I have been a non-believer since my twelfth year. Evidently, I was not blessed with possession of a "God gene.” I came to my non-belief by my own reason and not as a reaction to any negative experience that left a lasting sense of bitterness toward religious belief.
I have very fond memories of my church-going years. Religion just never made much sense to me--it requires blind belief in so many things that are clearly wrong or that need to be rationalized through hopelessly convoluted logic. Despite the obvious inadequacy of religion to explain the world as it is revealed to us through science, I appreciate that an absence of religious faith can leave a void in the soul (for lack of a better term) that needs to be filled by a rationally based, life affirming worldview.
Such a worldview does not come easily, and may not come at all to most of humanity unless the best minds on the planet address this issue seriously.
I applaud the recent efforts by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens to push back against the resurgence of irrational faith currently gripping much of our nation. However, their protestations often appear rather shrill and may put off many people who might otherwise benefit from their insights. I hope those on either side of the reason vs. faith divide will benefit from Daniel Lazare’s wisdom, so that we may eventually find a satisfying, rational worldview to take the place of religion.
May 11 2007 - 1:29pm