In 1998, John Fowles (author of The Magus and The Aristos) was quoted in the New York Times Book Review as saying, "Being an atheist is a matter not of moral choice, but of human obligation."
I believe in science. I believe in evolution. I believe in Nate Silver and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens. (Although I do admit he could be a kind of an asshole.)
I cannot get behind some supreme being who weighs in on the Tony awards while a million people get whacked with machetes.
I don't believe a billion Indians are going to hell. I don't think we get cancer to learn life lessons, and I don't believe that people die young because God needs another angel.
I think it's just bullshit, and on some level, I think we all know that, I mean, don't you?...
Look, I understand that religion makes it easier to deal with all of the random shitty things that happen to us. And I wish I could get on that ride, I'm sure I would be happier. But I can't. Feelings aren't enough. I need it to be real
Now, I don't personally believe in Satan (or dragons, or demons, or resurrection, or underground pits of eternally burning gay people, or that a guy can build a campfire in a whale's colon), but I don't mind if people do as long as their commitment to literalism remains wholly separate from my country's legislation and scientific progress. I recognize that religious beliefs, institutions, and structured rituals—even ones that seem arbitrary to an outsider—can be extremely fortifying for people, especially communities of people that have been abandoned or demonized by the status quo.On the one hand, this is a great succinct example of sound and healthy skepticism. On the other hand, West is implicitly throwing critics of religion under the bus (specifically, those critics who do mind if people believe in supernatural entities, and who think that such belief helps to normalize certain undesirable and dangerous attitudes and behaviors).