In the mail last week, I found a copy of November 2010’s Awake! magazine sent to me by a Jehovah’s Witness. It has a cover story on “Is Atheism on the March?” and the person who sent it to me politely indicated that it may be to my benefit.

I have no idea how I became known as an atheist deserving to be on whatever list whomever has for sending proselytizing literature. The proselytizing doesn’t bother me, and neither do the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As far as I can see, whatever harm they do is to themselves. But in this right-wing and severely anti-intellectual political climate, it’s easy to be slightly paranoid about drawing the attention of Republicans in the state in which I teach. I hope that doesn’t happen. (And if it does, thank goodness for tenure.)

The argument against atheism that the issue of Awake! presented depended largely on a generic sense of intelligent design. There’s a very similar online example from their February issue as well. The argument is nothing special. But it does prompt me to wonder how different theistic religion would be if the extremely popular intuition of divine design no longer had such an immediate purchase on most peoples’ brains.

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