Atheism is a more adult world view than theism. Adults, we would hope, would talk to each other with reason and respect; of course in the real world it rarely works like that. However, in the real world an atheist
talking to a theist is almost always similar to an adult talking to a
child. Anyone who has raised a child knows that you have to use much
more than just reason to get through to them. If it is a child you care
about, you are going to try anything you can to help put that child on
the path to becoming a good adult.
It might seem that the analogy of an adult talking to a child is condescending, but it is not. An atheist's understanding of the nature of consciousness is more evolved than that of the theist. Because of this, atheists have a certain obligation to try and help others move towards intellectual maturity. The question is, how do we proceed? Rational arguments have been out there for years, some for centuries, and they totally support atheism. Obviously rational discussion alone is not enough to convince our descendants to adopt the scientific method over blind faith, or even to compel my son to wash his face. So what other tools to we have in our tool box, and how should we best utilize them? Shame, guilt, ridicule, rule of law, and military force are a few examples that come to mind.
Indeed the only way to defeat our "enemy" is to cure ignorance with education.
And to actively fight (by petitioning) the way creationists want their believes tought at school.
That reminds of something funny at the time i went to school (feels like it was millennia ago hehe)
we had a choice at the beginning of the year what class we would like to follow, Biblestudy or study society(not sure what the english word for that is)
Out of a class of 30 , 3 choose biblestudy the rest choose the other option :)
This is in the netherlands btw where in come from.
As we all know the human mind is at it's most vulnarable to belief at a young age so it is imperative to protect them from the dangers of it.
" Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind?"
What is there to argue about? Do infants believe in god? No. Case closed... Yeah, sure, people define atheism as they please, but that's just because some of them act wiser than they really are. Atheism is the lack of belief in (a) god. You can be an atheist without even knowing it (as an infant for example). I was born not believing in five-headed humans too, that doesn't mean I have to say ever that I don't believe in five-headed humans. If the majority of the population would believe in five-headed humans, then my lack of belief in five-headed humans would be relevant. Is the same thing with any lack of belief in inexistent stuff.
Anyway, I am still young, but I have changed a lot. Reaching a certain level of maturity matters. Of course, that level can be reached a lot sooner with support from people around you, just in theory, because, let's face it, if we still have to fight about fairies, there's really little support out there. :)
I have been atheist since age 12.
When I fell to my knees at the age of 16 - hyperventilating - delirious - remembering abusive scenes from my childhood - screaming and crying - as if possessed - and confessed to God that I hated him for so long for putting me through such a terrible childhood - and asked him to forgive me - and literally spoke the words "Please Jesus , enter into my Heart" - and received no sign - No warm feeling - no beam of light - no voice in my head from God - not a token of acknowledgement - I knew then all the time I was 'hating God' - was just me feeling sorry for myself and blaming something that OBVIOUSLY didn't exist.
Funny - I tell Theists this story - and they say God was 'testing me'.
Well if that's the case - I've got a place I'd rather go than be with this 'God' of yours.
Realizing God was NOT real - was a better event than having a false belief that some dead zombie 'entered my heart'.
How embarrassed I am with myself I ever fell to my knees and acted so pathetically.
Atheism is a more adult world view than theism.
Label me a nitpicker if you wish, but - strictly speaking - atheism is no more a world view than the absence of banana is a fruit (although I see, and agree with, your point.)