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: 567

Replies to This Discussion

That's really neat.
Well, there might be some usefulness and merit in starting, here and now, to devise an atheist manifesto, in the manner of a plain-speaking declaration or bill of rights.


Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. They are born free of religion and should not be led to religion by unwanted pressures and therefore not have religion forced upon them, either by parents, or school, or religious groups.
I agree that it might be necessary. I wish that it were different. It seems that we atheists are the most despised minority in my country. I am tired of being marginalized by the crackpot fundamentalists in America. If they would simply read the Constitution and Bill of Rights they might be less bigoted. But when an ex President (George H. W. Bush) states that atheist are not citizens - I fear we are facing an very up-hill battle here. This is one of the reasons I am completely open about my atheism...I post on the Internet using my real name and am NOT ashamed to be outspoken about my convictions. I really like your start (Article 1) and I will be giving this much thought to try and expand it in the near future.

The marginalisation of atheists---who alone carry the truths of the actual godless universe with them---by backward-thinking American fundamentalists is a disgrace to humanity which clearly has still much evolving to do as regards arriving at unbiased cerebral wisdom on a worldwide scale.

Tables need turning.

Fundamentalists need marginalising for their crass stupidity.

You will have noticed that I began with the words of Article 1 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1948] to which I added a sentence.

The full declaration is worth reading, followed by the Islamic religious version introduced in 1990 by Muslim states [then 45 states, now numbering 57 states], that is to say, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam [ www.iheu.org/node/3162 ].

The attempt by the IHEU to discuss the matter in 2007 was blocked by Pakistan and Egypt who wish to ensure that for Muslims Islamic ‘law’ lies above what we in the rest of the world deem normal as freedom from religious indoctrination and persecution.

In 2007 the IHEU tried to raise this matter in what would be a major debate but were impeded by the delegates from Pakistan and Egypt who got the subject barred (see www.iheu.org/node/3115 ).
I'm not sure all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience, although I think re-phrasing it so that we treat each other as such regardless would be good.
The This I Believe series is inspiring and I must say, THIS is the most inspiring of all.
I think Christopher H Tucker is a wise person, as he has expressed in these few words oceans of truths and insight.
I am so very glad you shared this, Brad. I hope you urge Mr. Tucker to send this essay to Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, and I truly hope he as sent it to the This I Believe Project!
If Chris didn't - I will ask him if I can...good idea Kitty!!!
That is the best I have seen. I could use it, with permission of course as a Sermon in my capacity as an ordained minister in the First Church of Atheism.

Rev. Robert Tobin
I think everything resume to this : "I choose to stand in the Light of Knowledge and Reason."
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!

Dr. Meaden - I read the declarations at the IEHU and found them interesting indeed and well worth reading. And the one religion I despise more than Christianity in all it's forms is Islam. It is a brutal 'faith' that hates outsiders of any type. And now the ultimate oxymoron as the 'Islamic' states are establishing an 'Islamic Human Rights Commission'. What a sick joke - they could start by recognizing that women are humans - not property.

Rev. Robert. You could contact Chris via the CyberGuy. His Atheist Nexus page is here and his public web page is here.

Rodrigo - nice summary. And it IS a choice...the rational one.

Cheers all...
I absolutely love this. And I love where this discussion is going... I'm so eager for you guys to post more!
Definitely Love it, it has much of our truth in it.

Although making some kind of bill of rights for atheists may seem as an act of making an "organized religion" when as someone said (sorry, I am bad at remembering names) "Calling atheism a religion is calling bald a hair color". I definitely do not oppose anyone that does make some sort of article like that, and would definitely read it and most likely really like it.

Although to be honest, manifests such as these, while inspiring and somewhat beautiful, I think would be of no use to those who are truly atheists, for I believe that most atheists will come to similar conclusions, which I personally have found with most atheists I personally know (which basiclly are a handful).

I think this would be only "useful" for those willing to know what atheism is, although I believe those people would rather wiki it. So adding this to the wiki entry for atheism may not be a bad idea! ;)

I know I probably sound like I oppose the idea of such things, but I truly do not. I do believe these are great and inspiring!!


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