Most of it is the familiar Armstrongesque “religion is not belief it’s practice.” Silly atheists are barking up the wrong hydrant trying to say the beliefs are all eyewash because the beliefs don’t matter so ha. Art and poetry aren’t about establishing facts and religion is like that so ha. Myths aren’t silly and wrong, they’re great stories, except the one about science being a good thing, which is silly and wrong because humanity isn’t marching anywhere because it forgot to bring its boots so ha. You know the kind of thing.
Human beings don’t live by argumentation, and it’s only religious
fundamentalists and ignorant rationalists who think the myths we live by are
Evangelical atheists who want to convert the world to unbelief are copying
religion at its dogmatic worst. They think human life would be vastly improved
if only everyone believed as they do, when a little history shows that trying to
get everyone to believe the same thing is a recipe for unending conflict.
We’d all be better off if we stopped believing in belief. Not everyone needs
a religion. But if you do, you shouldn’t be bothered about finding arguments for
joining or practising one. Just go into the church, synagogue, mosque or temple and take it from there.
What we believe doesn’t in the end matter very much. What matters is how we
I bothered with this just because I wanted to point out the howling absurdity of that final paragraph. As if how we live could float free of what we believe! What we believe damn well does matter very much because it influences how we live.
For instance – if we believe that what we believe doesn’t matter very much then we live without paying much attention to what we believe and whether it’s well-founded or not and whether it could motivate us to do damage or not – we live according to Dunning-Kruger – we don’t know, we don’t know that we don’t know, and we don’t care that we don’t know, because we believe it doesn’t matter.
And by contrast, if we believe that what we believe does matter and we believe that female human beings are created inferior and subordinate by God, then how we live will be shaped by that belief. If we’re men we’ll fuck up the lives of any women we have power over, if we’re women we’ll let our lives be fucked up, in both cases because we’ll think it’s what God wants.
John Gray needs to take a closer look at the world.