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Beyond belief

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http://www.theage.com.au/national/beyond-belief-20100109-m00z.html

---DAMIAN Coburn once lived in a cult-like Catholic offshoot in which owning a new car was frowned upon as being too much like investing in a graven idol. But Coburn bought one anyway, and called it the Golden Calf. Anne Robinson was raised a Christian but as a teenager became a pentacle-wearing witch who was in touch with the earth goddess Gaia and performed magic spells to win love, or money. Aam grew up in a strict Bangladeshi Muslim family, where marriages were arranged, the Koran taken literally and a set of religious and cultural taboos were woven together into a complete way of life.

These three Australians are united by a religious upbringing. But in the past few years all have been united by something entirely different. They've shucked off their faith and become part of a growing world-wide movement - atheism.

What is driving this move is a matter for debate. Some say it's a reaction against religious terrorism, fundamentalism. Others that the habit of Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Tony Blair and others of wearing their religion US-style on their sleeves has prompted a backlash, with people concerned about the political lobbying power of faith. Still others believe the children of 1960s hippies have grown up without strong childhood indoctrination and are now embracing rationalism and science.

The new atheism is bigger, more organised, and much more assertive than ever before. It's based on the belief that science explains everything we need to know about the world so there's no need for religion. Its founding texts are by scientist Richard Dawkins and writer Christopher Hitchens, and religion, in their eyes, is not just some harmless illusion, it's a dangerous, immoral force in society.
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http://www.theage.com.au/national/beyond-belief-20100109-m00z.html

TAGGED: ATHEISM, COMMENTARY, RELIGION


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