Many paths to the top of Mt. Fuji
A short while ago, I wrote about a video I had seen where an atheist recommended mocking religion as a method for helping religious people question their own beliefs. In that post, I mentioned that I was unsure whether that approach was right for me or not. I think that the above video contains my answer. It is in fact right for me, and so are many other methods. I don't think there is one single method which will be successful in leading all people to the truth. Some may respond better to ridicule, some may respond better to simply living a happy and fulfilled life as an atheist. As the Japanese say, there are many paths to the top of Mount Fuji.
One thing that I think is significant in this video is that the caller mentions one story about how he made his mother cry (or, really, how her religion made her cry). And Matt (the man on the right) responded by saying that he has made many of his family members cry and has disappointed many of them. I am in the same boat. I have disappointed people, I have let people down and not lived up to their expectations of me. I'm sure I've made people cry. I've made a lot of enemies. I've had many people write me personally to let me know that they are disappointed in me. And I wish it didn't have to be that way. I wish that I could be honest about my personal beliefs--or rather, lack thereof--and still have the approval of my family and friends.
But, anyway, watching this video has helped me to have renewed resolve in doing what I can to help people think rationally, to combat blind faith and magical thinking. I will attempt every method I think appropriate to do so. I will mock ridiculous ideas, I will love people who believe them, I will use logic and fact, I will use the Bible and other scripture. I believe that the truth does set people free, and I view my actions as an attempt to free people.