ESSAY Michael Nath

NWR 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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previous essay: Brenda Chamberlain’s The Protagonists
next essay: Castro’s Capitol



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