Sincere thought, real free thought, ready, in the name of superhuman authority or of humble common sense, to question the basis of what is officially taught and generally accepted, is less and less likely to thrive. It is, we repeat, by far easier to enslave a literate people than an illiterate one, strange as this may seem at first sight. And the enslavement is more likely to be lasting.
Take the folks at Coca-Cola. For many years, they were content to sit back and make the same old carbonated beverage. It was a good beverage, no question about it; generations of people had grown up drinking it and doing the experiment in sixth grade where you put a nail into a glass of Coke and after a couple of days the nail dissolves and the teacher says: Imagine what it does to your TEETH! So Coca-Cola was solidly entrenched in the market, and the management saw no need to improve.
Religious believers of the world, you are free to continue to debate the simple, narrow question that divides you from atheists, but you have no right, in so doing, to treat the Humanists of the world with contempt. You owe them a deep debt of gratitude, for not only have they shed much light on a naturally dark world but they have very probably helped civilize your own specific religion.