Sunday, May 31, 2015

Anglican atheists

Interesting YouGov survey results in the Independent today; it seems that 2% of Anglican priests don't actually believe in God, i.e. they're atheist. In addition, as many as 16% are unclear about God, perhaps agnostic? I have met many Jewish people (particularly in New York) who would call themselves Jewish but not actually believe in God, i.e. they would be happy to label themselves Jewish atheists and don't see any conflict with that. Perhaps this is what happens to religions as they diminish, i.e. once the clergy stop believing it you would have thought that the writing must be on the wall? I can fully imagine that for long established religions the cultural baggage like the rituals (births, marriages, deaths etc.) may well last beyond the practical end of the religion and may well merge into the next popular (man-made) movement that comes along; at some level human beings seem to need (or just enjoy?) rituals to book-stop important life moments and let's face it, the buildings designed for these purposes over the centuries are often pretty spectacular! (see Canterbury Cathedral above)

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