That’s what I’d title the book I would write if I wasn’t so busy with making up excuses about how I’m too busy to write this blog, much less a book that’s probably 8th or 9th on my list of books I’d like to write “someday”.
My theory is that for all that developments in science have made it less reasonable, desirable, or practical to believe in a God whose existence accounts for the inexplicable, it was not science, but democracy, which have truly empowered the atheism of the Western world. Though the US remains a notable holdout, in general, Western democracies are atheistic. In the past religion offered both the cultural glue of shared experiences, beliefs, and expectations about world, as well as the rules and norms for interacting within society. Democracy largely supplanted these roles fro religion, leaving to priests and rabbis the role of cheerleading for morality rather than enforcing it.
It turns out that religion did a fine job of exercising power and exerting control, but it did a pretty lousy job of governing societies justly or providing opportunities for individuals. Turns out that democracies do a far better job at ensuring the rights of individuals, lifting up the downtrodden, protecting the powerless, and governing disputes. With democracy providing an effective moral code, many people are simply shrugging their shoulders at God and moving on.
Maybe later I’ll talk about why I think this is a mistake, but I’d love to hear from some of you guys first.