McKibben quotes philosopher Erazim Kohak in The Age of Missing Information:
“Of all the illusions of the world of artifacts and constructs, the most facile and most palpably false is the claim that the awareness of God’s presence—in our inept phrase ‘believing in God’—is the preaching of certain individuals, an opinion contigently held be some members of the species. The obverse is true. It is the blindness to God’s presence that is exceptional. Humans, as a species, throughout the millennia and all over the globe, have been worshippers of the Holy. The awareness of God’s presence is and ever has been the most persistent specific trait of our species.” (p.93-4)
Why is it that philosophers whose first language isn’t English always use the densest and most difficult phrasing? Do they never learn the simpler versions of words and phrases, going directly to the obscure?
Anyway, a translation for those who don’t wish to read it a second time slowly: Humans have always had a sense of the Divine (call it what you will). Atheism is the exception in the history of humans.
Richard Dawkins and his ilk might take exception to this (I don’t know). But it’s pretty hard to argue the point, given that every recorded ancient civilization seems to have had some kind of worship as part of their day-to-day life.