Smart's essay, that I imagine was written on a cocktail napkin, describes how the scientific method and the solace found in evidence slowly replaced the warm fuzzy feelings that religious belief once provided. I think this road to disbelief is well travelled by atheists in our society. Many people simply don't want to rock the boat when it comes to family relationships, friends in their religious communities, and generally want to avoid an argument that would be better received by a brick wall then those people that they would be debating. How many atheists fill seats in mega churches and perhaps the pulpits? I would guess that's it's higher than we think. We aren't THAT much smarter than most believers....I doubt that the majority of college educated believers REALLY believe in a god of miracles. It's just easier not to think about it and go along with everyone else.....if only they knew that they weren't the only one in that pew with the same heretical thoughts. Perhaps a "church" for atheists could be a useful transition for skeptical believers. Like rehab for unreason. Spend 28 days with people struggling to kick their god habit.
Fact Q: Clifford's "Ethics of Belief" and the wrongness of believing without evidence is now being popularized by what evolutionary biologist?
A: Richard Dawkins