Archive for the ‘skeptic’ Category

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Hugo Rifkind makes a strong case in The Spectator:

I hail from a religion which rarely seeks to convert, and which looks in, rather than out, and is generally happy leaving everybody else alone. Doctrine aside, I struggle to grasp the justification for any religion behaving in any other way. Last month, Sayeeda Warsi wrote of her fears that religion was being ‘sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere’. It sounds bad, that, but only until you think about what religion is. It does not saturate most lives. It does not occupy most waking thoughts, as most go to work, work, and come home again. It simply doesn’t. When the Archbishop of Canterbury complains that the government treats those with faith as ‘oddities, foreigners and minorities’ he’s ignoring the great truth that stares him in the face — which is that this is exactly what people with faith are.

He’s hitting on a great truth here. The majority of people in this country do not consider themselves as practising theists. About half of us self-identify as ‘Christian’, but it’s only a tiny minority of even them who bother to go to church. Right now religions in this country are doing their utmost to stop gay people from marrying, inflated by a huge sense of self-importance (after all they have Bishops in the House of Lords, with the Head of State leading at least the Anglicans), when most people simply don’t get why two consenting adults who love each other. Most people don’t understand why it’s important to pray during a local government council session. Most people find it absurd that members of an established church say they’re persecuted when there’s not a single case of persecution having been brought to courts and tribunals. Religion doesn’t belong in the political sphere at all, and why would it, after all? Faith and delusion share the identical characteristics – belief without (and most importantly) against evidence and reason. The time is long gone when that mentality had any place in mainstream civil society.

To all the Christians who wonder how atheists can celebrate/enjoy Christmas…

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