I am recycling my reply to another thread here as a stand-alone post, as requested by @bingst . All the secular movement needs to do to flourish is to meet people’s needs better than the competition does. Religious people are not opposed to science. They are opposed to having the only worldview they know taken away from them, the way science is slowly and painfully doing. Science itself however, is not a worldview; it’s a method of describing the natural world in objective terms. That’s useful as far as it goes, but humans also have a subjective experience of life which objectivity alone does not address. A worldview must be more than a basketful of unrelated facts, no matter how accurate. It must also guide people in how to live, how to reconcile their differences, and how to find peace of mind in a world of heartless competition and material hardship. It must show people how to reconnect with meaning, rather than telling them that there isn’t any, and they don’t need it.
The general public will not soon, in any great numbers, exchange their security blanket for the absence of a security blanket, but they would make the exchange in droves if they could turn in their tattered, two thousand year old security blanket for a fresh 2018 model that worked better. Think about this. The competition has brick and mortar training centers in every town with a population greater than a hundred people, and one on practically every corner in large cities. People don’t go to those places because they don’t have anything else to do on Sunday morning. They go because they have a deep human need that is not only not being met by science, but is being actively (in their perception) threatened by science. Secularism currently has nothing to offer those people except the absence of a philosophy, the absence of training, and the absence of any real understanding of their needs.
And why? It’s not because science doesn’t contain all the necessary ingredients for such a philosophy; it most certainly does. It’s because science isn’t in the business of generating philosophy, or taking care of people’s emotional needs preemptively, or instructing people on how to live wisely. Science has left that to the churches.
Secularism doesn’t need to go to war with religion, or with Republicans. It needs to outperform them in the competitive marketplace. It needs to understand the customer better and meet their needs better. If we really believe science is superior to superstition we need to demonstrate it, not just declare it louder. There is nothing scientific about pretending we are purely rational creatures. Science has long known that we have a complex emotional nature. There is nothing contrary to scientific principle about recognizing our whole nature. We don’t need to destroy the church. We need to bring it into the 21st century. Science alone is not equipped to do that, but an astute philosophy that adheres to science while understanding the broadest scope of human nature is.
People are really tired of superstition, and hungry for truth. But modern humans don’t even cook their own meals let alone build their own philosophies. The members here are exceptions; they are all DIY philosophers, but the general public, by and large, are not. An establishment that could assist them with that chore would not need to beg or cajole them for their patronage.
Science has long since overtaken superstition as a means of explaining natural phenomena, but Religion is still kicking Science's butt in marketing and service. Their product is a fully assembled worldview. Ours is a bucket of parts.