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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Just a thought and women, God and atheism

I observe on my travels in cyberspace that the typical atheist is male; this contrasts with the results of many studies that have shown that the typical religious believer is female. It often remarked that women are more religious, spiritually orientated, caring and person-centred than men who tend to be more focussed on rationality, activity, achievement and practicality - that is on "things" rather than "people".

Now, I know I am sailing close to the wind here, leaving myself open to the charge of perpetuating outdated stereotypes. But I am aware that in these politically correct times a whole plethora of movies and books seem to be dedicated to the notion that a) a girl's best friend is more than likely to be a sensitive and caring gay male while b) most of the world's problems are still caused by (heterosexual) "stupid white men". As Brian Wilson once sang, "I guess I just wasn't made for these times"... So I crave your indulgence just a little longer.

Honestly, does anyone dispute that most of the ideologically committed anti-Christians in the various "freethinking" societies, skeptics organisations, "freedom from religion" forums and Internet Infidel groups are blokes? There could be many reasons for this but, surely, it is worth pondering?

Some questions:

1.Are women more intuitive?
2.Is the realm of faith, religion and the supernatural a more intuitive one?
3.Is there a connection then between "the feminine" and the life of the spirit?
4.Why are more women attracted to churches than men? (The wife who attends church while the husband stays away, is not at all uncommon. Even the apostle Paul acknowledged this scenario 2000 years ago in one of his letters to the Corinthian Christians.)

On the flip side:
5.Are men more likely to be unbelievers and also more likely to be committed atheists? (Why do so many men stand outside during funerals? Just because there is no room in the church?)
6.Do science, technology, reductionism and naturalism have more appeal for males?
7.Is there something in the male psyche that makes him more likely to seek for answers in the realm of logic and reduction?
8. Are the great strides that have been made in scientific understanding and technological development a result of "the masculine" at work?

If there is a discernable pattern here what does it say about men and women, religious faith and scientific materialism, spiritual connectedness and technological progress, belief and skepticism?

In the interest of fairness It needs to be noted that most Christian apologists on the Internet are also males. Indeed the whole approach of “rationally” defending or debunking God and religion is largely a male concern. But nevertheless I genuinely suspect that there are fewer committed atheists and more committed believers among women than among men in our secularized society. And if so, why so? What will happen as more men "get in touch with their feminine side", and vice versa?

Questions. Questions. I know. As Bruce Cockburn once sang "I've got a thousand question marks over my head".

[With apologies to all those male supernaturalists and churchgoers, and female naturalists and atheists.]

12:25:00 am