Hemingway tries to claim that Christianity makes people more rational, and less susceptible to superstition, such as belief in ghosts, spirits, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, communicating with the dead, and other superstitions. And indeed, the WSJ cites studies that "prove" this: The more conservative or evangelical a person is, the less likely they are to believe in these superstitions.
Have you spotted the flaw in this logic yet?
The problem is that Hemingway divides the world into three camps: Christian (presumably the "true" belief system), supersition, and Atheist. But that's wrong. The factual foundation for belief in Yahweh is just as weak as belief in ghosts, astrology, communicating with the dead, reincarnation, and thousands of other acts of pure faith.
In other words, there are only two camps, not three: People who rely on faith, and people who derive their understanding from observable facts and rational deductions based on those facts. Thus, where the Christian sees evangelical beliefs as a way to push out false religions, the Atheist merely sees a large number of undistinguished faiths that compete with each other for believers. There is no fundamental difference between Christianity and other supersitions. This is very hard for most Christians to accept, and it frequently leads authors like Hemingway into this same logical fallacy.
From a memetic point of view, there is a large collection of faith-memeplexes that are competing for survival, competing for believers. Christianity is one of the most successful of these memeplexes, because among other things, it developed a strong Intolerance Meme that requires exclusivity from its adherents. Thus, it's no surprise that Christianity and "superstitions" are incompatible.
So all WSJ article really has to say is that the Christian Intolerance Meme is pretty successful. If a person buys into the Christian memeplex, they're less likely to accept any of the other faith-memeplexes.
From an Atheist point of view, the author of the WSJ article hasn't said anything interesting about Atheism at all. All the auther did is show that faith-based systems compete with each other. No surprise there.
Tags: Wall Street Journal ghosts astrology paranormal superstition loch ness religion christian atheist atheism