Thursday, June 13, 2013

A response to Rabbi Sacks

Chief Rabbi: atheism has failed. Only religion can repel the new barbarians

A response to Rabbi Sacks

You just don't get it do you? You can call me an atheist if you wish but that is not how I refer to myself. "Atheism" (like other isms) suggests a belief system. In fact it is the absence of one. I don't "Believe" in atheism. I disbelieve in religion. 

I find the bias here and elsewhere in favour of "Faith" absurd, offensive and just plain wrong. Over the centuries, and still today, Religion has been responsible for more evil than any other phenomenon. The idea, propagated so often, that to believe in religion - any religion - is more meretricious than not to believe is preposterous. Mr Sacks says "Nor do I believe that you have to be religious to be moral". I would put it otherwise. It is possible, maybe, for a devout believer in a Religion to be moral - but the chances are that such a believer will not be. Because it is Amoral as well as intellectually unsupportable to believe in dogma. A dogma that disallows for no logical modern reason the consumption of certain foods. A dogma that forbids the consumption of Alcohol. A dogma that removes the foreskin of newly born male children or the clitoris of young girls. A dogma that pretends that a wafer and a glass of wine turn into tissue and blood. A dogma that forbids the cutting of your hair. A dogma that declares that those who lose their faith should be hunted down and punished. A dogma that turns stories for which their is no scientific evidence into fictitious real events that are supposed to guide or instruct us. A dogma that denies the scientific evidence of evolution. Or prohibits abortion. Or allows (or disallows) polygamy. Above all a dogma that holds out that in the afterlife you will go to Heaven, if you are good, and Hell if you are bad. And that in that heaven virgins await you or in that hell flames.

Man does not need mumbo-jumbo to know how to behave. The secular ethic requires us to think freely about what is right. Not to turn to some ancient tome for guidance. Man has it within him to live a good life of his own volition. And, as Christopher Hitchens Put it:

“We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tale of the holy books.”

Amen to that.


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