Field of Science

Scandinavian nonbelievers needs to read their Bible

I wrote about Phil Zuckerman's newest book, Society Without God, last year when it was reviewed in Salon. Now a New York Times article revisits Phil's experiences in Denmark and Sweden where he interviewed people about religion: Scandanavian Nonbelievers, Which Is Not to Say Atheists

The essence of the article is that while Denmark and Sweden are among the World's most secular, least religious countries, people still think of themselves as Christian. They don't really have much to say about the matter, which I find is a symptom of a dimwitted ignorance, but I must admit that I am not sure if it doesn't matter in terms of building a fucntioning secular society.

Regardless, I am shocked to the core by this observation:
Beyond reticence, Mr. Zuckerman found what he terms “benign indifference” and even “utter obliviousness.” The key word in his description of their benign indifference is “nice.” Religion, in their view, is “nice.” Jesus “was a nice man who taught some nice things.” The Bible “is full of nice stories and good morals, isn’t it?”
Say it's what? Full of what, now? Nice stories and good morals? If by 'nice' you mean 'entertaining in a morbid sort of way', and by god morals you mean... not good morals, then sure. Otherwise it seems to me that Danes and Swedes have never really read anything from the Old Testament, which is full is horror stories and God's wrath. It's nice that they can take away something positive from the Bible, but I trust that's because they really haven't read the whole thing, only know the New Testament material.

I was going to conclude that I'd like the Danes and Swedes to read the darn book, but I don't really think that would be such a good use of their time. Shakespeare has more of everything compared, anyway.

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