In a grey fog of psycho-political battle over this issue, I think it a relative improvement if this magical authority is thought to be "reality" rather than "God".
I do understand what you’re saying and I agree, so long as what we’re talking about is actually “reality”. Earlier in this thread I asked “Just what “reality” have these guys been living in? “. Aside from being humorous, I was also trying to point out the fact that a religion based on reality is only valid if it is, well, realistic. If it’s not, then the “reality” that is being discussed is nothing more than a fantasy, much like the fictions of spiritual religions. And in a worst case scenario, that fictional version of reality can also be manipulated in a similar way as the “word of God” often is.
Some of their goals, attitudes and values don’t seem particularly realistic to me and could be interpreted as merely being a secular version of the same basic types of values that we see in various spiritual religions. Part of the problem really comes down to what Machismo was expressing above.
What I should explain, is that in some ways, spiritual religious values and attitudes that are repackaged in secular or atheist dressing have their own set of potential problems for the simple reason that they are not
blatantly religious. Basically, it makes them sneakier and they can become an “easier sell” for some people and this can make it easier for these things to become public policy. You could argue that this has already been happening, to a certain extent. I see something potentially problematic in being too complacent about this sort of thing.
It has become apparent that taking “God” out of the equation, doesn’t really cause people to dump these other types of cultural and behavioral indoctrination which had previously been associated with spiritual religion. This is why I feel it’s equally important to condemn those types of attitudes and values themselves.
Of course, I do understand that this could be seen as more of a slow progression toward something even better and taking god out first, might be a step in the right direction. But I do think that there’s a good chance that he might get replaced with something more abstract, but equally repressive and detrimental. After all, he is a fictional creation and designed to fill some very irrational needs that many people have. I assume that he’s more easily replaceable than the human psychological tendencies which created him.