Publisher Description

This is a book about religion from a secular angle, but it isn't uncompromisingly hostile to it. Many critics of religion put the emphasis on belief and seek to show that these beliefs are incompatible with science. Richard Dawkins speaks of the "God hypothesis", and says that it is highly improbable and lacking in evidence. But it's a mistake to think of the existence of God as a scientific hypothesis that can be disproved by contrary evidence.

There have been many attempts to explain why religions exist and the question is still unresolved. One problem, it seems to me, is that explanations are often based on what may have happened thousands of years ago, perhaps as long ago as the Upper Palaeolithic. But these ideas, even if they are plausible, don't necessarily tell us why religion still exists today. That, I believe, is because it provides a sense of meaning in an apparently meaningless universe. Many people find it intolerable to live without this. As Taner Edis has said, "For most people, learning to do without a God is a costly undertaking for no clear benefit".

In a sense this book is a sequel to my earlier book, 'Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination', in which I described my experience of leaving two different belief systems to arrive at a naturalistic view. This book takes the story further.

Why is it free? In short, because I want it to be read. There are many motives for writing, but one is the wish to find out more exactly what one thinks about a topic. This book is of that kind. Writing it has been useful to me, and I hope that reading it will be so to at least some people.

Religion & Spirituality
29 October
Anthony Campbell

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