Blasphemy and atheist rituals: An interview with S. Brent Plate

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'A History of Religion in 5½ Objects' author S. Brent Plate.

'A History of Religion in 5½ Objects' author S. Brent Plate. Photo courtesy Plate.

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'A History of Religion in 5½ Objects' author S. Brent Plate talks with RNS about atheist rituals, how art and objects are connected to blasphemy, and why religion is about more than just belief.

  • gilhcan

    It’s not really a stretch to see how every-day actions and ordinary favoritisms are replicated in seemingly religious ways even if one is not a theist. In spite of any claims to the contrary, history shows that religion is of man, not of “God,” not of some power beyond the universe as was imagined in ancient mythology.

    The evolution of knowledge, of thought, and of practice follows irregularly the already irregular evolution of the human race from which religion originated.
    That is how and why theists who grow (evolve) into agnostics, and some within agnosticism on to non-theism, maintain or develop similar actions and favoritisms in their new setting as when they were theists.

    If we are healthy, we all value life, so it should not be surprising that we find similarity in expressing that life value in theism, agnosticism, or non-theism.

  • Atheist Max


    “In short, atheism is not the antonym of religion. It is the antonym of a particular idea of religion as an intellectual enterprise” – S. Brent Plate

    Here’s more nonsense:
    “‘Atheistic religion’ is not an oxymoron.”

    This is the sort of garbage which must STOP.
    Atheism is a NON BELIEF IN A GOD – and that is all it means.

    It is NOT a religion. There is no dogma, there is no doctrine for atheism. There is no claim that God is impossible. Show evidence and the atheist is ready to see it!


    Please stop saying foolish things about how atheism is a religion – it is not.

  • Atheist Max

    Well said.

  • grahog

    LOVE your mind!
    We have a friend who was a medic in WW2. One (among many) instances that made him an ‘evangelical’ atheist is when he told us it was really hard to believe in a god when your best friend was stumbling toward you holding his guts in with his hands.
    Do I have answers? Bast NO!
    But I do love to read all the replies. I don’t care what your religion is except for: 1 don’t kill me; 2 don’t impinge upon my civil rights.
    If ‘god’ speaks to me and mentions my or your name, I’ll let you all know.
    TO THE POINT: We here ‘fight’ with words. We had better get ready to fight with those that fight with guns-in the name of Prophet Muhammad /God/Arab Power monger.
    And I am really interested in atheist rituals. I suppose they all sit around saying nothing-THAT’S a JOKE!!!
    Sorry-sitting here giggling.

  • Eli