It is snobbery to expect humanity to stop believing in God because some smart people are ATHEISTS. According to veteran writer Adam Gopnik, “Atheists have this monopoly for the same reason that computer manufacturers have an edge over crystal-ball makers: The advantages of having an actual explanation of things and processes are self-evident” Gopnik’s statement perfectly encapsulates the intellectual claim of those who say God is dead and religion is false, says The Atlantic’s Emma Green. The assumption, she says, is that atheists have legitimate knowledge ——– religious people do not. —-This assumption, this binary state, underlies the CULTURE WARS. It’s also reinforced by leaders of both the religious and atheist groups of the West. :One group wields rational argumentation and intellectual history as an indictment of God, while the other looks to tradition and text as defences against modernity’s encroachment on religious life,” writes Green.
Green looks at a recently published book, The Age Of Atheists, by Peter Watson, a British historian. “In listing the many ways people have dealt with the ‘death of God’, (Watson) also seems to imply that atheism has covered all intellectual bases. There’s no longer no reason to believe in God or spirits or Black Magic. Watson appears to say —– 19th and 20th century intellectuals have got it covered,” she writes.
Watson’s conclusion is that religious belief can no longer explain the complexity of today’s world. But this is intellectual snobbery, says Green. “Watson assumes that because a group of smart, respected, insightful people thought and felt their way out of believing in God, everyone else should, too. Because intellectual history trends toward non-belief, human history must, too,” writes Green. True, the West is probably less religious than it was 150 yrs ago, and the dynamics of belief and ritual have become much more complex. But if you look at the sheer number of people who say they believe in God, it is an exaggeration to say that the ‘age of atheism’ is upon us, Green says.