People all over the world spend a great deal of money on religion. They give money to fund huge elaborate churches, defend sexual predators, and they buy religious jewelry, shirts, bumper stickers, and assorted other crap. They also give money to indoctrinate children in “schools” and in missionary work which is primarily used for public relations rather than actually helping people. But what if all this money was spend on the advancement of science, medicine, technology, and actually helping people instead?
Yeah, I know this is not really a fair question. We could use this argument for anything. What if we spent our movie money on feeding the homeless? But I think in the case of religion it is a little different. Sure entertainment isn’t necessary, but religion is actually harmful. Plus, we are talking about an extremely large sum of money. The sum is large enough that we could build a moon base, a space station, and probably much more.
The Vatican alone is probably worth at least $400 to $500 billion dollars. Sarah Silverman really hit the nail on the head when she joked about selling the Vatican to save the world. There are also other religions in the world too so the amount of money wasted on religion in general is quite substantial.
What if humanity better allocated our resources away from religion and war and toward human health, well-being, and space exploration? This is something that can happen, but we as a society have chosen a different direction. As a society, we have chosen hate, war, and religion (not mutually exclusive) instead of a brighter future of science, health, curiosity and space exploration.
How do we fix that? How can we get humanity focused on the correct priorities? I don’t know. I wish I did. But I do know that we (the greater community of reason) have to try. If not us, then who?
This is why I think we need to be spreading the message of science and reason. We need to be out there telling the world how great reality based thinking is. Right now, we don’t feel the need to “evangelize” in the name of atheism and that’s fine. Atheism isn’t something that can be evangelized in the same way religions can because atheism isn’t a belief system.
Science, reason, critical thinking, and humanism are values most atheist share and we should be out there promoting those values. We have to convince the world that science and reason are priorities. We have to let people know that religion is a waste of resources that could be used for the betterment of humanity in the real world rather than in the imaginary afterworld.
Again, it comes down to money. Religious believers give money to their churches. We have to give money to the promotion of our values too. We have to start supporting the organizations on the front line of these fights. We have to give support to bloggers, youtubers, podcasters, artists, etc. who are promoting our values. Plus, we have to make sure that science and education are also well funded. We are at the monetary disadvantage, but because our ideas are better we are doing a lot with less. Just look at atheist billboard campaigns. They are much more effective than any religious billboard campaign. We know how to use our resources better, but we still need resources to use.
We need to continue to come up with smart ways to get our message out too. I have some ideas about this and I am always open to more suggestions. So comment away. Thanks!