Sunday, July 24, 2016

Atheism and the Sacred: A Useful Concept?

atheist blog
The minds
of our children

What is sacred?

In the strictest definition of the word, or at least according to dictionary.com, sacred's primary definitions include: devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated, entitled to veneration or religious respect by association with divinity or divine things, holy.


In that sense of the word, there is absolutely nothing sacred on the planet.

However, in the secondary definitions of the word sacred, using the same dictionary means: reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object; regarded with reverence; secured against violation, infringement, as by reverence or sense of right, sacred oaths, sacred rights. And reverence: deeply respectful.

Under that definition I would propose that there are, indeed, several sacred things on this planet, purposes and objects worthy of deep respect. First two important caveats: no one and nothing is automatically and universally deserving of worship and nothing I say here represents anyone except for me. And no one at speaks for atheists. I speak for myself. This post is about what I deem to be sacred, things for which I am reverent, purposes and objects that I consider ...sacred.


  • A Child's Mind - It is my belief that we should respect the minds of our children by giving them every tool we can possibly offer them for healthier living, for critical thought, and for tremendous personal power..
  • Freedom and Equality of every sort - By freedom and equality I mean the absence of every -ism on the planet. No more racism, sexism, classism, ageism, abilityism. Only humanism..
  • Potential - I strongly believe in the potential of the good people of this planet. Therefore I believe in supporting quality of life, knowledge, freedom, choice..
  • The Universe - The universe requires no word from me to announce it's grandeur, but I am completely reverent toward it. That includes our planet, our atmosphere, our oceans, us.


Some hardcore atheists' knee jerk react to the word sacred and I completely understand that. We have witnessed our boundaries transgressed terribly and frequently by the assumed power and imagined sanctity of words such as sacred.

And that is why I'm here again to say that I claim my part of this word and every single word that has ever been usurped by the religions. There are better words than sacred, but I will continue to feel free to use this word and every word in my language freely, wisely, and decidedly.

This is my list. Every other human on the planet is entitled to their own distinct list. Isn't that lovely? Do you have a reverence list? I would love to hear it.


3 comments:

  1. I'm glad this is the first thing I read this morning. I agree completely.

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  2. Hey there! I wanted to share this with you because it is so similar to what you are talking about here. Not only that but this is the THIRD blog post that references this book so maybe you want to check it out? I think I'm going to have to because three times with three different bloggers discussing it, it seems interesting even though in my case it's going to be messy because I'm married to a fundamentalist. Anyway, here's the link: http://leftbrainbuddha.com/sacred-secular-life/

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    Replies
    1. I blogged about something trendy? What do you know?! LOL

      Thank you for thinking of m. :)

      It looks like the webpage recommends this book: Katherine Ozment’s Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in a Secular Age, in case anyone else is interested in checking it out.

      Its a good link, THANK YOU, Janeen. :)

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