Lemuel K. Washburn: “Atheism”


What is called atheism is not a light, flippant assertion, but a calm, thoughtful conclusion. It is a conviction which human experience and human reflection have generated. Atheism is not the irresponsible opinion of moral debauchery; it is the outcome of an intelligent consideration of nature and life. The atheist has been honest with himself and with the world. He has made a careful survey of the universe, as far as he is able, and has canvassed the facts of life which have come within the range of his observation, and he has candidly declared the result of his study and freely related the reasons for his conclusions.

Atheism is the universe as science finds it and as interpreted by human understanding. It is an attempt to state the simple truth, to give a fair likeness of things, to photograph facts. Atheism is denial of nothing true, of nothing good, of nothing that can be proved. We see no good reason for abusing the atheist. His opinions don’t make him a bad citizen or a bad man. He is as moral as his Christian neighbor, and is as ready to help a fellow-being.

In countries where atheism is a crime, hypocrisy is more honored than integrity.

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