Finding Common Ground in Our Common Humanity

Regardless of whether one believes that our desire to be good comes from God or from our evolutionary past, Humanists and theists can work together to build a more just society.  They can work together to help alleviate poverty, hunger, and suffering.  They can work together to protect and sustain our planet.  And, together, they can find happiness and fulfillment in the effort. –

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2 thoughts on “Finding Common Ground in Our Common Humanity

  1. Here’s my take unless Athesist Groups accord people of Faith the same respect that they are demanding there will be no concensus. I know you as a person I have enormous amount of respect for and know you are a good and decent humane being however the face of Atheists to Christians is similar to those who portray people of Faith with Westboro Baptist Nutcases if both sides would quit trying to prove the other side is ignorant and let everyone live to their beliefs then all would be better off

  2. Deborah – I edited your comment to include the missing content that you put on your Facebook comment.

    I agree with your point that atheists should be respectful. But, your comments reveal a double standard. I can turn to many channels on my television any Sunday morning and hear Christian ministers say that their faith is the one true way to salvation and nonbelievers will burn in hell. That is considered acceptable, even by many liberal Christians, because it is considered to be a legitimately held religious belief. If I were to object to that type of preaching, then I would be labeled intolerant. But, if an atheist leader, speaking at a secular conference, says that religious belief is illogical, unsupported by evidence, and contradicted by science, they would be considered rude and intolerant. Religious beliefs are afforded more respect than other beliefs. Why is that? And, you have expressed the viewpoint that all atheists (not just the ones putting billboards on Times Square) are equivalent to WBC. I recognize that not all Christians – and not even all evangelical Christians – would want to picket my funeral. Yet, you state that the Christians view of atheists is similar to the way that society views WBC. This is another example of a double standard (and I recognize that it is not one that you necessarily share). In any event, De Waal has been criticized by some atheists for advancing the viewpoint that religions are legitimate vehicles for expressing altruistic sentiments. The whole point of my article was to express agreement with that view. Even though I do not accept the theistic framework of religion, I can still respect religious institutions that promote positive values that benefit society and the planet. There are some religious institutions that promote values that I think harm society. But, even though I am giving respect, I am aware that there are many Christians who will not give it to me. And,because of the double standard that perpetrates our society, many think that’s okay. It isn’t.

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