It’s noble to battle delusions

By James A. Haught | 26 April 2023
Freethought Now


Some friends roll their eyes and call me a fanatic because I spend so much time fighting religion. But I think that it’s supremely important to try to rid humanity of false supernatural delusions.

It’s a struggle first recorded in Ancient Greece – and it flowered especially three centuries ago in The Enlightenment, when thinkers challenged the “divine right of kings” and disputed church tyranny. Ever since, intelligent rebels have sought to break the worldwide sway of magic tales.

Today, most freethinkers feel sure there’s no God, no Satan, no heaven, no hell, no hereafter, no miracles, no prophecies, no virgin birth, no resurrection, no visions, no angels, no demons to cast into pigs, and all the rest. Christianity is a fantasy of fairy tales — lies in other words.

The fact that billions of people have swallowed this baloney makes you wonder about the vaunted reasoning power of humans. Struggling against supernaturalism should be a moral duty for every science-minded modern person.

Currently, we’re winning the battle in Western democracies, but not in the Global South, where Pentecostal babbling in “tongues” is surging.

Through history, many of the best thinkers, scientists, writers, scholars, reformers and other “greats” have doubted church religion. There have been multitudes of Nobel Prize winners who have called themselves atheists. We current skeptics can take pride in joining such a movement.

The human brain is the most complex object in the universe. It should be used to discern truth — not to invent mysticism.

The battle probably will never end. We have a deep obligation to keep fighting the delusions.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

James A. HaughtJames A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia’s The Charleston Gazette-Mail and a senior editor of the Free Inquiry magazine. He is also the author of numerous books and articles; his most recent book is Religion is Dying: Soaring Secularism in America and the West (Gustav Broukal Press, 2010). Haught has won 21 national newswriting awards and thirty of his columns have been distributed by national syndicates. He is in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Contemporary Authors, and 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century.

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