I was reading an article about a book agent in the US named John Brockman, big success as agent for huge books, and the story said something interesting about how the UK and the USA view atheists or people like that, agnostics, whatever.
How is it different in the UK, what it means to be called an atheist there?
Or Australia or South Africa, for that matter. Or Canada?
Brockman has a keen sense for interesting ideas, but also for the ways in which they fit into society.
For instance, he would never call himself an atheist, he says, in America: “I mean I don’t believe: I’m sure there’s no God. I’m sure there’s no afterlife. But don’t call me an atheist. It’s like a losers’ club. When I hear the word atheist, I think of some crummy motel where they’re having a function and these people have nowhere else to go. That’s what it means in America. In the UK it’s very different.”