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Godless Americans, Godless Greeks

November 29, 2015

The small fraction of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated continues to edge up. Of course, affiliation and belief are different things. Many of the unaffiliated still aver belief in some notion of god. And many who are affiliated with a religion do not believe. It’s not too surprising that a majority of American Jews are atheists, since belief isn’t what qualifies someone as Jewish. But as that article points out, there also are large numbers of cryptic atheists in church pews, including 10% of protestants and 21% of Catholics.

I may have to read Tim Whitmarsh’s book on atheism in the ancient world. It’s true that much religion then was a civic affair, which made philosophical criticism of belief a different kind of matter. (There were mystery religions, some presaging aspects of Christianity.)

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