Julia Sweeney has a new play, “Letting Go of God”, and describes her path to atheism. It’s different than mine—she was drawn to religion by mystical feelings, and rejected it on intellectual grounds after inspecting it up close, while I’ve never found any appeal in the mystical or supernatural—so she’s much more sympathetic than I am.
“The world is modernizing so quickly, people want to latch on to things that seem familiar,” she mused. “Religion identifies people, roots them in a tradition bigger than themselves, reminds them to be compassionate. I get that.”
I don’t see the reminder to be compassionate in religion at all.