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Really interesting article on the emotional and existential evolution of atheism (and by default religion).

From the article….These are the factors that have led to a more cheery outlook for atheism:

So evolutionary psychology, peace and prosperity, the removal of a glaring embarrassment to atheism’s pretensions and the emergence of new threats that made atheism look more progressive …

And then?

…and then I’d throw on, as well, the decades-long crisis for institutional religion in the West that the social revolutions of the 1960s ushered in. Mostly, as I’ve argued at length elsewhere, this crisis has sent people drifting into various quasi-Christian and spiritual alternatives rather than embracing atheism tout court…

It’s rare, as y’all know, for people to identify themselves as “religious.” Even people who clearly are religious will often surprise you by the fact that they deny being “religious.”

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/douthat/2014/02/27/the-return-of-the-happy-atheist/

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