Brights are fighting back against superstition, and a battleground of their choosing is the worldwide web. Unabashedly unapologetic and more focused on the world as it is instead of as though it were ruled by an invisible man in the sky, the Brights are a collection of self-proclaimed naturalists who work to adapt the social view to include rational thought.
Group of secular-thinking people
Started by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell of Sacramento, California to be a group of secular-thinking people with a naturalistic world view, the Brights’ Movement now spans 178 countries and has not only agnostic and atheist members but also members who are still identified as religious. Prominant Brights include author Daniel C. Dennett, First Amendment Activist Margaret Downey, James “The Amazing” Randi, Richard Roberts and, of course, famous atheist author Richard Dawkins.
Their main goals can be summed up in three simple bullet points:
1. Promote a world view free of supernatural elements through civil acknowledgment and understanding.
2. Have the public recognize that one with such a world view can contribute to civic matters of importance, also.
3. Educate the general public about the acceptance of people with such a world view and increase civil discourse.
As stated from their website, the Brights’ Movement has a vision where “Persons who have a naturalistic worldview should not be culturally stifled or civically marginalized due to society’s extensive supernaturalism. Rather, they ought to be accepted as fellow citizens and full participants in the cultural and political landscape.”
The Brights’ Movement
Now, the average person may wonder what need there is for such a movement. They may see it as ridiculous that people are fighting for acceptance in a world they already see as accepting enough. The fact that a movement such as The Brights’ Movement even has to exist in the first place is evidence enough that there is a bias in our civil discourse. A popular example of this is a 1999 Gallup poll where the question “If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be an atheist would you vote for that person?” was answered affirmatively by under half of the general population.
In a world where places can have their government swayed by religious or superstitious thinking or, worse yet, ruled by a theocratic sect of religion that stifles the civil liberties of its citizens, there is obviously a need for more open discourse about naturalistic ideals. This was the reason The Brights’ Movement was created so that maybe people could open the boundaries of communication just a bit more, to a point where superstition does not have to be present.