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Go to: Philip Kitcher - Living with Darwin

tvillemw's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by tvillemw

Although I haven't read any of the recent books on God, I've enjoyed following the arguments pro and con.

I think Kitcher got it wrong on why America *seems* so religious. Our religiosity is tied to Empire. We are not stupid, we know deep down inside that there is no God or afterlife. If we gave religion up, the whole imperial house of cards would collapse. Without God, we couldn't maintain the fiction that we're the chosen people; we would have to take full responsibility for our actions -- bad for the economy, bad for our sleep. Better to profess belief in God so we don't have to think.

While I agree with Kitcher and others that American social institutions are lacking, I don't think the gap between western Europe and America is that wide except statistically. And it looks like Europe is steadily closing the gap in questioning the welfare state and in adopting American ways. Perhaps Europe seems more secular because of a long-standing anticlericalism in a region where state and church were one and because Europe suffered so much from the wars of the 20th century. How strong was European secularism in 1939? I recall an NPR interview with an atheist in New York who lost her faith in the 9/11 attacks. Perhaps after our holocaust the Christians are campaigning for we'll see more secularism in the States.

Tue, 31 Jul 2007 06:11:00 UTC | #56708

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