Sociologist Dr. Ryan Cragun has good news for humanists. Dr. Cragun is the author of How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps: A Toolkit for Secular Activists. The “religion” being referred to involves those religious claims that are clearly counterfactual and moral positions that are overly simplified and contrary to modern human values. According to Dr. Ryan Cragun, the short answer to defeating those forms of religion is to promote humanism.
Dr. Cragun’s strategy is to create social conditions that encourage people to question beliefs and to live more thoughtful lives. The strategies include things like defending “secular education,” teaching “humanist ethics in school,” and supporting “art,” “critical thinking and scientific inquiry.” Empowering “gender, sexual, and racial minorities” calls many beliefs and practices into question. To “encourage regulated capitalism” and “provide ‘this life’ security” to address economic problems could leave people with less need to rely on religious groups and beliefs. Another way to transition is to “syncretize holidays and rituals” giving those holidays and rituals a new meaning that isn’t religious. Also, Dr. Cragun recommends that we “stop subsidizing religion and deregulate it.” The book includes many suggestions about ways the strategies could be put into practice.
Although some humanists would take a cautious approach to providing economic security, regulating capitalism, and deregulating religion, most of these recommendations are things that humanists have advocated for decades. By encouraging a more thoughtful, moral approach to life and society, humanists open paths to helpful change.
More information about Dr. Ryan Cragun’s book is available here: