, Salem, MA


July 16, 2013

Letter: Atheists have moral code, too

To the editor:

I was interested, but also perturbed, to read Charles Danforth’s letter in reference to Brian Watson’s columns about religion.

Danforth finds it ironic that Watson uses the terms good and bad, because he, Danforth, believes that people who are not religious cannot have a moral code.

I am not a religious person, but I consider myself a generally good, empathetic, compassionate person.

It always puzzles me to read or hear someone equate atheism with lack of morals. I am upset to read that Mr. Danforth thinks that moral judgment “cannot exist” in my worldview.

I believe that understanding and compassion begin with individuals, people empathizing and seeing the perspective of and commonness in others. I think that is part of what Mr. Watson was suggesting.

Perhaps, we could begin with a local panel and group discussion, with people like Mr. Watson, other thinking people, religious and not, of different opinions, backgrounds and persuasions. I would come. Hopefully, Mr. Danforth would. I expect it would broaden all of our perspectives.

Is the News or another organization willing to take this on?

Joanna Liss


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