It’s Tough For Atheism to be the Majority.

Even though several European countries, which used to be dominated by Christianity, now poll majorities in unbelief, it’s difficult to see how the U. S. could become a majority secular nation.  It seems like our ego is just too large.

I’ve noticed among Republican Presidential candidates, one stands out in his ability to express American Exceptionalism.  Mitt Romny said this country was not destined to be just one of several successful ones.  It was meant to be the best.

This kind of thinking, the U. S. is destined to leave the rest of the world in its dust, is so appealing it spills over into religious thinking.  The thinking, by some, is The Almighty has chosen the country to be greater than any other.

Atheism has no defense for this attractive message.  Atheists cannot say, “The atheist god has chosen us to be THE superior country,” because there is no atheist god.  Neither can the atheists say, “We are better atheists than those in any other country.”

The day might come when the message of U. S. exceptionalism faces a sober reality.  Things like our high umemployment rate, slowing income levels, high infant mortality rate and appalling unequal distribution of income may become undeniable.

If it did, our hubris might be low enough to stay out of pointless wars. Maybe we could say, “This is a darn good place.  It’s just not ’exceptional.’”

Atheism, and our country, would do better if patriotism and religion were are not joined at the hip.  But, there are.

 

 

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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16 Responses to It’s Tough For Atheism to be the Majority.

  1. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Jon, I think religious thinking is on its last breath. Science and its advances can’t help but take over.
    Look at our language, and language creates reality, for example (lol, OMG,) and so on, these terms are a result of science, not religion. As far as I’m concerned, its over for religion, the clock is ticking for religion’s end. The light at the end of the tunnel is becoming visible.
    The Abrahamic books are old, old, old, obsolete, can’t even address our issues any longer because there’s no mention of civil rights, women’s rights, DNA, computers, evolutionary psychology, physical anthropology, the big expansion, protons, and on and on. Religious people are fools if they think science is going to stop advancing just because of their stupid Abrahamic books.
    What are faithheads going to do, not go get that new mind bending genetic manipulation treatment for cancer because their stupid Abrahamic book doesn’t mention it in their book? I doubt it, faithheads will say something stupid like it was god who told that scientist how to invent that new treatment that saved their lives.
    Older faithheads are fools if they think youngsters don’t see this inconsistency between the Abrahamic texts and the reality of science’s advancements.
    Whatever.

  2. .E says:

    Jon what I See in you comments is the corruption that is moral relativism. What is good for you I ok and what is good for your neighbor is ok. Not only in morality, but in all aspects of society. How about school kids playing a game and not keeping score, so no ones feelings are hurt. Our kids are not encouaged to exceed because some one may be left behind.

    I think it is good to strive for the best. The opposite is just being average.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      .E 11:54 “Jon what I see in your comments is the corruption that is moral relativism….I think it is good to strive for the best.”

      I feel you are mixing up two different spheres. As to morals, we already have, and have always had, “moral relativism”. All Christian denominations have changed their focus as to what sin is important since day one. It changes all the time and is changing at this moment as being gay is being integrated into mainstream theology. Birth control is still included in the dogma of sin in the Catholic Church but practiced by over 3/4th of its members.

      The moral sphere seems different to me from U. S. exceptionalism. The exceptionalism is a mythological belief we are better than everyone else in everything. I don’t disagree that is a nice goal for every person to aspire to, and the nation to collectively aspire to, but it’s just not true we are already there. The truth is we are quite average in several areas. Maybe the moral and exceptionalism sphere overlap in that it is not high on the moral mountain to believe something about ourselves that is untrue.

  3. Bob Jorgenson says:

    To E. 11:54
    You had to bring up school, didn’t you E. I would encourage you E. to look up and research online the Prussian Education System, which is what our U.S. schools are, and a more twisted oppressive way for kids to learn there has never been invented since.
    Kids constitutional rights are stripped from them once they enter through the Prussian school system doors. You were alluding to the individual’s rights over the groups in a government school setting, well, the consitution backs up the individual. So if we back up the constitution, which includes getting rid of the education department, and getting rid of the compulsory school law, then you’d be protecting the constitutional rights of the individual.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Bob; I understand your distaste of the “Prussian Educational System”. You have been very clear on that. Can you tell us what you would replace it with, fund it with, subject matter, who would teach, where, and when. Are you suggesting home schooling as a replacement? Not all parents have the necessary time and skills to do this. What is your alternative? Please be specific.

  4. .E says:

    Who will teach our children? There is a practical need for some kind of organized education Isnt there? Bob, do you have children?

  5. Bob Jorgenson says:

    I’m a former secondary education teacher, and I have three children who are unschooled, meaning, we parent our children in a natural way, and our children learn in a natural way.
    Check out: http://www.freedomofeducation.net
    look up at youtube, the prussian education system
    Read books by John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, Grace Llewellyn

    My children learn like children learn from ages 0-5 before they go to government corporate factory modeled Prussian ed. system. And they learn like adults do when not in college. By asking questions, by reading as a family and individually a lot, by traveling as a family and learning that way, by having fun, and best of all, by having the time and support to persue their passions. No one coerces them to learn.

    There’s biology when you play in the dirt. In every activity there is value. Playing a video game increases critical thinking skills and so on and so on.
    It often takes adults years to deschool themselves once they know thats happened to them by the government.

  6. “Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

    This applies to nations as well as individuals
    You are absolutely right Jon, America has an ego problem, especially when bombs are falling on defenseless innocents in foreign lands. Sadly it is often Christians that are the most arrogant. That’s why I, as a conservative Christian, often find myself agreeing with Whacko liberal like yourself.

  7. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Jon, are you an anti theist like me?
    Just curious.
    Bob

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Bob 8:46 “…are you an anti theist like me?”

      I can’t answer that–I’ve never heard the term discussed and don’t know what it means. I’m certain there is no evidence of a higher power. Using the higher power in government weakens both the government and the church. If believing in the higher power helps someone, I see it as OK to follow. Otherwise, the rest of us should not have to encounter it in public ceremonies or anywhere else outside the church. That’s most of it for me.

  8. Bob Jorgenson says:

    I believe what you just wrote Jon, only I would add, like Christopher Hitchens book title, “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”
    I’m not sure if that’s taking it a step further than you or not.
    But I do believe that religion poison’s everything and that we’d all be better off if there was no god belief. That’s the anti-thiest part I’m discussing. That the whole god thing is a bad idea.

  9. Oh yes there is an Athiest god. It is you… (o come let me bow down and worship myself and my “profound words” ) Total arrogance.
    Thanks to Michael Ross for the quotation from Philippians.

  10. Bob Jorgenson says:

    Kay 11:20
    So because you think we arrogant, we can’t discuss the whole god issue?
    How arrogant is that? Very, typical faithhead logic, put up (their way) or shut up.

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