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Daylight Atheism 5: Cosmic Shell Game


Lee equates the search for the true religion to a cosmic shell game, with thousands of whirling shells, indistinguishable, under which a single one holds the prize of salvation, and all others lead to damnation.

This is the weakest chapter so far, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m not convinced that all the religions (shells) really say that they are the only paths towards salvation. I think the Eastern religions are significantly different, and do in fact allow for multiple tries, and allow for some wiggle room. It would take some research to really find out how accurate Lee’s representation of all religions is.

Some religions care more about actions than belief, and morality is in fact something that is about as “universal” as Lee claims is necessary for the shell game to be remotely fair (107). One could, as some religious people do, claim that it is the general morality and goodness that are necessary, not the creedal beliefs. This seems to be a relatively obvious counter that is not addressed by Adam.

Also, it might be a bit wrong to think that the shell game is totally random, as if no one has any way of distinguishing one faith from another.

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