Atheist Centre 50+ Golden Jubilee (1940-1990)
International Conference on
"Future of Atheism -- Humanism"
Vijayawada, December 29-31, 1990
[OCR, HTML, editing, Cliff Walker]

Atheism: Courageous Philosophy
and Humanist Action
Joseph Lewis
from the address at Community Church, New York on April 20, 1930

Atheism rises above creeds and puts Humanity upon one plane.

There can be no "chosen people" in the Atheist philosophy.

There are no bended knees in Atheism;

No supplications, no prayers;

No sacrificial redemptions;

No "divine" revelations;

No washing in the blood of the lamb;

No crusades, no massacres, no holy wars;

No heaven, no hell, no purgatory;

No silly rewards and no vindictive punishments;

No christs, and no saviors;

No devils, no ghosts and no gods.

Atheism breaks down the barriers of nationalities and like "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

Systems of religion make people clannish and bigoted.

Their chief aim and interest in life is to gather together and pick out the faults of others and reveal their secret hatred of those who do not believe as they do.

Atheism is Mental Freedom

Atheism is a vigorous and a courageous philosophy.

It is not afraid to face the problems of life and it is not afraid to confess that there are problems yet to be solved.

It does not claim that it has solved all the questions of the universe, but it does claim that it has discovered the approach and learned the method of solving them.

It has dedicated itself to a passionate quest for the truth.

It believes that truth for truth's sake is the highest ideal. And that virtue is its own reward.

It believes that love of humanity is a higher ideal than a love of God. We cannot help God, but we can help mankind. Hands that help are better far than lips that pray. Praying to God is humiliating; worshipping God, degrading.

It believes with Ingersoll, when he said "Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

Atheism is a self-reliant philosophy.

It makes a man intellectually free. He is thrilled to enthusiasm by his mental emancipation and he faces the universe without fear of ghosts or gods.

It teaches man that unless he devotes his energies and applies himself whole-heartedly to the task he wishes to achieve, the accomplishment will not be made.

It warns him that any reliance upon prayers or "divine" help will prove a bitter disappointment.

To the philosophy of Atheism belongs the credit of robbing Death of its horror and terror.

If Atheism writes upon the blackboard of the Universe a question mark, it writes it for the purpose of stating that there is a question yet to be answered

Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label "God" there and consider the matter solved?

Present Trend Atheistic

The situation today is not whether the present trend in religion, with its impossible premises and its still more impossible articles of belief, leads to a compromise with science, or whether it should be liberalized into a respectable harmony with the pace set by education and the progress made by man, but whether its complete eradication must be accomplished so that it may no longer hamper man in his search for the truth nor be an obstacle in his path toward his ultimate mastery of the forces of Nature.

Only when a man ceases to be a child, only when he emancipates himself completely from the fetishes of religion, and gives up his silly and childish ideas concerning the existence of God, will he be able to rise to that commanding position and station in life when he can be truly called a Man!