The Threat No More? Indonesian Atheists, Pancasila, and the Search for A Common Moral Ground

  • M Ali UC Riverside
Keywords: Atheists, Indonesia, Pancasila, common moral ground

Abstract

The fall of Soeharto's rule in 1998 marked the beginning of a new era in
Indonesian democratization, allowing old and new voices in the public
realm, including atheists who defined themselves as no less Indonesian
and, more crucially, no less moral than the rest. Globalization and
increasing access to information and communication technology
facilitated this. This article analyses how and why Indonesian atheists
have become more outspoken in recent years about their lack of
religious belief and defence of their denial of the existence of any deity
or gods in response to their upbringing, education, news about religious
radicalism, liberalism, and scientific advancement. These atheists
provide context for atheism in Indonesia. They also redefine Indonesia
as a non-religious nation-state, despite the country's Muslim population
and efforts and aspirations to bring it closer to an Islamic state or
culture. In numerous official declarations and textbooks, Indonesia
has historically been referred to as neither a theocracy nor a secular
state. It is a Pancasila state. Indonesian atheists redefine the country as
a whole by reinventing Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika. They are
not opposed to collaboration and unity. Instead of sacred or religious
principles, they emphasize humanity and morality as common values.

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Published
2023-08-18
How to Cite
M Ali. (2023). The Threat No More? Indonesian Atheists, Pancasila, and the Search for A Common Moral Ground. Journal of Asian Social Science Research, 5(1), 1-32. https://doi.org/10.15575/jassr.v5i1.77