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P.Z. Myers has been told many times that atheists are scary, and that they frighten moderate god-believers away from science ... and that it would be better to mute the expression of their views on religion in order to promote science, rather than godlessness. However, that atheism is a product of an honest appreciation of the evidence, of the logic of science, and of the folly of magical and superstitious thinking.
The reason that atheists need to speak out even more loudly is that it is the only view that is true to the science, and that serves an even greater mission than science education: the encouragement of critical thinking in all matters in the populace. Besides, religion is just plain goofy.