Talk:Our Vision

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Global scope vs. American-centric

Several people have commented in various places that some aspects of the vision are American-centric. This was not intentional, it was due simply to the happenstance that many of the people involved in the first few drafts of this vision are concerned about religions influence on American politics.

The idea was not to be American-centric, the idea was simply to get something started, which would be continually revised and continually improved, in much the same way that open source software begins rather rough, but quickly adapts and improves and becomes more and more open to an international community as more and more internationally diverse people add to the initial effort. Wikipedia also had an initial period where it suffered from being American-centric; and even today it is still significantly Anglo-centric.

This is not an excuse for being American-centric, it's just a practical fact that to start any project you have to start somewhere, even if that somewhere is not perfect. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

We most certainly want to embrace a global perspective, but we cannot do that alone. We need the help and correction of those who more clearly see our flaws. So, if you see something in our vision which is biased in some way, let us know, and feel free to provide a correction. No one is perfect, but we can strive to become better. Help us to do that.

Possible correctives

It seems to me that there could/should be a more generalized, generic vision statement which represents a global perspective, but I also feel that it is important for us to get specific in our various visions of what a successful Atheism United-influenced world would look like. So, I am 'for' the goal of electing an openly atheist American president, even though I'm Canadian and can't vote in the US. So what? It would still be a better world if it happened, all other things being equal.

So, I propose that in addition to a generalized, internationalized, global vision, we should actively embrace and support specific, regionalized, localized, specific visions from many different atheist activist groups. It need not be a mutually exclusive thing.

So, in that spirit, why don't we begin developing specific vision statements for different regions/countries around the world? Probably the issues are different in the UK, or Australia, or even in non-Anglo countries like France, Japan, India, China, etc. etc. But each region will have its own issues that can and should be identified, discussed, and addressed as part of a global perspective.

As a concrete example, in Canada, in Ontario, we have two separate school systems, the public schools and the Catholic school system (I know, crazy, eh?). For me, this is a relevant issue, something that uniting atheists would help to address. Obviously, this problem doesn't exist in other countries like the US; it even doesn't exist in other provinces in Canada. But does that mean it cannot fall within the purview of a shared global vision of Atheism United?

I think it would be a grave mistake to say that it cannot. It would render the whole idea of Atheism United impotent and moot. If we cannot support one another in our various local struggles, how can we expect to get anywhere significant in the overall global struggle?

I'm against faith schools in the UK, too, though I don't live there, probably never will, and probably won't have any kids that go to school there.

Why should I care about local issues in some other country? Precisely because I am trying to take on a global perspective. People in the UK, or Australia, or China, or Africa are just as much people as I am, or my potential children are. They deserve a world free from religion as much as I or anyone else does.

The question of religious influence in American politics doesn't affect me directly, but it does affect me, because it affects humans who merely happen to be Americans. But they are humans first. They are people, and religions affect people regardless of whatever random geographical splotch of land they happen to be born into.

Wonderist (talk) 05:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)