The Freedom To Think Not Much At All

Philosophy, Spirituality, Liberty by Adam on 2007-06-22 03:00

“People who once lived under the yoke of oppressive religion now have the freedom to believe, read, and do what they want. So why have the ungrateful bastards not become full-fledged atheists? The answer from some quarters seems to be that not all have got the message, so what they need is some reeducation in the folly of religion and the joys of science. But this is wrong. The reason they haven’t become atheists is that many people use the freedom to think what they want to not think very much at all. And, given the evidence of history, I don’t think that a population without strong convictions on matters of fundamental ideology is a bad thing.”

From “Toward a More Mannerly Secularism”, by Julian Baggini

(Doesn’t seem to be online, unfortunately - can be found in print in the Feb/Mar 2007 issue of Free Inquiry.)

Baggini makes a compelling argument that uncompromising atheists like Richard Dawkins are sabotaging their own efforts by framing the discussion as a fierce battle of us-vs-them. Us, the reasonable, science-loving atheists; and them, the superstitious, unreasonable theists. But most people would rather ignore both science and religion, while not directly disassociating themselves from either. Perhaps the best way for outdated beliefs to exit our cultural consciousness is to wither away; direct frontal assault will only reawaken fervent faith.

One comment per 'The Freedom To Think Not Much At All'

  1. Ethernight says:

    “Baggini makes a compelling argument that uncompromising atheists like Richard Dawkins are sabotaging their own efforts by framing the discussion as a fierce battle of us-vs-them.”

    Funny, you didn’t seem to find it such a compelling argument when I was making it. :-p

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