I’ve been pointedly asked to defend what atheism offers the world. Below is my concise response. The longer, more drawn out diatribe will likely be an article at some point soon.
While you could cite the extremes like Jim Jones, the reality is that most Christians are forced to nod and agree with political agendas that at their heart conflict with what they believe in the privacy of their own prayers. Such is the price of belonging to an orthodox faith that strives to control the political process.
Atheism is not anti-theism. It is simply the lack of a god in the political and social norms. It is exactly this freedom, entrenched by great men like Thomas Jefferson, that allows people of many faiths (or non-faiths) to coexist. If the control of the body politic is not a fight for the souls and morality of the masses, then the all people can live under it’s banner. THIS is what has allowed North America to flourish, not an adherence to Christian doctrine.
You ask what it is that Atheism offers the world. This is it. So long as any one religions believes itself dominant over another, or more “right” than another, the freedom of the people to decide for themselves what they believe will always suffer. Only by allowing an atheist, non-religious code of ethics to govern can you meet the needs of all society, not just the religious elite.
It’s about liberty and freedom; the right of every person under the law to believe or disbelieve any aspect of any religion’s canon. No religious political structure can or would allow this. Only in an atheist system that allows all beliefs to exist can people live in a semblance harmony.