TNC had an epiphany while reading books about WWII and its aftermath:
[Tony Judt’s] Postwar, and the early pages of [Timothy Snyder’s] Bloodlands, have revealed a truth to me: I am an atheist. (I have recently realized this.) I don’t believe the arc of the universe bends towards justice. I don’t even believe in an arc. I believe in chaos. I believe powerful people who think they can make Utopia out of chaos should be watched closely. I don’t know that it all ends badly. But I think it probably does.
I’m also not a cynic. I think that those of us who reject divinity, who understand that there is no order, there is no arc, that we are night travelers on a great tundra, that stars can’t guide us, will understand that the only work that will matter, will be the work done by us.
Or perhaps not. Maybe the very myths I decry are necessary for that work. I don’t know. But history is a brawny refutation for that religion brings morality. And I now feel myself more historian than journalist.
In the comments section, he clarifies his position:
It is not my contention that religion causes immorality, but that it isn’t an actual barrier against it.