Essentially, this is a discussion for exploring the basic questions of social ethics (and perhaps a pinch of politics) from an atheistic worldview.

What is the 'utopia' (or maximal state of affairs, as expressed in the way society is constructed) that atheists (should) aim for? A wholesale affirmation of individual freedom? How much pain should be negated? Should religion be extinguished, or does it serve a purpose in an ideal society?

As if that weren't broad enough, another aspect of this worth exploring is the 'why' question. Why act in such a way to bring about the ideal society? Christians can claim the authoritarian command of a God for ethical action, but atheists can make no such appeal. Can reason itself provide enough of a ground? Empathy? Mutually beneficial selfishness?

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That's for everyone to decide on their own. Reading up on what others think is benificial, of course, and you will probably find yourself more in agreement with other atheists then theists, but atheism as such really has no implications about how you should view the world other than as one without gods.
True; I imagine a Buddhist atheist would have a very different answer than a secular humanist.

Nevertheless, I'm interested in exploring the various viewpoints present here.
I say stamp out Religion. I see it as a disease that is retarding intellectual growth in humanity. I believe that the pursuit of knowledge is (should be) humanities main objective. This poster mostly sums up what I think:

Half the world is going to have a hissy-fit about everything being in English. Although I think that English has a good chance of eventually becoming the global language, it's going to be a long battle. I think it might be easyer if Esperanto became the global language, as it was designed to be, because it has no national affiliations.
I agree for the most part, though I would point out that religion has certainly had some cultural and intellectual advantages throughout history as well. I'm no historian, but from what little I know, it is improper to blame the dark ages entirely upon Christianity.

I would certainly agree that now, however, religion is producing no reasonable advantages, and is actually producing some disadvantages.
What are other causes for the dark ages?
Again, I'm no historian. I haven't studied the area extensively. But as I understand it, the 'dark ages' were not actually so limited, and the phrase is really meant to talk about the area between the Roman empire and the Renaissance. Insofar as the Renaissance was an explosion of creativity (which had its own complex causes), the 'dark ages' look somewhat pale in comparison, but they had their own literary significance.

Politics, I imagine, play quite a role. If the Catholic Church is to blame, then I think the argument might be fairly made that that, at particular times in history, was hardly indicative of Christianity itself.


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