A commenter I know at Pharyngula posted this and I have embraced it. I would appreciate comments...


This I Believe. I am an atheist. I do not believe in any supernatural deities. I believe in Science, not the death cult superstitions of bronze age nomadic tribes in the Middle East.

I believe in Logic and Reason, and not in vengeful gods that demand unthinking worship.

My "Bible" is the 'CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics' and 'Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers'. My "Concordance" is 'The Pocket Ref, 3rd Edition'.

The symbol of my "faith" is not an ancient torture device, it's a slide rule. The simple three part device that helped build the Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building, as well as sending humans to the Moon and returning them to Earth.

Algebra and Calculus are my "liturgy", and Physics is the celebration of all that exists, from the smallest subatomic particle yet to be discovered, to the Universe as a whole.

The "Saints" of my faith are legion. Galileo and Einstein, Sagan and Asimov, Eratosthenes and Fermi, Hawking and Feynman, Dawkins and Darwin, Jefferson and Franklin and Paine, and countless others who have sought and still seek to expand the knowledge of how the Universe works, for the betterment of all, to free the minds of humanity from the shackles of superstition and ignorance, and, finally & simply, "To Know."

I worship no god, nor bend the knee to anyone, man or god.

And yet, despite my lack of fawning obeisance to the judeo/christian/islamic deity, I do not rape nor rob nor murder my fellow man or woman. I do not defraud them nor seek to enslave their bodies or their minds. I do not turn my face from them if their beliefs differ from mine, nor do I condemn them if they choose to love someone of the same sex or of a
different "race".

My friends include the gay and the straight, the atheist and the deeply faithful, Caucasian, African and Asian.

I help the less fortunate in this world as best I can, and do not seek to convert them to my way of thought by my actions. I help merely to ease their suffering.

I choose to stand in the Light of Knowledge and Reason.

I oppose the Darkness that is ignorance and superstition.

And I KNOW that, in the end, it IS Knowledge and Reason that will triumph over ignorance and superstition, and triumph over those who would use ignorance and superstition for their own evil and ego-driven ends.

THIS I believe…

© Copyright 2008, Christopher H. Tucker.

Used with permission.

Views: 584

Replies to This Discussion

I agree. A manifesto smells to much like dogma, which, IMO, is one of the principle objections to theist points of view- inflexibly dogma.
Your my kind of guy( I'm not hitting on you) I just like the way you think. with emphasis on the word "think". I like this.
Once again - thanks for all the comments, suggestions and criticisms.

Just to clear the air a little...I don't propose as a manifesto in the true sense of that word. This is very personal to me as it allows me to create a short, direct set of statements to explain my world view to theists. Atheist as a whole tend to rugged individualism (IMHO). Trying to satisfy everyone has a null probability :-)

This exercise should be an individual one - if you can make something that inspires you and explains your world view...cool.

Thanks again and keep it up. I will be using some of the comments here to do a 2nd draft. Then you can red pen me again!
I suggest two mainstream alternatives for progress.

There are those who may perhaps feel better by devising a sort of personal "I believe" scenario for themselves--which they can then more easily summon up from memory and amplify when or if faced by some aggressive theist.

And there may be others for whom a well-prepared declaration regarding their inalienable human rights to pursue an atheist philosophy may be usefully expressed or codified into the form of a clearly-worded statement. Again, by learning the basic precepts thus conveniently summarised, it can make us better debaters when having to explain our rightful and righteous morals, ethics and points of view.
Here's something I just put together.

An atheist's view

I worship no gods and follow no religions.

I think the universe and all that it contains is the product of undirected natural forces.

I think that human morality is the product of our own biological and cultural evolution.

I think existence is its own raison d'etre and needs nothing beyond itself to make it meaningful.

I think honesty is almost always the best policy when dealing with others and always the best policy when dealing with oneself.

I think the rational view of the natural universe provides a far more compelling, and far more marvelous, narrative than all the hoary myths of all the religions that ever were.

I think the story of evolution is as much about cooperation as it is about competition.

I think human progress is possible but not inevitable.

I think we occupy a universe made up of matter/energy operating in accordance with principles inherent in its own nature. I reject all appeals to the supernatural and all claims of supernatural intervention. All gods and religions are the product of human imagination attempting to rationalize its own fear and ignorance.

I think, in the last analysis, each of us wears many labels and what matters most is not which we choose to wear at any given time but how well we wear the label "human being" all the time.

I reserve the right to change any and all of these views based upon what I may learn tomorrow.

By George A. Ricker

© 2009 by George A. Ricker (Permission is hereby given for noncommercial use with appropriate attribution.)
I like!

I liked it a lot!
George, this is a well-written piece of the "I think" type.

I cannot contribute myself yet, being overloaded with long-promised jobs with deadlines to meet. Maybe I can write something of the "bill of rights" type in the fall, but I'd rather that someone else does it first, or starts it first, without waiting that long.
I like this, mind if I quote you to others?
Hi there! I'm the fellow who wrote the above.

Loving the discussion and remixes. The copyright is there mainly to keep folks from selling it or misusing it. You folks feel free to keep remixing and improving it.

The person who wanted to use it in a sermon, sure, go ahead. Permission granted.
An interesting blend of smuggled-in Judao-Christian based morality, and denial of the environmental determinism a true atheist would profess.


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