It has been a long time since I have posted here. I am still denying the holy spirit. But I am also a lot more chill about it.
I think a lot of horrible things come from religion, and I also think that it is worth criticizing religion on its face as an act to promote free inquiry. I think religious influence in politics should be resisted as a matter of civic duty.
But I also think that there are things about how we are hardwired that make religion, and all other sorts of woo appealing to most of us. As evidenced by the fact that most people are either religious or subscribe to some kind of woo.
For me the million dollar question is why?
I agree with Sam Harris, Dawkins, Dennet, and Hitchens on pretty much everything they have written. But I also think if we really want to effectively deal with religion thinking people just buy into it because they are dumb is not a particularly good strategy.
Why? What does religion give people?
I think I have found a lot of parallels in art, which is really where I am at as an atheist.
I think a lot of what people are getting out of religion (and other woo) they should be getting out of art. I am defining art loosely here (theater, music, writing, etc.).
The questions people ask from their religions are better asked of science. That is a big part of it too. And I think atheists are doing a good job of that, constantly debating creationists and what not.
But the experiential stuff is not repaired for many of the religious by explaining the evidence that the earth really is billions of years old. In fact it probably just heightens their existential anxiety and makes them more defensive of their faith.
I definitely agree with Sam Harris that faith is a sickness.
The experiential stuff is more sublime. To dismiss it as mere stupidity if your plans as an atheist consist of leaving the world as it stands, with the religious in charge and solidly in the majority.
I am glad to be back.
Your life is a love story!