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In which I Am Indirectly Wistful for the Days of Asimov and Vonnegut

"Like so many other prominent atheists (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, etc.), Maher never tied his atheism to any meaningful cause beyond rejection".

When I was younger, as an atheist, I used to be annoyed at being often associated with humanism. Now, I miss having people with a sense of compassion as the standard bearers of religious skepticism.

I don't hate religious people. I don't despise religion. Because humans are involved in religious culture, beautiful things have arisen from it, just as negative aspects have. That's going to happen no matter what, religion or no. One need only look to Bill Maher or Christopher Hitchens to see you can be an oppressive and complete asshole without religious belief.

Religious organizations facilitate useful social functions not readily met by other groups. Spiritual belief and experience fulfill needs many folks are hardwired with. Insisting society abandon these aspects of itself is cruel and irrational.

You don't have to believe any mumbo jumbo to see that.

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