Right, time for another selection of articles that made me go ‘Hmmm’ recently.
First up, ‘10 Virtues for Atheists‘ by Elizabeth Oldfield, Director of the think tank Theos. Elizabeth begins:
This week, Alain de Botton has released a list of 10 virtues for atheists. They are, rather predictably, being covered by the media as his “10 Commandments” and roundly dismissed for that reason. His list is inoffensive, so mild that it risks being dull, but in itself I can find nothing to quibble with.
She explains, however, that the list
…throw[s] into sharp relief just how compelling and serious the Christian ethical tradition is in comparison. Having read Alain’s lists of commendable character traits, one is left thinking: why would you bother?
He doesn’t attempt to put them in the context of a world in which they are possible. He tries to explain them in very pragmatic ways… The virtues are mostly couched in self-interest. You are left with this feeling that this list is more well-meaning personal development than an ethical manifesto which really grapples with what goodness is.
It’s a short, succinct article, and well worth a read (and a ponder!).
It was written back in 2008, but I stumbled across it over New Year, and then totally forgot about it till I was browsing through my Instapaper just now.
[Aside – if you haven’t come across Instapaper, I highly recommend it. A quick, easy way of saving articles/web pages you like, haven’t had time to read, or want to remember, without having reams of bookmarks to trawl through. Check it out.]
The whole thing is worth a look, but, being me, I gravitated straight to the page entitled “I can’t figure out this death stuff“, which was very good.
And there are lots of cartoons, so that’s good.
And finally, an article by my friend Danny Webster on the Gay Marriage vote, in which he makes much the same point as I did earlier in the week, but makes it much better, more clearly and more compellingly. Read it here.
That should give you some good weekend reading!
Picture Credit: ‘/ponder‘ by striatic (Creative Commons)