion.

Their religion has dehumanised them without them knowing it. They're not the enemy and shouldn't be treated as such. So the whole culture of "religious people are dumb LOL" is unhelpful. Of course, it goes without saying that atheists need to be capable enough to have these conversations. Knowledge of religions, educated critiques of them, capacity to have in-depth dialogue are all way more useful than the ability to make snarky memes and cringe inducing attempts at humour (a lot of which is problematic BTW).

You're not really striking a blow on behalf of inclusive society when you say "religion is a mental illness" are you? We tell religious folk that the responsibility of critiquing their own communities is theirs. Similarly, the responsibility of building a better atheism is on us.

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