This past week an atheist wrote a short piece for CNN Belief Blog that revealed how even atheists can inadvertently perpetuate myths and logical fallacies about themselves and other atheists. Mark Schacter wrote about his recent book of photography that happens to focus on, and is titled, Houses of Worship.
He opens his piece with these sentences, "I don’t believe in a divine presence, nor do I subscribe to any organized religion. And that, perhaps oddly, is why I am drawn to the mystery of faith."
Wait, someone is drawn to something they don't understand? That's odd? How many people take an interest in things simply because at the time they can't understand them? Being interested in something that seems mysterious or unexplained is perfectly normal. There is nothing odd about being fascinated by ideas, events, or people you don't understand. In fact, curiosity is the driving force behind science.
So why label this drive "odd"? It seems to be a knee jerk reaction to the topic of religion. People, including some atheists, still find the need to put the institution of religion on a pedestal. Religion is an aspect of culture no better or worse than any other. It shouldn't be given such special treatment. The old myth/stereotype that atheists are non-believers simply because they don't understand religion the way believers do also seems to be playing a role. It's bullshit. We've proven on more than one occasion that non-believers are more religiously literate than believers.
The piece I refer to is Mark Schacter's December 7th Belief Blog post "An atheist photographer focuses on faith"