I am redating this post as well.
This is one of two posts I did last February, redating so as to come up on the blog now.
Perhaps some of the best-known words from our American heritage are the words from the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain Inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
But, if you are an atheist, there is no Creator, so we couldn't be created equal. Advanced thinker that he was for his time, TJ seems to have imbibed some creationist nonsense. Hence to reflect what an atheist really believes, it would have to be rewritten as follows:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men have evolved equally, and that they are endowed by Evolution with certain Inalienable Rights, that among these are Life , Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But thus altered, isn't this statement howlingly false? Evolution doesn't make people equal, it doesn't endow anyone with inalienable rights, and among these is certainly not life, or liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.
I'm not going to argue that atheists are bad citizens. But my question is what sense an atheist can make of these statements in the Preamble. Doesn't it conflict, profoundly, with what an atheist believes?