Candidate without a prayer reflection notes Essay

Submitted By garryweber
Words: 719
Pages: 3

Early life and childhood:
-Young Herb had a talent for mathematics at an early age
- Social background formed his identity in response to a world where religiosity was status quo (Being Jewish was everything) - when he was six, he began Hebrew School as an Orthodox Jew because that was what his family was
-Sense of self-reliance led perhaps inevitably to the defining truth of his life “my search beginning at age 12 eventually led me to a god who was not there. I was thrilled and a little bit frightened. I did not believe that there was a god, and I did not know if anyone else thought as I did”
- even during studies for bar-mitzvah, his disbelief continued to grow, and by the time he completed that rite of passage, he could not avoid his own reasoning “you might say that God led me to mathematics and formed me into an atheist.”
- Inspirational book “Why I am not a Christian” (Bertrand Russel) described ways in which godlessness could free people to be ethical and moral; similarities with the author did show Silverman that he was not alone
Atheism in Public
- Many high profile battles with the religious right to make atheism respectable in the public
- 1990: Ran for governor of South Carolina (reason: religious test clause in the state constituton requiring the governor to believe in a “supreme being” – atheists were not able to hold public office)
- He thought it was up to human beings to fid own purpose; his purpose was to educate people about secular world view- 1991: challenging another constitutional clause to assert in religious faith; it is appropriate to for government to regulate some behavior, but it is indeed inappropriate or rather not possible to regulate belief
- Applied for state notary public license; four years later, Supreme Court upheld Silverman’s application and struck down religious test in state constitutions
- After his success, he went on and found the Secular Coalition for America; its purpose was to advocate nationally for greater tolerance and understanding of the non-religious constituency
Impressions/Reactions/Takeaways
advice to quiet secularists to come out of their “closets”; more commitment = change in negative attitude/recognition of actual presence of non believers; there are influential and rational people nowadays who are willing to stand up for themselves and others when it comes to wider ideals between a separation of church and state main purpose of the book is to expose hypocrisy and lack of logic in politics and public life – warm, personal, and inspiring story of an atheist’s travels through life in one of America’s most religion-drenched regions. Further, describes emergence of a creed based on human goodness without godliness in highly personal rather than abstract philosophical terms
Concerning trend nowadays – Christian fundamentalist sector has become extremely politicized; promotion of Christianity by increasingly…