Mary Eberstadt’s new book, The Loser Letters , is clever fiction; it’s satire and she asks a question that evidently — in her view — is not taken seriously enough by the new atheists. And, to be fair, there was a report on CNN.com about the resurgence of atheism.
Where’s their theory of family and women and children and love? Why do they avoid this subject? Such are the new points and questions of Mary Eberstadt’s next chp.
Her point, in her satirical way, is that love and “something more” are learned through family love. Better avoid this topic, too, she says.
So: “most Atheist writing exhibits little knowledge, and even less interest, in certain subsets of our Species that are arguably of numerical and other significance” (79-80). Who? Family life, marriage, children, women.
Most people live in families and come to religious faith through families. That faith is iconically shaped by family love and faith and trust. She says when she lived in a family she was a textbook Dull; then she left family and it began to diminish but her choice not to foster faith and attend church were really only a decision to do what she wanted to do.
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Two problems for atheism, so she advises the upper echelon about them:
Most parents, when they google over their eyes and lives of children, see something more. They’re not just random collections of molecules. The love of children sends them to the Loser (God).
Most atheists were either childless or most lived apart from families. Her words: “a good many Atheists … have been childless or otherwise living outside real families themselves” (89). Spinoza, Nietzsche and Rousseau … who did have five kids but gave them up for adoption.
And she says she’s studied their works and there’s nothing about women; not anything about how religious women are in the world. So, she suggests to them: “either females are intellectually deficient compared to males or something about the way they live gives them ideas that men don’t have” (90). She blames the kids. Kids, and their proximity to moms and women, generate more religious faith.
Human families and women and children (and their close ties) are the chief enemies of Atheism.