There is an interesting interview on Sam Harris’ website. Titled, “Life Without God: An Interview with Tim Prowse,” the interview delves into one man’s decision to leave two decades of church and pastoral career, announcing that he is no longer a believer.
It also mentions a website known as The Clergy Project, which says it began in March 2011 with 52 members and currently has more than 150. The Clergy Project is an online “safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs.”
The entire interview is very thought-provoking, especially if you, or if anyone you know, has left a faith and know what can occur in those instances. It varies, of course, but there are people who throw in “atheism” with any other “-ism” that sounds negative – communism, satanism, etc.
One particularly interesting issue that gets brought up in the interview is one of morality, as it goes back to a debate between Harris and Rick Warren, author of the very popular book The Purpose Driven Life. The debate was published in Newsweek in 2007.
In the debate, Warren makes this statement: ” If death is the end, shoot, I’m not going to waste another minute being altruistic.”
Harris replies, “How do you account for my altruism?”
This goes into an argument that I have personally heard from a number of Christians – that without a belief in a god, more specifically their God, that there is no morality. This argument is also used in ways to defend creationist teaching rather than the scientific theory of evolution.
But it doesn’t stand up to the evidence that we see in a world where many nonbelievers do good and many religious adherents do bad. And history is full of examples of many religions doing many evils in the names of many gods.
I’m not perfect by any means. I try to do right and be a good person, but it’s not because of a deity’s instruction or because I think I’ll be rewarded for it in some other life.