Non-believers on the meaning of life

This is a very nice article, essentially an ethnographic piece (if I’m using that term correctly) on unbelievers and their thoughts on what it means to be human. The piece links to the Understanding Unbelief research project at the University of Kent, but is independent of that project.

A few things I liked:
An emphasis on the diversity of how unbelievers think about the big questions.
Acknowledgment and brief description of the difference between unbelief (in gods) and religious practice/participation.
This quote from the photographer: “Belief is a word we use all the time, often without being able to explain precisely what it means,” he says. “In practice, most people hold at least some conflicting beliefs about the world.”

It might seem odd to even talk about “unbelief” as though this is something that should be studied and analyzed–no one would read a research project on why people don’t look for Russell’s teapot–but IMO the pervasiveness of religious belief in humans means that this is a basic normal feature of what it means to be human. And so, again in my opinion, this means that unbelief is indeed something worth thinking about.


Thanks. That’s a very helpful article.

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Flaky Foont: Mr. Natural! What does it all mean?

Mr. Natural: Don’t mean sheeit.

(From the cover of Mr. Natural #2 by Robert Crumb)

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Funny, I had this picture saved for this exact occasion.


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