Notes & Thoughts

Religion for Atheists

Religious fictionalists hold that the contentious claims of religion, such as “God exists” or “Jesus rose from the dead” are all, strictly speaking, false. They nonetheless think that religious discourse, as part of the practice in which such discourse is embedded, has a pragmatic value that justifies its use. To put it simply: God is a useful fiction.


This got me thinking about, among other things, the notion of political, and perhaps even democratic, fictionalism. So a proponent might contend that “Western democracy” is a fiction and that Western countries are in fact oligarchies, but at the same time maintain that the discourse of democracy has a “pragmatic value that justifies its use” similar to that of more literal forms of religion.