Sunday Message: Atheists Are Rediscovering Religion

How would you like to watch me eat oatmeal and tell you about how, it seems to me, prominent atheists are starting to discover religion in general or Christianity specifically?  Cool — I have the video you’re looking for!

7 responses to “Sunday Message: Atheists Are Rediscovering Religion

  1. And theists are discovering atheism. That some atheists might rediscover religion doesn’t make it true. In my experience, a lot of people in middle age or older find they want to keep a foot in the pearly gates as their mortality faces them.

    • True enough. But did you watch the video? My point wasn’t that atheists are discovering religion by the millions, or that more atheists are discovering religion than the opposite. My point is only that an increasing number of intellectual atheists are finding out that religiosity has benefits — not that it is materially provable — just that it has benefits and/or might be hardwired into our DNA. The most prominent atheist explaining this (to an increasingly wide audience I might add) is Dr. John Vervaeke, an award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of Psychology and Cognitive science. His video series “Awakening from the Meaning Crisis” is absolutely amazing:

      • Yes, I did watch the video. I’m currently watching the one you also gave. That Vervaeke is workign with a group, Veritas, which is similar to the Templeton Foundation in their need to find a gap for their god, I have difficulty believing that Verveke is an atheist.

        it likely is that we are hardwired to see agency where there is none. In general, it’s better to run from an nonexistent tiger than not run from one that is real.

        Vervaeke seems to have a presupposition of “transcendence” and that the supernatural exists e.g. mysticism.

      • Robert Mitchell

        Thanks, I’m glad you’re giving Vervaeke a go 🙂 I get why you believe God isn’t real, but I wasn’t expecting you to have an issue with transcendence. How is it possible to appreciate any noble story if there is no transcendence? Who cares if Lessa can bring the five Weyrs into the present to rescue Pern from the threadfall if Pern has no meaning and the relationship between Lessa and Ramoth isn’t transcendent? Doesn’t your heart stir when the underdog wins, the bully gets his due, the girl gets the boy (or what-have-you)?

      • Noble stories don’t need “transcendence” the way believers in the supernatural use it: “o be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence)” or “in Kantian philosophy : being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge” – merriam webster

        I can care quite well about Lessa, et al since I don’t need transcendence to have meaning. The same with the underdog wins, etc, all human effort to be celebrated as human effort.

        You seem to be trying to claim that to have meaning we need some supernatural activity. That is a common attempt by theists to give a job to their god.

      • Robert Mitchell

        Not claiming that at all (since I don’t really believe in the supernatural in the conventional way because the only thing beyond nature is God IMHO). By transcendence, in this instance, I’m referring to the idea that good can triumph over evil, that individuals can overcome their base instincts, that altruism is real, that we can as individuals and as a species can rise above pettiness and despair, etc.

      • Ok. However, I’m not seeing that transcendent/transendence is used they way you seem to want to use it. All of the things you say are great and are part of being human. We aren’t surpassing anything doing those things; that’s always part of us. Sometimes we just don’t do it.

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