781 Atheism 2.0
Here's a TED talk by philosopher Alain de Botton, about how important it is for atheists to move forward once they have arrived at the point of 'There is no God, basta.' We may believe - in fact we know - there is no God (if there was a factual God, we would know that fact), but that should only be the starting point.
From here we move on and acknowledge religion for the good it can be, namely a source of community, of relief from despair and a source of great art, amazing cathedrals and wonderful sermons by insightful clergymen. Watch the talk, if you're an atheist - like myself - this talk is refreshing and inspiring.
And this angle is not at all alien to me; I have made this point in my essay GOD 6. The gist of my essay is: We know there is no (factual) God ... if there was a God, then we would know about him/her/it. But - and this is a big But - there is the belief in God. And each belief in God is as valid as any other belief (conditions apply: That belief must be tolerant, it's not allowed to stone or behead non-believers.) This belief - it has been documented many a-time - can indeed be beneficial; though - of course - nowhere inherent in that belief is any proof of the existence of a factual God.
I've also written about BELIEF in my book with not title, instead three definitions for the term en.light.en.ment
There is an antidote to Alain's talk, by - you guessed it - Richard Dawkins, who in his TED talkadvocates 'militant atheism'. Room for thought ... two viewpoints by proponents who are rather at opposite ends of the atheism spectrum. Nevertheless, I like both talks ... even though one must say Dawkins' exposé indeed is 'militaristic' and not surprisingly rather uncompromising.
Not to be missed in a debate about God and religion is Sam Harris. He debunks the myth that in order for humans to be ethical they have to be religious; furthermore, he very much destroys the notion that God is good and benevolent, what with nine million children under five dying every year.
If you can bothered, watch the whole God debate between Harris and his distractor, William Lane Craig. A comment on the page about Craig goes:
"Every time I attempt to sit through a WLC speech, it's as if my brain is being violated by a hysterical Christian thesaurus. It seems like this man can't do anything other than throw out this plethora of nonsense. What is he trying to do ? Convert everyone to Christianity by dressing up poor arguments with the most synonyms possible?"