Monday, March 26, 2012 - Robert Wright (The Evolution of God) and Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists)

This was an interesting discussion between two heavyweight philosopher types (Wright is not really a philosopher, but he may as well be) on de Botton's new book, Religion for Atheists. I think is probably a necessary book, but there is no new thinking in here as near as I can tell. In many ways, atheism is a reaction against religiosity and not a viable position in the absence of religion.

We can't just say, "Burn down the churches, religion is a silly superstition." While we may believe that is true, billions of people do not. Although some of those billions are militant that the rest of us acknowledge their belief as the one true faith, the majority of people get something more from religion than belief in a supreme being.

Many church-goers get a sense of community, and in rural areas it is one's church that takes care of the community in times of emergency or disaster. When my father died, it was my mother's church that tried to support her and help her through her loss. This is no small benefit.

There is also the moral code that many people get from religion, although this one place that atheists might wish Christians (for example) were far more Christ-like than they are (so, about gay equality, What Would Jesus Do?). Anyway, you get the point.

Robert Wright (, The Evolution of God, Nonzero) and Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists,

Recorded: Mar 22 — Posted: Mar 24
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