Interview with Secular Student Alliance Director

The Eloquent Atheist has a nice interview with August E. Brunsman IV, the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance (a group for which I chair the board of directors):

Q: Finally, do you think there is anything in particular that atheist and freethinking students can offer in the realm of student life? What would a campus be missing without their voices?

A: I think atheist and freethinking students can play an important role in letting their fellow students know that nihilism isn’t the only reaction to accepting the lessons of modern science. Atheist and humanist students can show their fellow students that one can live a happy, fulfilling, moral, meaningful life while still being quite at comfort with the teachings of modern science.

I think that many religions do a lot to try to setup the rules for human happiness in their followers. They make it seem like the only way to be happy now is if you’re guaranteed happiness forever and ever. In many college courses, students are going to learn lessons that will make it very hard to believe that religious guarantees of happiness can be taken seriously. Folks who embrace living this one life to its fullest, and who are comfortable with being happy with just that, can reassure students who are still letting go of their faith.

As always, you can donate to the SSA by going here!

[tags]atheist, atheism, interview[/tags]

  • Mriana

    I also think this goes back to my question of “What if tomorrow one woke up and decided there was no god? What would they have to base their morality on if it was based solely on God said, “NO”?” To me there needs to be more and I think an education helps to base our own morality and values on the more. Many Christians seem to have the idea that without God one can’t have morality and values, but this simply is not true.

    It’s not nihilism, but it is based on an education and what we gain through science. I think the more we learn the more we come to appreciate our humanity and human-ness. Not that one is better or worse, because I think even the religious could have more of a grounding of their morals and values with an education- Spong is an example of this and do have patience with me, please, while I play both sides.

    OK so God said, “No.”, but why? What is the reason behind it? There has to be more or it’s meaningless, IMHO- though some religious people will disagree with me. Science gives us this, with or without a belief in God. IMHO, it is a more stable and grounded moral and value system to be able to say, I do or do not do this or that because… not because a deity said to do so or not do so. Otherwise, it all falls apart when one takes God out of the picture.

    I also think life is more fulfilling with an education and can think for themselves above and beyond the limits of superstition and religious ideology. There is even more reason to appreciate this life when we form our own values and morals, esp if they are based on scientific knowledge. This knowledge also brings even more awe and wonder to the universe, I think. We are not fallen creatures, but rather rising creatures as we learn more and more about ourselves and the universe. However, we can become stagnet if we don’t expand our knowledge and try to better ourselves. I think that is what makes life fun and challenging- learning and trying to improve ourselves and humanity- esp since this is the only life we do know we get. I also think that is even more reason, as Bishop Spong often puts it, “to live life fully, love wastefully, and be all we can be” (with or without a god concept).