Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On How Atheists Seem to Know More About Religion Than the Religious Practitioners Themselves: Surprise!

Atheism in the news and on the blogs. Mo' mention. -gw

I was talking to an old Baha'i friend, during the Moonrakers' festival in Slaithwaite, about Robert Alter's new (and excellent) translation of the Book of Psalms, and the friend said she was always surprised by how many atheists seemed to know more about religion than the religious practitioners themselves. It occurred to me afterwards that I really don't like being called an atheist. It implies that subscribing to a large and unwieldy structure of belief in something for which there is no evidence is the natural condition of humankind, and that those who don't are lacking something.


{Photo: "Each February the denizens of Slaithwaite (pronounced slowit, to rhymewith cow-it) rake the moon. A number of the men dress up as gnomes andwith their rakes guide the moon (a big lantern) down the canal whereit's lifted out of the water and takes the head of the procession of lanterns through the village." Uploaded on February 16, 2008 by itsjustanalias on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic}

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