Tonight, I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve had an essay published on a new forum: the website of IHEU, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, an umbrella organization representing humanist groups all around the world. It’s titled We’re not that terrifying – A response to “Atheism Has Failed”, and in it I respond to Jonathan Sacks, the chief Orthodox rabbi of the U.K., who frets that atheism is destroying Western civilization as we know it. A big thanks to IHEU for offering me this opportunity!
Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:
He seems to be saying that one kind of totalitarianism can only be defeated by a different kind of totalitarianism; that human beings can’t be trusted to be decent and honorable on their own, and that to vanquish the religious fundamentalists who march in lockstep, we must learn to march in lockstep ourselves and surrender our beliefs and desires to some authority figure who will tell us how to live. It should be obvious to every historically literate person how this would go wrong. No matter how benevolent or well-intentioned that authority might initially be, that kind of power corrupts quickly, easily, and inevitably. Before long, we’d be the mirror image of what we set out to oppose.