"Human beings are religious animals. It is psychologically very hard to go through life without the justification, and the hope, provided by religion. You can see this in the positivist scientists of the 19th century.
"They insisted that they were describing the universe in rigorously materialistic terms -- yet at night they attended seances and tried to summon up the spirits of the dead. ...
"The ideologies such as communism that promised to supplant religion have failed in spectacular and very public fashion. ...
"G.K. Chesterton is often credited with observing: 'When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything.' Whoever said it -- he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.
"The 'death of God,' or at least the dying of the Christian God, has been accompanied by the birth of a plethora of new idols. They have multiplied like bacteria on the corpse of the Christian Church -- from strange pagan cults and sects to the silly, sub-Christian superstitions of 'The Da Vinci Code.'?"
Umberto Eco, writing on "God isn't big enough for some people," Nov. 27 in the London Telegraph.
From the Washington Times.