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To take on another McGrath comment

Posted by Ben on Sunday, March 04, 2007 | Permalink

A point from Alister McGrath:

"Dawkins often compares belief in God to an infantile belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, saying it is something we should all outgrow. But the analogy is flawed. How many people do you know who started to believe in Santa Claus in adulthood?"

A counterpoint from me:

Very few (thank fuck). But the point is unexpectedly interesting, because yes, fair enough, people do start believing in god when they're adults; certainly a significant number compared to those that suddenly start thinking St. Nick pops down their chimney once a year. But there might be a variation of 'evolution is cleverer than you are' going on here, something along the lines of 'society is more perceptive than you are'. Because, certainly here in the UK, people that take up the faith in adulthood are often referred to in a disparaging manner as 'born again'. We roll our eyes and shake our head, say that he/she has 'caught religion' and suchlike. It seems to me that there's an implicit recognition that constantly believing from one's youth into adulthood is forgivable, but that to fall for it when you're grown up? Well, you really should know better.

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