There is this illogical perception we constructed as humans - one we are slowly drifting away either we want it or not - control. For example trying to control economics is similar to trying to control the laws of physics or society itself. Hawkins explains this very thoroughly in “A History of time”. The relationships in all these from religion to economics and authoritarian societal order, call it democracy or church, are constantly fluid and ever-changing based on many dynamics that are beyond our control. Emphasizing libertarianism as key to human individuality and personal liberation (as much as our biases allow) is key to being as much moral or ethical we can beyond the merits of trying to control others or nature itself to accomplish it. It is the most rational and effective approach to human inquiry and I can give you some brief examples how these are implemented.
There is a reason religion and democracy come to die in the internet. There is a reason facebook, ebay and linux are an embodiment of anarcho-capitalistic functions and are embraced equally by all people either they are religious or otherwise politically affiliated. They offer they key of individuality and free association, not controlled by anyone or anything. You don’t have to pay for things you don’t want, nor anyone bounds you by any means without your choice. If you don’t like it then make one yourself.
We constantly don’t know about things but we embrace them anyways based on the merits of the masses. Religion is a democratic function with a pyramid structure much similar to the one carried from our societies and our political system. Even apathy and individuality is punished since it doesn’t matter if you are different. At the end of the day you have to follow the order of the numbers or you are excluded. This is how religion and state evolved from cults and tribes. This is how they are interconnected through anthropological means of investigation and this is where atheism, or rather statheism, falls short.
If atheists believe that our education should be “secular” and “humanitarian” - which they actually mean in our borders and defined democracies, they are not any less hypocritical than religious people who believe that it should be otherwise. At the end of the day the means for accomplishing the aim are the same. Numbers or rather votes for the parliament in order to recognise a team of people that can elect their wishes over other people’s wishes. Using science as a weapon is not novel for promoting ideas by force. Communist Russia and Hitler did exactly the same to justify themselves through democratic control. For the time they were scientifically correct based on what we knew.
Some people rightfully want a specific religion to their schools or country because that is what the voters want. It benefits the many even if it is structured on non-sense and superstition. The institution of marriage drifted from religion to the state in much the same way - that is - using the absurd idea of “love”. This is also why people equate the abstract idea of love and god in the same paradigm. It was devolved since the age of the romanticism from the church to serve a very specific societal function. It later on ended up as a privilege in our societies, secular or not.
Even if we say that atheists know better and that they have a “rightful cause” for secularity, embracing education in a “better” paradigm, we don’t see them objecting to the institution of marriage or public school and the idea that all children of a specific country owe to go to school and opwe to follow a curriculum. I specifically focus on marriage because our societies revolve around love and relationships as in means for the majority to reach ultimate meaning and purpose. Education is also vital to our perception of self realisation. Of Course you don’t have to be married but we all see what the indirect and direct consequences are if we are absent from these societal paradigms.
All in all, we see this “secular and socially justified” theory falling short when it comes to the globalisation reality since citizens have more rights than people who are not citizens, public employees/voters have more benefits than private or politically apathetic individuals, married people have more benefits than single people and the list goes on and on. We see it falling short when it comes to equality and social functioning of other countries when our $5 a liter gas which can be earned by sitting 15 minutes in an office is equal to a month’s hard labour in Nigeria from a whole family working day in day out in order to pump it out.
Freethought remains our only weapon against all these perceptual fallacies about our society. The ability to assess everything objectively and holistically without exactly being fixed on instances that are utterly false and hypocritical when examined thoroughly is rare. The road to freethought is long and hard and one has to disregard much of what have been socially ingrained as moral or righteous in our society and that most of us, even atheists, blindly follow. When it comes to dialogues or debates of social change for the “better” - whatever that is and for whom, these crucial parameters emerge and I don’t see many atheists being able to defend them in any scientific, logical or objective way.