Smoke had a great line last night on what it’s like being in a world where not only is religion dominant but where even most of the secularists (in Smoke’s specific case, this means his secular wife) cling to vague “spiritual” notions:
I feel like Jimmy Stewart’s character in Harvey, in reverse; everyone but me sees the giant rabbit.
He then quoted Sam Harris getting the issue we face exactly right:
“Reason is bigger than atheism. We have a problem of good ideas versus bad ideas. The real double standard we suffer from is religious bad ideas can’t be criticized with any energy.”
I connect differently with each of the so-called “New Atheists’s” emphases, but it’s Harris whose book articulated what I had been saying for 5 years prior—that what it comes down to is what is justifiable to believe and what sorts of beliefs deserve intellectual respect and which sorts simply do not. Just a couple weeks ago he made the case excellently as always: