ESSAY Michael NathNWR Issue 98
On Atheism and Character
In younger people, atheism may have a positive value. The history of Western atheism in the nineteenth century is one of moral integrity, and intensity. If you think scientific progress is its only cause, you are missing the stimulus to discover truth for oneself that comes from within Christianity. This is why Bishop Tikhon in Dostoevsky’s The Devils
tells Stavrogin that the atheist is on the next rung of the ladder below the believer he may become (and also a rung above the believer he may have been). Atheism is better than indifference, or belief that is weak.
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