Darned if less than an hour later, P.Z. Myers hadn't already fired off a take-down. Regardless of where you stand in the continuum of possible world views, and possible stances on your world view in contrast to others, Weiners article prompted me to reflect on my one-time "neo-paganism".
First, definitions. Neo-Pagan is the label applied to me by a survey that I took at Beliefnet's Belief-o-matic some years back. I must have expressed a disbelief in organized religion, and an affinity for deist and/or ancestral spirits. I never consciously applied this label to myself until after I'd read in on the soulless automatonic interwebs.
That was many years ago.
Second, P.Z. is out-spoken ... out- out- out-spoken. He's right, of course, belief in something that is not there is not smart.
It just means you’re halfway to crazy town
Human beings are a deeply deeply superstitious bunch. We are also, largely, conditioned to defer to those with power, money, knowledge. Combine the two ... and religion - or something just like it - will not go away for centuries.
The task, as I've set out for my life, is to be honest with myself. Deal with the world as it is ... seek understanding where I lack it ... seek wisdom from understanding. When I retreat into fantasy, I need to be aware that I'm doing it, I need to acknowledge it to myself, and I need to understand why I'm doing it, how it is a benefit (if it is a benefit at all) and how to advance again beyond it.
Kinda a metaphor for civilization.