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  • UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS

    Filed at 12:01 pm under by dcobranchi

    It’s Easter week and that means the big newsweeklies have to go all out for religion. Newsweek goes with the post-Christian America theme, and it’s mostly good. But it still assumes that a belief in god(s) is a natural result of being human. I think, instead, it’s just a natural function of indoctrination from the youngest of ages.

    As an observant (if deeply flawed) Episcopalian, I disagree with many of Hitchens’s arguments—I do not think it is productive to dismiss religious belief as superstitious and wrong…

    America, then, is not a post-religious society—and cannot be as long as there are people in it, for faith is an intrinsic human impulse. The belief in an order or a reality beyond time and space is ancient and enduring.

    If I told Meacham that I believed in Zeus and Athena and just knew that thunder signified that the gods were angry, would he dismiss my beliefs as superstitious and wrong? So why is a belief in the Christian god privileged? And what if I told him that I have no beliefs in gods? I guess that means I’m something less than human. Or maybe superhuman?

    The whole piece is worth a read. Just keep in mind Meacham’s rather limited POV.

    4 Responses to “UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS”


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    April 12th, 2009
    at 6:17 pm

    An evolved superhuman? 🙂

    Nance


    Comment by
    Forest Crump
    April 12th, 2009
    at 9:53 pm

    The problem is not belief but religion.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    April 13th, 2009
    at 8:49 am

    “The problem is not belief but religion.”

    I used to believe that, but it’s a problem too . . . 😉

    I watched a Discovery Channel program Sunday detailing a plausible geological-meteorological cause of all ten plagues of the Exodus plus the parting of the Red Sea. (Basically a volcanic earthquake storm, which could explain everything by natural means.)

    It wasn’t a religion the Egyptians were following but merely the “belief” in the absence of science to believe in, that an angry God must be punishing Egyptians for having other gods, that changed the history of man.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    April 13th, 2009
    at 8:56 am

    IOW, the problem is ignorance, not learning to sort out beliefs. Treating unequal beliefs equally. The solution is education and enlightenment.