Damon Linker claimed last week that possibly “the most daunting obstacle to getting the nones to treat traditional religion as a viable option is the sense that it simplifies the manifest complexity of the world.” Millman quibbles:
I do think that pluralism poses a fundamental challenge to traditional religion. But it’s not the pluralism of modes of knowledge that poses a challenge, but the pluralism of identity. It’s not that traditional religion can’t “handle” natural selection, or psychopharmacology, or biblical source-criticism; it’s certainly not that it can’t explain the evil of the Holocaust. It’s that traditional religion – Abrahamic religion, anyway – demands that you identify yourself definitively as an adherent. It demands an unequivocal commitment. And contemporary young people, according to all the evidence, are very wary of making commitments like in any walk of life: in love, in work, or in terms of religious identity.
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