2007-11-28

The Lord Worketh in Mysterious Ways ... or not, rather

Jag sökte egentligen på Google efter en tomtebild och hittade det här fantastiska försvarstalet för ateism och ateister, publicerat i Los Angeles Times på julafton förra året.

Författaren Sam Harris (End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation), observerar att "the term "atheism" has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not)". Enligt en opinionsundersökning i Newsweek, skulle bara 37% av den amerikanska befolkningen kunna tänka sig att rösta på en i övrigt väl kvalificerad, ateistisk, presidentkandidat.

Harris listar - och bemöter - tio vanliga myter om ateister. T.ex. att ateister anser att livet saknar mening:
On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived. Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness ... well ... meaningless.

Eller att ateismen inte ebjuder någon moralisk värdegrund:
If a person doesn't already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won't discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness.

We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn't make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

Eller att vi är dogmatiker:
Jews, Christians and Muslims claim that their scriptures are so prescient of humanity's needs that they could only have been written under the direction of an omniscient deity. An atheist is simply a person who has considered this claim, read the books and found the claim to be ridiculous. One doesn't have to take anything on faith, or be otherwise dogmatic, to reject unjustified religious beliefs. As the historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

Snarare är det så att religionen har just dogmatismen gemensam med totalitära läror som kommunism och fascism, och är inget vaccin mot dessa. "Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable". Säger Sam Harris. Och det låter rimligt.

1 kommentar:

Anonym sa...

Varenda bloggare som skriver om religion och ateism bör klicka på bannern för "brännande, aktuell namninsamling" på "http://bildning.se" och sen reflektera över och skriva om initiativet på sin blogg. En utmaning!