Positive Atheism Forum
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Have Atheists Done Anything For The Good Of Man?
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From: "Jane Shevtsov"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: Have Atheists Done Anything For The Good Of Man?
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 7:46 PM

The person who first came to mind when I read this question is Carl Sagan.

I first encountered his work about a year ago (Pale Blue Dot) and have inspired by it ever since. His books and TV show turned thousands (probably more) of minds on to science. He was one of the discoverers of nuclear winter and spent much of his time since the 1980s working for nuclear disarmament. Sagan was arrested twice for protesting at nuclear test sites. He worked toward reconciliation between the US and the Soviet Union and brought together the scientific and religious communities to preserve the Earth. There is probably much I omitted. Carl Sagan's work benefitted not just a few people (as a hospital does) but all of humanity. If we grow out of this technological adolescence without destroying ourselves, it will be partially due to him.

BTW, I love the following quote from Edward O. Wilson's book Consilience. You may want to add it to your quotes page (which is great!).

 

"True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity. The principles are fitted together into what we call integrity, literally the integrated self, wherein personal decisions feel good and true. Character is in turn the enduring source of virtue. It stands by itself and excites admiration in others. It is not obedience to authority, and while it is often consistent with and reinforced by religious belief, it is not piety."

 

C-YA
Jane

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From: "Christian Ambrose"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: Have Atheists Done Anything For The Good Of Man?
Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 3:54 PM

My top favorite atheist at the moment is Carl Sagan. He popularized science making it more accessible to other people. He was also a founder of the Planetary Society which does a lot to advance the human race through space research lobbying. He also wrote Demon-Haunted World which can be useful for banishing superstitions and other nonsense. Freeing human minds from such shackles is a great service to humanity. Right now that is all I can think of.

=====
Yours in reason,

Christian L. Ambrose

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From: "Paul Murray"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: Re: QUESTION: Have Atheists Done Anything For The Good Of Man?
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2000 12:55 AM

Charles Bradlaugh wrote something about this -- I think it was titled "Humanity's Gain From Unbelief."

Yep -- here it is:
http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/bradlo01.htm

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Added: October 27, 2002

From: "H. J. Fowler Space Observatroy"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Subject: FORUM: Have Atheists Done Anything For The Good Of Man?
Date: October 25, 2002 12:56 PM

The last three books by Dr. W. Sumner Davis have brought about a great amount of facts concerning the "Church" that the church had thought it had swept away. I suppose as a friend and follower of Carl Sagan's, he would naturally be at least an agnostic, however, it seems he earned a divinity degree and a Ph.D in theological history. It was in his last years at seminary that he realized what a political construct it all is. And so he now works as an author and scientist.

There you have it: an ex-theologian learned so much he became an atheist. His books are wonderful if you have an open mind. If you are a "Believing" person you won't get it. His books show a person that they don't have to "follow" they can take control of their own lives. Next to Carl Sagan, he is my favorite author!

Paula
____________________

People demand
freedom of speech
to make up for the
freedom of thought
which they avoid.

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