I was reading my Facebook status updates and came across one of my Christian friends status updates that read:
"Not only hold the truth, but have the truth hold us." Rowland Hill
Now obviously he is aiming at truth from a Christian perspective (and knowing him, an Evangelical Turn-Or-Burn Christian perspective). And I can only assume the Rowland Hill that said it was this one (a preacher).
However, I could not help but be touched by this sentiment from an atheist perspective. It is so well said. As atheists we spectrum-know there is no God, and we know the wonderful delight of science and how inspirational the world can be without needing to believe someone made it inspirational. This is our truth (and I don't mean our truth in a post-modern sense) to which we hold, and I can fully identify with the idea of that truth holding us.
Anyways, it reminded me of a TV show I watched a few weeks ago (I think it was Bill Maher) where some said that the atheist community lacks someone who can speak with such imagery and rouse an audience so by their use of language. Someone who can lift the spirits. And there may be some truth to that. I loved Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth and in a certain sense I was inspired. I loved his The God Delusion, mostly because it made me angry the first time I read it - I was still a Christian back then - yet I've gone back to it several times for reference, and occasionally still pick it up and read just for fun. I found other scientific books equally stimulating, and I find even a superficial contemplation of the vastness of the universe stimulating and inspirational, even though I lack the words to describe it.
But it does seem that atheism lacks a charismatic preacher ;) Perhaps Christopher Hitchens was one, but even him I found a little too "anti-religious" to be really inspiring.
So after this long setup, I ask, is there any author or speaker whom you find truly inspiring, lifting your spirits (not just angering them at the religious), or any atheist quotes that inspire you.
Ultimately, I think Rowland Hill was on to something, despite being wrong about the content of truth.
"Not only hold the truth, but have the truth hold us."