Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect

During the last year or so, a bushel of books has been published about why we should do away with God — or at least consider it. Among the most famous are The God Delusion, by the biologist Richard Dawkins, and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett. Despite popular acclaim (both are bestsellers), neither book has met with much enthusiasm among reviewers, who have accused the authors of preaching atheism as though it were science, capable of refuting the infinitely elastic claims of theology.

Of the two, Breaking the Spell makes the subtler claims. Dennett argues that religion, by unwritten proclamation, enjoys an amnesty against criticism unknown to any other field of human thought and behavior — an unwarranted amnesty. He then goes on to show how logically and even spiritually impoverished religious faith has become in much of the country, pointing to the spread of market-based evangelical churches, where God’s purpose seems to be aligned with the crassest self-help books: Here’s how God can help you with your finances and love life.

Because most atheists are not religious, it is understandable that most atheists aren’t going to make an effort to raise their children in an explicitly and deliberately religious environment. Atheists are likely to raise their children to be Christians or Muslims. Does this, then, mean that atheists are also trying to keep religion away from their children? Are they afraid of their kids possibly becoming religious? What are the consequence of hiding religion from someone?

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