As secularists, we feel we have a solid understanding of the good that comes from abandoning dogma and magical thinking and that by relying on evidence and critical thinking, we can foster a society that maximizes freedom, creativity, and prosperity. We know that societies that downplay dogmatic religiosity and elevate education and free expression have some of the happiest populations on Earth.
This week, we get a better understanding of why that is. New research that encompasses data from hundreds of thousands of people from more than one hundred countries illuminates a striking contrast between secular and religious societies, showing that the more people feel they can rely on a government or other secular entity to meet their basic needs, the less religious they tend to be.
We’ll also see what life is really like for those who have rejected the religiosity of their surroundings and the perils they face in their day-to-day lives. Atheists in Egypt have been largely forced into silence, risking everything just by being caught with their doubts.
And while one would hope that a nation whose government is based on secular principles would seek to share those ideals with the rest of the world, as we’ll learn this week, the Trump administration is doing just the opposite, using its diplomatic power to impose backward, dogmatic beliefs about women and sex on those who so badly need their rights defended.
This is part of why we do the work we do sharing the light of science and reason in spite of the darkness. The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science and Richard Dawkins are sharing some of that light with a recent online workshop that is now available to the public. And to bring even more inspiration and enlightenment, Richard and the great Carolyn Porco are teaming up for two special live engagements in Dallas and Nashville this fall. Don’t miss your chance to see these two great science communicators in person.
Robyn E. Blumner
President & CEO, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science