Religion For Atheists

From Aengus Woods‘ review of Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

It is utterly impossible to get any sort of consensus on what we poor secularists need from religion. The beauty and danger of organized religion has always been its authoritarian aspect: It tells us what is wrong and what is right, what is healthy and what is impure. Apply these edicts to the secular world, and they begin to look suspiciously like indoctrination. Where is the place of criticality here, and exactly whose values get to be promoted?

Keep your momentum

“Once you begin writing, try to continue to write. Avoid any delays in your writing schedule. That doesn’t mean you must write continuously, but you should strive to write consistently. Putting off the writing of your book for too long a period can destroy your enthusiasm. It’s like when you vow to call a friend. You put it off for a week, then another week, and soon, you’ve postponed it for so long you’re almost embarrassed to call. To maintain your momentum, your passion, your zeal, work on your book regularly. Don’t allow too much time to pass between writing sessions.” — Gene Perret

Defamiliarize

“‘They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.’ There it was, an everyday word given new life and radiance when set against the skin of an elderly African-American couple: yellow. I understood what my professor meant about extending my vocabulary, not just with new, fancy words, but by going back to what I already knew and making each word work harder. I understood how important it was to defamilarize each word we use, shake off its rust and let it shimmer with meaning. ” — Kevin Haworth