Living By the Humanist Narrative
God doesn’t answer back. That’s the problem. Humans can.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Dutch-American feminist filmmaker and political writer. She is author of several books, the latest of which is Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. She is also founder of the AHA Foundation, a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former member of the Dutch parliament.
Ali is a vocal critic of Islam whose writings often focus on the religion's subjugation of women. Her work is controversial and has resulted in numerous death threats. In 2004 Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel.
The narrative I live by is the humanist narrative that if we are looking for morality, if we’re looking for vices and virtues, we can find them both in humanity—in human creations, human culture, humanity’s endeavor to develop our reason or our emotions and not only relationships between humans, but with the animal world and our environment.
I think that is a superior source of morality and a superior source of spirituality even than to any form of organized religion. God doesn’t answer back. That’s the problem. Humans can. You can talk to them and you can improve on what humans have said and done. You can’t improve on what an invisible entity might say or think because you don’t know.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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