The loss of faith in God is followed
by the loss of universal moral principles
and finally by the loss of all that binds
man to man.
— Christopher Dawson
From the moment a creature becomes
aware of God as God and of itself as self,
the terrible alternative of choosing God
or self for the center is opened to it.
— C. S. Lewis,
The Problem of Pain
The greatest act of faith
is when a man decides
he is not God.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
The thinness of the new atheism is evident in its approach to our civilization, which until recently was religious to its core. To regret religion is, in fact, to regret our civilization and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy. And in my own view, the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.
To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.
— Theodore Dalrymple
Abolish religion if you like. Throw everything on secular
government if you like. But do not be surprised if a machinery
that was never meant to do anything but secure external
decency and order fails to secure internal honesty and peace.
— G. K. Chesterton