Salman Rushdie on Atheism

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In this 2006 Moyers Moment from Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason, author Salman Rushdie — a self-described “hard-line atheist” — talks about the need to “broaden what we can understand and say, and therefore be.”

“I’ve been trying all my life to find a language to express our sense of what is not material,” Rushdie tells Bill. “without having recourse to the ready-made ideas of religion.”

Watch the full conversation between Salman Rushdie and Bill Moyers

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  • Carol W

    For the first person who ever thought those religious ideas, they weren’t ready made. Unless you count God as having made them, Just because someone thought them up long ago doesn’t mean your thinking them too is irrational or improper or anything wrong. We all try to explain these ‘spiritual’ things, ethereal things, and often are explanations are quite similar to someone else’s. The problem with religion is that it eliminates the very wonder of the way that so many people arrive at similar conclusions by limiting itself to just one man or woman’s way. Instead of pointillism, we get, Mondrian, or Pollack.

  • dopplerinc

    The history of religion, the etymology of “the word”, is not at issue; the debate is over religion’s modern validity and relevance. I would say we atheists find too much of the world view defined by the limits of religions, even those so fuzzy as the pointillists, and demand a freedom to include the hard lines and demonstrated primary facts of Mondrian, along with the unlimited fractal mysteries of Pollack.