An Atheist’s Social Contract is Humanism…

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 1 October 2013

We have been but prisoners by birth; we have been confiscated of our critique, thought and logic, stamped into cults, forced into faith – tricked into belief and herded into stalls that lay miserably on the rough of a desert with not a single drop of reason to survive on. At least, that used to be the case, within recorded history – where religion was predominant
among those agents of divide and rule, blind and conquer – we no longer have to obey or subdue to this façade, if one does – he has but himself to blame. The world has changed, barring some parts of the world where education and reason has yet to breeze upon – religion is no longer the setter of rules, the keeper of goals, or the shepherd of the herds – we have fought for freedom and achieved it – we ode those who stood for our rights, and indeed what principles they stood for.  

Simply put – atheism is on the rise, more and more stand brave to call a spade a spade and rely on their own critique and empathy to seek and refine morality – to be good without god, to be safe without a savior and most of all – to think without boundaries. Relieve not, religion is yet the opiate of the masses – and those who inebriate themselves in that opiate once in a while show the hideous side effects in significant ways – it is up to us now to redefine what morality really is, and pave new ways to a sustainable future with the aid of a set of principles which we umbrella as Humanism.

It is vain to seek comfort in the belief that atheism will be the prime solution in the grand scheme of problems. It is pointless to speculate that a godless world view by itself would set inspiration in those who are still religious. It is indeed a mistake to seek comfort in the belief that atheism is the long awaited downfall of religion, and the natural path to liberation and sustainability. Atheism is only the beginning of a journey to instill Humanism – unless we make this movement, our illfaith would be of ill value – atheism is not the ribbon at the end of the sprint – it is but the pair of running shoes that gives us reason and freedom to reach that proverbial ribbon. There are those who cling to religion; for moral guidance; for hope or for those reasons that are personal and spiritual; for reasons that go deep, embedded in emotions; for reasons that are legitimate in all their conscience –the stigmatization, the victimization or the harsh confrontation by an atheist is what they absolutely can do without – the much vocal hideousness that takes place between the religious camp and the irreligious camp does more harm than good. What we need is positive communication, understanding, empathy and a fair share of common decency – there hasn’t been a single theist who had been argued into becoming an atheist – there have been many who were educated and inspired into it, such inspiration is what makes progress.

We debate and re-contemplate our own views on morality thus constantly improving the scenery of our moral paradigm – not only does this involve critical thinking, but we incorporate our emotional faculties as well – quite naturally, needless to say.

Being empathetic, being aligned with the golden rule, believing that we all share human rights is only partly how we conceive the leap to humanism – there are many more factors. If you were inspired into atheism, you are a humanist, it is not an identifier, it is not a base-camp, it is not a community; Humanism is the way in which we habitually operate. Those who stand up for reason, those who admire reality through scientific vision, those who believe in love, kindness, honesty and empathy that is holier than divine, those who respect each other and voice for a future that is both blissful and sustainable – has never the need to call themselves humanists, it simply shows…

Vajira Sooriyarachchi
Colombo, Sri Lanka

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