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In Gods We Trust, by Scott Atran

Scott Atran was one of the participants in the recent symposium, "Beyond Belief", held at the Salk Institute. He disagreed rather forecefully with the anti-religion proselytising of some of the other participants, and in subsequent comments he said:

I find it fascinating that brilliant scientists and philosophers have no clue how to deal with the basic irrationality of human life and society other than to insist against all reason and evidence that things ought to be rational and evidence based. It makes me embarrassed to be a scientist and atheist.

Religion, Atran thinks, will always be with us. "The nightmares but also the dreams will very likely remain a good part of what it means to be human, despite any hope to wish them away."

I think he is right in this, so I was interested to read his book, which is reviewed here.


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