Moderate Atheism

February 3, 2011

Julian Baggini is considered a nice atheist, a strong critic of ‘new atheism’, and invited to speak in Westminster Abbey last October in a spirit of conciliation.

Here’s what he said in a Guardian conversation:-

“Too large a part of [real, actual Christianity] preaches the wicked and divisive doctrine of damnation for the unfaithful. Promotion of the idea of “sanctity of life” by Christian leaders clouds judgment about important bioethical issues concerning early embryos and contributes to the protracted misery of terminally-ill people who cannot choose when to end their own suffering. And despite the efforts of intelligent, liberal theologians, in practice, Christianity leads too many to have false views about the origins and ends of life.”

Intelligent, liberal theologians should leave the confines of their religion and join in building a religion-free morality.

He goes on to say this:-

“Christianity tells us that there is hope beyond this life in some way, and that the meek will inherit the earth. This is a pernicious falsehood.”

and this:-

“Second, the myth has a central place for personal salvation, and with that, the absence of salvation for others. The most popular Jesus quote is “No one comes to the father except through me,” which is dangerously divisive and exclusivist.”

and this:-

“Of course, Christianity is … serious, but its seriousness is part of the problem. Rather than being seen as a story among many, it is given a privileged status and believed to be true in matters of detail. Christians do not just believe in “a totally better world, a healed world”, they believe that Jesus is the only, or best way, to it. As you say, Christianity “offers itself as the meaning of life, the supreme narrative.” This is profoundly wrong.”


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