Seen this ad on TV?
Perhaps this is what Alain de Botton has in mind and JT’s observation profound, perhaps even a little prophetic. Might Atheism become a Cult and the perception of pure Science become a blur? That seems to be the forced strategy that all but the most fundamentalist notions of religion is taking.
We all require some sort of a social group in our lives. Many people use work relations, others use family and some have a local bar they regularly frequent. But to a great extent, social relationships are most often met in churches. Getting people to move from a religion to an absence of social interaction is requiring a greater leap than many are willing to make.
Now sure, the fully independent thinkers easily toss religion and the groups that sheeple stupidity as a trade off for social acceptance, but this is only a small subset of humanity. If we want to let an extended mass of people understand and adhere to a rational way of life, then we need to teach this just like churches are teaching the irrational mythology of their religions.
Can we do it? Yes. If Lafayette Ronald Hubbard could be successful pushing his fiction, then we could be at least as successful, and hopefully far more successful if we begin teaching about reality.
Should we do it? Yes, we have had about 300 years of science progress this time, and historically we see that the religions eventually refocus and bounce back whenever science and rational thinking triumphed over religion.