Sunday, October 21, 2007

Positive Thinking

I recently discovered the positive atheism website, which is quite fascinating. Apart from several intemperate warnings against religious evangelists and apologists, it contains interesting viewpoints and quotations from leading atheist thinkers past and present.

The fundamental atheist tenet is "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die," as the stereotypical rich fool says in Jesus' story. This is an ego-centric viewpoint. There seems to be little positive sentiment here!

A more noble thought is expressed in an alternative maxim - "non sibi sed omnibus" - not for self but for all. The "love your neighbour" principle is common to all major world faiths. It also crops up in many politico-philosophical systems from communism to humanism.

So, what does a positive Christian have to offer in reply? The most positive Christian I can think of is the apostle Paul. And his most positive statement is "emoi gar to zeen christos kai to apothanein kerdos." Loosely translated: As far as I'm concerned, living is all about Christ, and dying is even better.

Is this life's ideal? A purpose for the present and a hope for the future? A positive Christian attitude, for sure...