I started this blog in June 2008, twelve years ago this week. In my first post I made the case for atheism being important. I wrote:
The idea of gods is bad for society because it spreads irrational dogma that causes good people to do bad things. This affects three practical areas of our lives: the quest for knowledge, treating people fairly, and civic society.
Rational thinking makes the following more likely: Enquiry: an ongoing unbiased quest for knowledge and truth. Empathy: adult ethics, based on relating to other living beings. Equality: a secular society that protects everybody’s rights.
And irrational dogma makes the following more likely: Creeds: accepting, as truth, imaginary answers to big questions. Commands: childish ethics, based on orders, desire, and fear. Control: unjust laws that are influenced by religious dogma.
Later that year Atheist Ireland was founded to promote atheism and reason over superstition and supernaturalism, and to promote an ethical secular State that gives no privilege to religion.
When dealing with our fellow citizens, we make the case for atheism providing a more reliable approach to understanding both reality and morality.
When dealing with the State, we do not promote atheism. Indeed we would be as opposed to the State promoting atheism as we are to the State promoting religion.
We have made considerable progress in those twelve years, both in Ireland and internationally. Over the coming weeks, I will outline what I think our priorities should be for the next decade.
Based on the findings of the World Value Survey, as people move from survival values to self-expression values, societies move from traditional religious values to secular rational values. That is triggered by advances in health, education, technology, and democracy.
I have been delighted and humbled to have met so many selfless activists who give their time to this important cause. This includes not only atheists, but also religious people who campaign for secularism.
I would like to thank everybody who has helped in any way to make your part of the world a more rational, ethical, and secular place during the past twelve years.