I could not, for the life of me, read this essay one time, as I just did, and begin to explain all that Mr. Crowther is talking about to my brother - the Baptist minister, the Republican voter. I could print a copy for him, but that would be useless. Either he would not read or read and ridicule. I have seen C. Hitchens on Bill Maher and Charlie Rose, Dawkins on Rose. They made sense to me. Seems most I know are afraid to speak their doubts or question. I have always questioned as you, Mr. Crowther, even as a child. Family thought I was strange. Your statement " . . . but on the behavior religion inspires in the ones who believe." Made me think of Jerry Falwell (I live in Amherst County near Lynchburg) and the mean, critical words I have heard come from this man's mouth. Terrible things about the Clintons in the past and their little daughter (at the time), and I would cringe and wonder how so many could sit out there in front of him and nod their collective heads and never once ask themselves would their God behave in this manner? Well, this is old, simple stuff - I know it, you certainly know it. This essay is so very good, so informative and I feel helped somehow by it. Seeing a ghost? Yes, I think I have seen one, twice in fact. Meaning? I just don't know, but I was not frightened, did not feel special, slept as soundly that night as any other. This subject is deep and I mostly avoid it (chicken, I suppose). Lots of ministers in my family tree, meek wives, nitwit children - not all, but some. I know this essay is well written, well thought out, although I would be hard pressed to explain to others. I lack the intelligence of Mr. Crowther. I will keep for future reference. Thanks.
A coherent dissection–thanks. I'll read and re-read in these times of tribulation. My own thoughts last night as I drifted off to sleep were that religion might be biologically derived: a response to our reptilian brain fearing the chaos and seeking answers–or no, not answers, that would assume questions. Perhaps we are seeking comfort in a safe little box with others who agree with us. Until we turn and look closely at each other and realize there is ever so slightly a difference of opinion about the number of angels, for example. Then fear comes creeping up over the sides like that monster under our bed.
A very intriguing essay about the great chasm between believers and non-believers in America . . . thank you. I understand why it is difficult to swallow the notion of God--particularly in an era when the world is coming apart at the seams. Speaking as a believer (and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), my faith in God is based on the belief of something hoped for, the bright possibility that life and our souls go on after our mortal bodies die, and the opportunity to be with our families and loved ones forever. If nothing else, a very comforting way to live a life.
I am intrigued by your writing because I sense an intelligent mind I would like to know more about. I am also very intrigued by Richard Dawkins, not the least because I spent a great deal of time in college studying his book, "The Selfish Gene," which I believe to be one of the great treatises on biological evolution. Dawkins explains more clearly than anyone else I ever read how life can evolve over time; and he qualifies some of the theories put forth by Darwin with some further exegesis.
Thanks for the opportunity to hear your views on the world.
A lovely essay on the pitfalls of both Abrahaminic faith and atheism.
This essay claims to be about all religion versus atheism, yet the only faith discussed is Christianity, with Judaism and Islam thrown in for contrast. As an American agnostic raised as a Hindu here in the US, I was annoyed by this perspective.