Bleak indeed

Regarding Jeff Jacoby’s “Atheists’ bleak alternative”, all I can say is that I really cannot believe such a foolish article can be published in one modern newspaper, let alone two. I know “tis the season to have a cultural debate over religious symbols shown in public”, but really, this defence of mythology as truth is disheartening for any rational mind.

“Judeo-Christian monotheism — is society’s best bet for restraining our worst moral impulses and encouraging our best ones.”

Oh, right. So, we’ll just ignore all the historical evidence of sectarian violence, anti-Semitism, slavery, genocide and every other horrific crime religion has been used to justify in the past, shall we?

And what is this “atheist zealotry” he finds so “alarming”? That a tiny handful of learned people have written a few books saying in plain English that, despite popular belief, things that you can’t see are — surprise, surprise — not there?

If the only reason a person can find to act decently towards fellow human beings is fear of punishment in an imaginary afterlife, then I think that person has a pretty bleak outlook on life indeed. Thankfuly, even the author doesn’t believe his own argument, as he says:

“Obviously this doesn’t mean that religious people are always good, or that religion itself cannot lead to cruelty. Nor does it mean that atheists cannot be beautiful, ethical human beings.”


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