Thanks Ben for an interesting article and summary of the last few years. I suspect there’s a strong difference between online spats and everyday modalities. For example, the notion that atheists are necessarily opposed to a particular mythology is likely true only in terms of narrow online dialectics. For the rest of us, having concluded that there’s no validity in any mythology whether formally religious (involving magical invisible creatures) or nominally secular (nationalism, communism, fascism, populism, etc.) we simply cease to have any interest in attempting any conversation with those who feel the need to believe in some external force that seems to give meaning to their lives. As the human species is wont to behave in repugnant ways, it hardly seems important what mythology one clings to; all that matters is attempting to promote social norms that serve to inhibit to whatever degree possible our worst tendencies. History indicates such norms are predominantly secular, for reasons that take several chapters to explain, but again that’s not really a discussion one can fruitfully have with those who believe that morality derives from their particular mythology.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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