The Second Annual International Day of Protest Against Hereditary Religion is coming up on January 20, 2013. This is a live cyber-rally with speakers, live Q&A, and the chance to give live commentary, being held in the Second Annual International Day of Protest Against Hereditary Religion U-Stream page throughout the day. Google us to attend. Events like these are important for a variety of reasons. For me, this event is about drawing more action lines in the sand. It’s about community involvement and helping to strengthen the overall group of atheists, agnostics, and related thinkers. It’s about helping the cloud do more testing with the concept of the cyber-rally. And most of all, of course, it’s about making a statement about hereditary religion.
Even if the religious don’t budge on the issue, if it doesn’t make a single one of them consider it, it’s still important to make the statement for a variety of reasons.
First, if you oppose idea systems like supernaturalism-asserting religions, you want to get all your chips out on the table, because if you don’t show the depth to which you are committed to opposing the teaching of fairy tales to children as truth, then they will think the middle ground is farther toward their side than it really is. You disadvantage yourself in that way.
Second, even if the time during which the religious might ultimately be significantly persuaded on this issue occurs 100 years from now, it’s important that we help by starting to plant those seeds now. That reminds me of the JFK quote, “I am reminded of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.”
Third, action breeds action.
Fourth, another main role that this event serves is as a challenge to the religious. The more we confront them and call them out like this, the more we demonstrate that hereditary religion is an active and not a passive issue, and the more likely people are to come upon the issue. It forces more of them to deal with it and make their case. The more we get them to make their case in contrast with our message, the more opportunity young children will have to see this dichotomy and have a fair chance at choosing reason. The way it is now, many of them whisk children from home activities, to home school or private school, to church, in a never-ending cycle. Although we think the atheist/agnostic message is out there for the children to see, for many it isn’t. So we want to make sure we fill as many of the ‘hallways’ around them as possible with discussion about this. When they step out into the hallways of life, we want the people to ask them to explain why they are supporting and teaching fairy tales to children. Helping to keep the pressure on by throwing down challenges like this makes it easier for other projects by atheists and agnostics to get traction when they make their moves.
In order for humans to be pioneers in life, the universe, and this vast existence in all of its deep and intricate ways, we need people using as much reason as possible so that more people figure out the important things in life that there are to work on. There are many of them. The whole emerging era of Transhumanism is in essence a definition of important things to work on. There are many important things to work on. We have a lot of history left to uncover, a lot of space left to explore, a lot of dreams and goals left to fulfill, and a lot of very big questions about existence left to answer. One of the main important tools that we need to get there is reason. Reason is the vehicle by which we pioneer fields like those. We need more projects of reason, projects that work to get at the roots or reasonlessness. An excellent example is this cyber-rally to keep pressure on people that purposefully teach a reckless disregard for logic and reason, like religions that assert supernaturalism.
That’s why I like events like the Second Annual International Protest Against Hereditary Religion. We don’t live in a post-Age-of-Reason world. The Age of Reason has not yet claimed full victory, and it will have a hard time prevailing, so long as hereditary religion continues to maintain its traditions of brain slavery. When the Age of Reason calls for these kinds of shows of solidarity, stand up and be counted. Numbers matter. Help us make this cyber-rally a success.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Stolyarov will also be participating in the Second Annual International Protest Against Hereditary Religion. He will be speaking on the benefits of a non-religious upbringing, from the standpoint of his personal experiences. Watch his introduction here.