The World Atheist Conference 2011 that concluded here on Sunday declared that scientific education was a necessary pre-condition for liberating people from ignorance, illiteracy and superstitions and in strengthening social transformation.
Reiterating that atheism was a positive way of life, the conference declaration adopted at the valedictory of the three-day meet said critical thinking, scientific temper and free enquiry were essential for thought and development in the society. The conference was organised jointly by Dravidar Kazhagam, Atheist Centre and The Rationalists Forum.
“All are born equal and hence they should live equal”, the declaration said affirming that no religious freedom should be above human rights and the welfare of the society.
While upholding human dignity, self respect and equality of all people irrespective of colour, caste, creed, sexual orientation and economic status, the declaration proposed to spread atheist outlook and march towards a new society with humanist values. Affirming the right to disbelief in god, the declaration called for separation of religion from politics, education and law and in strengthening the ramparts of secularism. It also called for upholding democratic values in every sphere of life.
The declaration expressed concern over religious fundamentalism, sectarianism and blasphemy laws and supported their abolition. It also expressed concerned over the rapid deterioration of environment and climate change while appealing for eco-friendly development. The ‘K. Veeramani Award for Social Justice', instituted by the Periyar International USA, was presented to G. Karunanidhy, general secretary, All India Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees Welfare Associations at the valedictory of the conference for his life long work in educating and empowering employees .
K. Veeramani, president, Dravidar Kazhagam and patron of The Rationalists Forum, Kristin Mile, secretary general, Norwegian Humanist Association, Levi Fragell, former president, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Norway, Dr. Soma Ilangovan, Periyar International, USA and Vikas Gora, Atheist Centre, Vijayawada, spoke .