Our group takes what I’ll call a Post-Atheist stance. Our position is that god is a creation of human beings, who only exists because of the clap-hands-if-you-believe-in-fairies principle. If enough people were sensible enough not to clap hands, then this Tinker Bell god would die. However, unfortunately, billions of human beings are still prepared to defend their belief in some sort of god-fairy, and, as a result, god exists. What’s worse is that he is now running amok.

To an even moderately sophisticated and well-read person it should come as no surprise that any religion at all has its hidden as well as its obvious beauties and is capable of profound and impressive interpretations. What is deeply objectionable about most of these interpretations is that they allow the believer to say Yes while evading any No.

What is needed is not that a religion be true, meaning that what it claims exist beyond the ink it is written with in a holy book. That is hard to prove. What is important is that a religion be a good system to help us mere mortal deal with our short and troubled life in the universe. Whether what we hope for in the afterlife materializes or not is not important, what is important is that we believe it will materialize and that gives us hope.

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Because, you see, God-whatever anyone chooses to call God-is one’s highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.

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