Saw this latest post over at the Discovery Institute's central site, very short and zeroing in on the following quote from some schmo over at the Huffington Blog:
“You will never meet a non-religious person who is a proponent of Intelligent Design.”
Crowther makes short work of this quote, but I think it's a bit dicier than he's letting on.
Not that he's wrong on any central point, really. More that it's a Catch-22 situation: If you're a proponent of Intelligent Design, then you will be labeled 'religious', period. Call the designer some kind of Paul Davies style pan(en?)theistic 'Life Principle', or 'An advanced civilization' like Nick Bostrom, or flat out 'aliens' like Raelians. Belief in these things, or even in their possibility, will be casually called a religious belief.
Of course, you don't have to believe in ID to be religious. Hell, you can reject the idea of a creator or creators existing and still be religious (see the usual Buddhism examples, with the 'it's a bit more complicated than that' caveats.) You can believe a pantheist and be religious. You can be an atheist and be religious.
What I'm getting at here is the idea that THOSE people over there are 'religious' whereas THOSE other people are (or one's self is) 'non-religious' has always struck me as bunk. Stanley Fish touches on some of this, at least in a political context, but I think the distinction goes further.
I'll try to boil down my view this way: Do you have a belief/view on the origin of our universe? Existence/reality as a whole? The nature of reality, mind, and existence? Congratulations - you're religious.
Do you have no opinions whatsoever on any of these things? Well, if you've ever had an opinion or even entertained a skeptical point of view about them, you're a liar. And if you haven't, chances are I just spoiled your state of innocence by asking you this very question. Sorry about that.