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The Varieties of Nonreligious ExperienceAtheism in American Culture$
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Jerome P. Baggett

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479874200

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479874200.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2021

The Critical Root

The Critical Root

Living with Integrity by Saying No

Chapter:
(p.144) 5 The Critical Root
Source:
The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience
Author(s):

Jerome P. Baggett

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479874200.003.0005

This chapter addresses atheists’ views on religion, which are considerably more nuanced than what one finds in the books by New Atheist authors. Specifically, everyday atheists are less bothered by other people’s belief in God than they are by the detrimental behaviors they consider to be often wrought from believing in such images of God as judge, sovereign, and father. They are similarly less critical of many people’s innate religiosity than they are with the objectified worldviews from distinct religions. Lastly, they are much less critical of religious people (who are often their friends, family members, spouses, and so forth) than they are of religious institutions, which they think make people worse than they would be otherwise. Ironically, these nuanced positions, this chapter further shows, actually resemble the positions of many progressive people of faith far more than atheists generally realize.

Keywords:   critical root, New Atheist, God, judge, sovereign, father, religiosity, religions, religious institutions

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