It has been said that atheists criticise religion while having nothing to offer as an alternative. The former is true, atheists DO criticise religion, and they speak out on the faults and falseness of religion. In other words we shout: THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES ON!!!

The point is not whether atheists criticise religion but whether religion can stand up to criticism. So far no religion could stand up to criticism, that is why religion has had to resort to blasphemy laws and the might of the state to silence and crush opposition. In some Muslim countries, anyone who criticizes religion can be charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death.

What does atheism offer? One may rightly ask!

Atheism offers intellectual integrity and freedom from religion. Atheists reject religious absolutes, primitive “revelations”, superstition, blind obedience and self-effacing prostrations to a tyrannical deity whose existence cannot be proven.

Atheists value reason, logic, knowledge, freedom, equality and social progress. Many atheists are highly ethical people who live by the golden rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you. A lot of them are involved with human rights organisations, environmental issues, animal rights and other social issues with the goal of making the world a better place.

Ethics need not be entwined with religion and meaningful lives do not require fictitious deities. I hope that during the course of my life I would be able to make even a small contribution into a better future for all.

By Voula Papas