I love atheists, or at least most atheists i have met or read; not just because i was one for a significant number of years but also because of their attempts at honesty. I’m not so sure about second generation atheists but first generation atheists, those who abandon or reject the religions they were brought up in, usually seem to be truth seekers.
I am also convinced by Scott Peck’s opinion that, for many, atheism or agnosticism are steps on the journey of spiritual growth. Some of us move from organised religion to atheism to spirituality. Some, probably many, of us end up in dead ends, scratching our heads, following some rites or rituals and proceeding no further. Some of these dead ends are quite pleasant places, we get used to them and lose our desire to move on.
Each of us, of course, have a different path laid our for us, but we do not all follow them, some of us stay on the well-traveled routes preferring the company of others, some of us forge our own routes, the road less traveled. I accept, of course, that some atheists will not and do not want to change their minds or alter their state of unbelief. They believe that they have completed their journey; who is to say, they may well be right. To each their own. Many of us, no matter what we believe or don’t believe, take wrong turns, get tired, give up, get lost, go back to the start, a spiritual journey is not simple.
Richard Dawkins is my favourite atheist for many reasons; he’s a good writer, a great scientist, an opinionated atheist who dismantles many myths and, thereby, helps us separate out and recognize truths which may exist. He is also one of my favourite atheists because a review i wrote of his book ‘The God Delusion’ won me a literary prize – ouch, there goes my dreaded ego again, it has to have its say.
Deeper than that though, he taught me, through his writings, to examine my own faith and religion, to seek to reach whatever kernel of truth it might hold, it might have originated from, to test the validity of that kernel of truth in the modern world, in my own journey.
Our next book to discuss, therefore, is ‘The God Delusion”
By the way, my review of his book concluded in the words of Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” Ultimately, Dawkins failed to convince me, although he nearly had me in the first few chapters.
Keep seeking the truth.