When politicians and the media want to have a discussion about morality or when they want to appear to have the conversation, they always turn to the “faith community.” They never think to ask an atheist and they should!
We live in a bizarre world in which those who defend and hide child molesters are considered more of an authority on morality than those in the greater community of reason who advocate for a science-based approach to morality.
Apparently, Joe Biden met with twelve members of the “faith community” to discuss the morality of guns laws. But he didn’t ask any atheists our opinions on the topic. We have been having a reasoned discussion on this very topic recently too. Sam Harris and Sean Faircloth (among others) have been laying out reasoned arguments for their views. Regardless of which side of the issue you fall on, it would be to Biden’s benefit to have both these people in that meeting. It would be far more constructive than any priest, rabbi, or imam.
When it comes to morality, who cares what some ancient book dictates? Sure, we can learn a lot from ancient books like Aristotle’s Nichamochean Ethics, but only in the light of how we can use what Aristotle said to think about our modern moral understandings. Saying something is moral because Aristotle dictated it, would be almost as moronic as saying that something is moral because the Bible dictated it.
Atheists need to start to demand that we be included in these conversations. If these conversations take place on television or behind the closed doors of the White House, we need to be there and be represented. We should wage massive campaigns to those who don’t include a representative from the greater community of reason.
“None” make up an estimated 19% of the population and many of those 19% hold a reason based view of morality. We need a seat at the table. We demand it!