I'm reading a library book from my school called "On Humanism." - By: Richard Norman. Yep... that's the type of atheist I am... I'm a secular humanist. I'm posting here a passage from the book based on a lecture by Bertrand Russell to a meeting if the National Secular Society in 1927. I found this passage SO empowering and such that I have made it my "mission statement" per say for myself. When I lost my faith, I suddenly felt alone and VERY afraid. I felt also a sense of acute misery because all of a sudden I had no idea whether I would ever see my dead loved ones again. Well, Bertrand Russell makes a good point and I hope one day to overcome my fears, misery, and weakness and embrace the power that humanism has given me. Here's the passage:
Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look round for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the Churches in all these centuries have made it. We want to stand upon our feet and look fair and square at the world - its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; and see the world as it is, and not be afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men [and women]. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings.
- Philosopher Bertrand Russel, 1927.
Skycomet's further comments: Be not afraid of your mortality!!! Death is natural and necessary for rebirth. When we die we shall become one with the Earth once again. As free thinkers RESPECT the rights of theists to express their opinions, unless they try and force those opinions upon others. Respect must be mutual, if we wish theists to respect us, we MUST respect them... which doesn't mean we have to agree with them. I learned that very important lesson tonight. Theists are people with feelings, thoughts, intellect, and opinions; that is what we should respect. I have engaged in debates with theists before. Don't try yelling and screaming or using logic... you'll just talk PAST one another. (They won't hear you). What makes us different, then, if not our intellect? What makes us different is our COURAGE!! FEAR is a primary motivator of religion. Fear of facing the truth. Be proud of yourselves as BRIGHTS since that means YOU HAVE OVERCOME THAT FEAR!!!
- I close with this - Peace be with you all!