Stumbled across wise man Umberto Eco’s website where he has an artice About God and Dan Brown that closes with:
I think I agree with Joyce’s lapsed Catholic hero in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: “What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?” The religious celebration of Christmas is at least a clear and coherent absurdity. The commercial celebration is not even that.
Good stuff. To add some context, earlier in the piece:
Human beings are religious animals. It is psychologically very hard to go through life without the justification, and the hope, provided by religion.
I wonder if this will always be true. Science as a religion is still new (the philosophers seem to be ahead of everyone else, as usual) and there are millennia of religious devotion to overcome. I’m keen on the idea of a religion of society (clearly, we can’t all become hermits so we need to organise ourselves around something); would it be possible to craft that well enough to fulfil the hopes of the everyman?