I mean, I have seen lives get crushed by this moment of clarity.
Isn't it better just to let theists live happily oblivious of the truth, blindly expecting their reward in the afterlife?
First off, thank you everyone for your responses. Now I'm afraid I'm going to annoy the Jebbus out of you all with mine, I apologize in advance, and also for the delay.
Just to clarify, I have seen that the realization of the nonexistence of god has caused anguish, severe depression and even attempts of suicide, on people experimenting it. Just to be fair, I have also seen other people feel relieved and happier after getting rid of that burden.
I *AM* an activist, and very open about my lack of belief, but sometimes I wonder if it is worth the pain we cause.
I don't think they believe they're in paradise as of now. I think they would be looking more towards the promise of a floating sanctuary in the sky instead. In that respect, I can't understand why Christians aren't launching themselves off cliffs in order to go to that alleged paradise. I mean, why live in such an awful place if they can just die and float away?
I think the whole irony in their belief system is that they spend their whole life devoted to a place that doesn't even exist. Their leaders promise them streets paved in gold for their undying devotion. Cults work on that same promise to, if I'm not mistaken.
A very important person in my life has been known to say, "We can either fight everyday for what is right, or we can go to war in the future just to survive."
Activism is exactly like indoctrination in that it is only as good or bad as the driving thought process behind it. I can tell you right now that there is no way that keeping our opinions to ourselves is going to net us any level of peace, now or (especially) later.
I want to be clear about this, religious people are better at genocide then they are at logical debate. We can either try and get our equal rights politically or we can "shut up and wait" until religious extremists need their old atheist scapegoat again. In the later case, most of the reasonable theists go back to being "god-fearing" and all of us proclaimed atheists get to fight and/or die in prison camps, mass graves, and torture dungeons.
Decided to write this **before** reading the other replies.
I understand exactly what you're saying here - or asking - and it's a perfectly reasonable question. My take on the question is this - who cares what anyone believes, if it's working for them, then leave well alone, why should I be the one to tell them it's mythology. That is a good way to live - but there is another side to it - and it's this - some of these folks, a small minority, are advancing their fairy tales into the legal statutes, their changing school text books, they're changing "science" to reflect their beliefs, the books we have available in our libraries to read ( I live in West Bend, WI - Google it! ) - and funneling Federal funds to "faith based initiatives", to name only a few. They don't "live and let live" - they "live and let live so long as you believe the same as me" - it is essential that people, just like you, continue to be activists. In the end, when no activists are around to halt the stupidity - you end up with a theocratic state - like Iran.
So, yes - question yourself, question your motives - but know that it is essential to continue be an activist.