This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Imagine No Religion

Edgar Dahl is spokesman for the German Society for Reproductive Medicine. He is the editor of Giving Death a Helping Hand: Physician-Assisted Suicide and Public Policy and an anthology on the philosophy of religion.
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/dahl20091109/

blankEver since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, West Germans as well as East Germans are regularly polled on their stance toward religion. When asked whether they believe in God, most East Germans simply respond by saying: “Nope, I’m perfectly normal.”

This reply must come as a shock to most Americans. After all, it implies that there is something “abnormal” about a belief in God. As if they had been brought up reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, East Germans do indeed consider religious folks to be odd, bizarre, or even insane.

Being born in East Germany myself, I can easily relate to this attitude. In contrast to what a lot of Americans seem to think, we have never been raised to be hostile toward religion. Actually, it was much worse: we have grown up to be totally and utterly indifferent toward religion.

On Sunday mornings, when American kids went to church, we went to the cinema. I still remember enjoying Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra and Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire, or laughing out loud while watching Blake Edwards’ The Great Race or Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot.

One day—I must have been around ten years old—I was late for Jean Delannoy’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring the fabulous Anthony Quinn and the beautiful Gina Lollobrigida. Disappointed to have missed the screening, I went home, passing the St Paul’s Cathedral. Given that I had some extra time on my hands, I decided to sneak into the church. There were about 15 or 20 people in there, mostly in their 60s or 70s. The musty smell, the morbid paintings, and the bleeding savior nailed to a cross made me anxious.
...
Continue reading
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/dahl20091109/

TAGGED: COMMENTARY, RELIGION


RELATED CONTENT

Viewpoints: Why is faith falling in the...

- - BBC News Comments

A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The...

- - human rights first Comments

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

Update - Too crazy even for the...

Ed Kilgore - Political Animal Comments

update - too crazy even for the evangelical right
Barton’s Fall From Grace

David Barton says his documents prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas - but do his sources check out?

Pussy Riot's closing statement

Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments

Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get”...

Graham Veale - Saints & Sceptics? Comments

Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God

Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action...

- - BBC News Comments

The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.

MORE

MORE BY EDGAR DAHL

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment