Which ought to be a bit surprising. How do they know? They say believers can’t prove god exists. But then, by the same token, the atheists can’t prove god’s nonexistence. Unprovable works both ways.
The problem is that belief is an internal feeling, like loving another person or enjoying the feel of the sun on your back. There’s no way for anyone else to tell you you’re all wrong, you really don’t like the feel of the sun. Nobody else can know that. Nobody can tell you what you feel, since only you can know that.
So where (in god’s name?) does someone like Dennett get off saying religion is a common cold that needs a cure? He also says it’s an addiction that needs a cure. He should make up his mind. The two are very different.
Dennett is new to me. The loudest exponent of the Church Militant of Atheism has been Dawkins, who’s recently been showing his arrogance in new ways. I’m always struck that he honestly does not seem to get the irony of telling people they’re wrong about an unprovable subject because he’s right.
Now, although these beaks claim to be anti-religion, I suspect their knickers are in a twist because of what people do in the name of religion.
They’d be on much stronger ground if they stuck to the subject. You can tell people to keep their beliefs to themselves. You can tell them what they can and can’t do to others. That’s called civil society and a legal system. God is no excuse for killing people over cartoons, for caging women, for destroying the planet because Judgment Day will be along any minute.
Maybe if all these bright thinkers had a truly evidence-based attitude, which can never go further than agnosticism about religion, and used their stature to condemn harm, rather than an unknowable god, we might actually get a bit less harm in the world.