Feminists and homosexuals have taught us the value of consciousness-raising. A phrase like “One man one vote” either causes you to flinch, or is uttered with intent to make you flinch. It is nowadays almost impossible to hear the phrase with its original innocent meaning of “One adult person one vote.” Some atheists and freethinkers try to raise consciousness about, for example, the phrase ‘under God’ in the US Pledge of Allegiance. I am more interested in raising consciousness about something else: the habit, practised not only by religious people, of labelling children by the religion of their parents. This is a Catholic child. That is a Muslim child. I want everybody to flinch when they hear such a phrase, just as they would if they heard, That is a Marxist child. It is immoral to brand young children with the religion of their parents. At present, hardly anybody’s consciousness is raised to this. I would welcome suggestions, perhaps from those with experience of the feminist and gay campaigns, for the most effective ways to raise consciousness. I would like such consciousness-raising to be a particular project of this foundation.
For somebody who claims religion is a thought virus, this seems like an oddly naive hope. The only way to kill a virus is to quarantine it until it has no more carriers. And that, of course, smacks a little too much of a "final solution" and is completely unacceptable. I think we're going to be stuck with religion until the Singularity happens.