I stumbled upon a talk in TED by Alain de Botton, a writer / essayist ,whose usual musings revolve around life, travel, love, culture, religion and mostly anything that suits my interest.
In the near 20 minutes talk, he dug deeper into atheism calling it Atheism 2.0. Starting with the basic premise of atheism that there is no god or deities, that believing in them is akin to believing fairies and is ridiculous, he then elaborated a new way on being an atheist.
I myself, is a self confessed atheist, though I do not usually open the subject in a fine day to my overly religious mother, for it would just take out her liveliness knowing that she failed raising a daughter in accordance to the doctrines of her church.
I don’t despise my mother’s religion, it had helped a many during tough times and if these structure can make them stay sane and enable them to do good in the society, then theres not a lot i can complain of aside from the fact that the doctrine itself is a falsehood for me and I cant bear to live my life following it. I had learned to overcome depression and go on through emotional instability without using religion so I believe that I don’t need one to dictate how i should deal with my humanly unstable emotions, which I believe is one great purpose of religion at least to the believers.
Don’t get me wrong but I really look forward to christmases; the intoxicating smell of puto bongbong and bibingka (native cakes in philippines) during mass at dawn before christmas, eating Noche Buena with families and friends ,to the sweet melodious charm of children singing christmas carols.I even adore Islam’s guttural music in reciting the Quran or the Hindus mystic paintings and stone carvings. All give me a sense of pleasure towards life.
Partly, these are what Alain is trying to impart that theres nothing wrong from mixing and matching. Surely, there is a lot of wonderful things we can learn and get from the major religion in the world, starting from its structure to its art; and it is possible that we can selectively apply it to our life but minus the doctrine.
What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a “religion for atheists” — call it Atheism 2.0 — that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 19:20.)
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