Saturday, February 14, 2009

The New New Atheism

This is certainly a different take on atheism. The New York Times has a thoughtful piece on one atheist's attempt to build a positive, atheist worldview - Living Without God.

The ongoing rancor with religion is so loud that it frequently drowns out other priorities, like figuring out secular morality and the best possible way of life, as well as how to get hope and purpose in the absence of God and religion.

Some people, particularly Ebonmuse, excel in that area, but I tend to leave such matters alone. I get my share of fulfillment and assume that others similarly figure these sorts of things for themselves. (I suppose that's a bit like saying that I'm a decent driver, so I just assume that everyone else on the road knows what they're doing, too)

I sometimes forget that religion fills this big role in people's lives and they find irreligion incomprehensible, even dangerous. Even some people who consider religious claims unlikely in the extreme still find themselves swayed by the emotional pull of religion or repulsed by the perceived nihilism of atheism.

It is for this reason that elucidating a secular way of life is very important. Pointing out all the flaws in religion and justly condemning religion's misadventures in politics and society doesn't matter to the average person if they do not also know of ways to be fulfilled and to be happy outside of religious dogma.

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