Andrew Sullivan links to this post by Jennifer Fulwiler who converted from atheism to Catholicism. Her search for love and the meaning of life lead her to Catholicism. Fair enough.

Then there is this paragraph:

However, I did notice something: almost all the people who had impressed me with their ability to defend their faith through reason alone, both famous authors and people online, were Catholic. In fact, the more I paid attention, the more I saw that the Catholic intellectual tradition was one of the greatest in the world. I began reading books by Catholic authors; not that I was really interested in Catholicism, I told myself — I was just looking for something good to read. But I couldn’t help but admit that these people seemed to posses an understanding of the world and the human experience that I’d never encountered before. They had the same solid grasp on science and the material world as the atheists, but also possessed a knowledge of the movements of the human soul that resonated as true down to the core of my being.

A Hindu will read this and rightly wonder why the exact same argument couldn’t be used to state Hinduism is the truest religion.

I have often said that I don’t care about people’s religions as long as it doesn’t affect others (or me, if you’re someone close to me). Some of the best people I have met have been religious. And religious people — alright, some — do plenty of good deeds. This is understandable because they have an obvious incentive to do good deeds: They do not want to burn in hell.

Anyhoo, I had fun reading her post. But — and you knew there was going to be a but! — note this sentence towards the end of her post:

And, in the first statement of faith I’d ever made, I told my doctors that I would not use contraception, because I was Catholic.

Yep, she’s all in.

Imagine if she were voting for the Mississippi personhood proposition. If I had to take a guess, I’d say she is likely to vote that life begins at conception. Add many more like her and a girl who is raped will not be allowed to get an abortion.

Now it is okay to care about her religion. And it tells you why atheists care so deeply about others’ religions.

(I do not know who I’m talking to. I have close to zero religious readers here! But I have a few religious readers. Awww, thank you!)


As an atheist, it is easier to accept that there is no larger meaning to life. That to me is a massive advantage when faced with difficulties. All I need to say is: Fuck it, how is this going to affect anything in the universe?

Then I can proceed to do whatever I really want to do.

I can theoretically use the same argument to steal or kill. For that, I have a moral code in place which is not too different from religion, though derived from different first principles. Plus I’d rather stay out of jail. If you cannot think of a moral code that is independent of religion, I’d rather wish you be religious than rot in jail.

And if no meaning to life makes you uncomfortable, you can always derive smaller meanings to life — such as helping others, serving the needy, living for your loved ones. Just don’t confuse the two.

This is all not too hard. Frankly, it is overrated. How many times on an average day do you even have to deal with moral struggles? Zero.


Andrew Sullivan is a smart guy but I can see the threads of his logic break when he talks about religion. He is a Catholic.

This is not a judgement or mockery of his faith, just something that is noticeable.