Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Can't We All Just Accept One Another?

We all come to see the light of skeptical reason in our own unique way.  We all label ourselves in different ways, as well: freethinkers, skeptics, humanists, secularists, secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, non-theists, etc.  When it comes to our interactions with believers, some of us are argumentative, antagonistic, angry, exasperated, pushy, etc., and some are not (some are able to be in the middle and use appropriate tactics depending on the situation and the person - but that usually comes with experience).

What really gets my goat is when we, as non-believers, who fight for the right to be ourselves and question the status quo, bicker about tactics.

Last month, I attended my very first atheist conference (Skepticon IV - check out the videos on YouTube) and was able to hear a variety of topics from a variety of viewpoints.  We all approach our cause differently and I enjoyed seeing the many perspectives.  The very first speaker was Dave Silverman; a passionate man who isn't afraid to say exactly what he thinks.  I personally like his style and, while some of his talks are harsh, I think that he really cares about the movement and can reach a wide audience.  Some people think that he needs to tone it down, but I disagree.

I feel that there are so many flavors of non-believers that we need public figures on our side that come in many flavors as well.  Soft spoken non-confrontationalists can help other soft spoken non-confrontationalists to come out of the closet, while the Dave Silverman's of the world can light a fire under the seats of others.  All of the others in the middle each have the ability to reach out and touch people who will relate to their unique messages.

I don't always agree with Dave (mostly I do), but I feel that those who would call him a bully, because they think he is too harsh, are missing the point.  He is taking on fights that many of us would be scared silly to take on ourselves (WTC cross, anyone? He is fighting to ensure that our constitutional rights aren't squelched any further, and for that, I say thanks Dave). 

Just sayin'

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