Greetings from Oxford, where I’m having fun talking to the assembled scientists, philosophers, and theologians, but not left with any extra moments for blogging. So I will leave you with this quote from Owen Flanagan‘s book The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World. I wanted to include it in my first talk at the conference, but ran out of time. He’s offering advice to Catholics (and has offered very similar advice to Buddhists), but the spirit is of wide applicability.
Believe none of the theology or metaphysics. But be a cultural or ethnic Catholic (the way many Jewish atheists are). Go to Mass, meditate and pray in a Catholic way if you wish, consult the right saints depending on your needs, have fun, etc.
This is a reasonable way of affirming your identity, you can find wise moral guidance in places, and you can drop all the hocus-pocus stuff. That stuff is silly, unbecoming to thoughtful souls, and can be dangerous.
(The “Father” bit is a joke, as Owen is not really a priest, but he would be an awesome one.)