Friday 9 December 2016

Lap of the gods

Published 10/11/2012 | 05:00

• I read Philip O'Neill's letter on modern Ireland and its relationship with religion, atheism and agnosticism (November 6) with great interest. It is true that a growing number of people are distancing themselves from religion -- according to Census 2011, there was a four-fold increase in the number of people who said they had no religion, were atheists or agnostics, since 1991.

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This statistic warrants deeper investigation because, as Philip intuits, there is a sub-group within this group who have not only distanced themselves from religion, but have distanced themselves from a belief in the existence of a god as well.

In response to Philip's puzzlement at how many succumb to "the least convincing versions of modern atheism", well, whereas there have been multitudinous perceptions of god/gods since time immemorial, the position of atheism has always been consistently singular and simple: an absence of a belief in god/gods. Modernism does not come into it.

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