Friday, February 08, 2008

Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" book to MPs pledge - 1st Anniversary

I wrote to Peter Klaver about the upcoming 1st anniversary (on 31st March 2008) of the successful "The God Delusion" book to MPs pledge. Peter & I assisted James Christie, the creator of the pledge, to promote it to Athiests, Humanists and non-believers.

Hi Peter,

We spoke over 6 months ago. The anniversary of the God Delusion Pledge Success is on 31st March 2008. How should we celebrate it?

I wrote an article about our March 2007 campaign:

It would be good if you could write a blog post here too.

Regards, Chris Street

Peter Klaver replied today:

Hello Chris,

Thanks for the reminder of the book pledge anniversary. It was quite a bit of work but very nice to be involved in that project. It was even nicer that it was so successful, for a large part thanks to your efforts. The sign-ups charts clearly shows that. Various stages can be distinguished on it. Initially the sign-ups streamed in spontaneously, then leveled off. The various pledges I extracted from humanist groups at the end of February and beginning of March kept us on schedule for a while but then we started to fall behind again. Until the dramatic last-week reversal of fortune.

And boy oh boy, were the religious crowd intensely negative throughout. The online posting system on the book pledge page often reflected the degree of mild shock of believers who saw their beliefs questioned (and that was still mild compared to the hate mail James Christie received). They weren't very used to that and some of them were unable to cope in any other way then with variations of 'How dare you question what are my deeply held beliefs' or just the usual dishonest creationism to throw against science. With regard to how we dare question their beliefs, the answer is simple and best summed up in the well-known quote from Carl Sagan: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. That is something the believing crowd will have to get increasingly used to, as atheism hasn't let down its momentum after the book pledge finished.

One of the signs of atheism maintaining and growing its strength was a local rerun of the book pledge. In Northern Ireland where I live there was an action to hand copies of TGD to all parties at the Assembly at Stormont. All accepted the books, except the rabid Protestant DUP:

It gathered up a nice bit of publicity for Humani. So here's to hoping things will continue to go well on the non-believing front in 2008.

kind regards,


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