Monday, December 03, 2007

A Problem...

I just thought of something: when you say "Christian" or "Catholic" or "Muslim" you immediately think of someone who has adopted a particular set of ideas and beliefs. These beliefs will generally include:
  1. A belief in God, and a belief in some kind of personal relationship with God
  2. A belief that the world is the way it is because of God's will
  3. A particular moral code and lifestyle
When you say "atheist" the first two are essentially the opposite:

  1. There is no God
  2. The world is the way it is for reasons other than God or the supernatural
Number 3. is absent. There is no immediate identification with any kind of moral or ethical code in atheism.

I appreciate that Dawkins, Hitchens et al are approaching the problem from the front end - attempting to persuade those who have settled into lazy agnosticism to actually express their atheism openly.

Morality is ultimately a creation of people - not God - and as such atheists should be clear that whilst they reject God, irrationality, and the power structures these things support they are in fact advocating morality more strongly than religionists.

Atheists strip away the fretwork and tinsel of religious ceremony and expose the uncomfortable truths that we are all profoundly alone (in the sense that there is no omnipotent divine being) and our only comfort is in each other and as such we should support and respect each other as best we can.

Atheists should be clear that morality is everything. There is no cosmic scorecard, only the people who surround us, how they judge us and how we judge ourselves.

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