Earlier this year, I visited my sister-in-law and her family in Cambridge on my way home from Cork, Ireland, and she sent Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists along to my wife. After about 10-15 years of on and off again engagement with several religious traditions (Quakerism and Zen Buddhism primarily), I think I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I don’t have faith in any kind of external force or intelligence beyond what one might call natural laws; in essence, I’ve decided I’m just not gonna fight it any longer.
I think that what has attracted me to religious programs has been some of the community aspects that de Botton describes (oh, and of course, the promise of some existence beyond our brief corporeal lives). But my involvement has always felt forced and illegitimate, and I’m no longer willing to entertain the contradictions that permeate organized religion. I think I’m done.