A recent CFI blog post talked about whether or not we should care if people believe in gods. The author makes the following statement:
Why should we care whether others believe in a god or other supernatural beings? Because these beliefs are false? Yes, they are false, but most people, including humanists, have a large number of false beliefs. Mistaken beliefs do not typically trigger passionate, prolonged efforts to persuade the person holding the erroneous belief that s/he is incorrect. Think of all the false beliefs each of us has about history, physics, biology, and whether our hair is thinning.
Lindsey is wrong, at least when it comes to me. Mistaken believes DO trigger passionate, prolonged efforts to persuade the person holding them. There is no reason to hold a mistaken belief if the information is available to change it. These days, the information is often available.
Due to my own privileges, I have access to the internet just about anywhere I go. With those capabilities, eighty percent of the incorrect believes I encounter can be dispelled with a simple Google search. Another hour will solve probably the next ten percent or so. The last ten percent? Well those are a bit harder.
Even those issues are not impossible. They simply take a lot longer to find the answer and explain the truth. Some of these mistaken beliefs are like a belief in god – they are simply unfounded. There is no evidence for god, thus it is harder to prove. There requires a far more elaborate teaching of the scientific method, proper evaluation of evidence, understanding of “proving a negative,” etc.
Again, this is not an insurmountable obstacle, just a challenging one. The effort is worth it. They say knowledge is power, and it is. Unlike many other kinds of power though, sharing knowledge does not diminish that power within the sharer, but merely enhancing the power of the receiver.
So go forth and correct mistaken believes where you can. Spread the knowledge. Let others share it is power.
-That is all.