Feeling particularly godless today. Here’s a brief Time article on the Sunday Assembly: Atheists Embrace Megachurch-Style Services.
I don’t have a whole lot to say on the subject of the Sunday Assembly itself. It’s a wonderful idea to have the togetherness and community of religion without the pesky fear of eternal damnation. Social awkwardness at the very worst. As you may know, I’m a big proponent of people getting along and working together, love not war, kumbaya, tip your waitresses, all that great stuff. And I have no problem with the concept of religion, the definition of which for me is simply “a belief in a higher power.” People can argue all day about what the official definition of religion is and all that it entails, but for our purposes here, that is what I mean by religion.
Beliefs themselves are not necessarily harmful. I can think about murdering all the annoying people in my life all day, but go through my entire life without killing anything larger than a fat spider. The major religions of the world are fantastic at getting people to come together in singularity over common values. Of course, most of these major religions are abused and involve believing and doing things that oppress and harm others, but that doesn’t mean that general religion itself is “bad.”
Which is why I think it’s great that groups of people like the Sunday Assembly use the model set up by major religions to come together and be social and all around have fun. And really, the model doesn’t originate from “major religions.” We are social animals. Arguably, it’s the model of our nature. And while I do have certain misgivings about how the Assembly might be run, I don’t have particularly strong feelings about it positive or negative at the moment. It is fascinating reading the opinions of those who do.
Long story short, the point that I actually wanted to comment on about the article is in the final sentence:
But as Zuckerman pointed out to TIME — and to the AP in its recent profile — both the monument and Sunday Assembly may help debunk two common assumptions about atheists, which is that they have “no morals” and are “not patriotic.”
1. Not all morals are based on the Ten Commandments. All people have morals.
2. Patriotism is overrated.
That is all.
Extra: Here’s the Q&A section of a talk that Richard Dawkins did on October 11 that I happily got to attend. He discusses the idea of the Sunday Assembly beginning at the 13:25 mark.
To watch the rest of Dawkins’ talk, go here.
What are your thoughts on the Sunday Assembly? Can religion be “good”? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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