Ultimately, the problem with militant neo-atheism is that it represents a profound category error. Explaining religion - or, indeed, the human experience - in scientific terms is futile. "It would be as bizarre as to launch a scientific investigation into the truth of Anna Karenina or love," de Botton says. "It's a symptom of the misplaced confidence of science . . . It's a kind of category error. It's a fatally wrong question and the more you ask it, the more you come up with bizarre and odd answers."
Bryan describes himself as agnostic. I am, of course, a practicing Catholic. But my operational definition of faith, which I think is vastly more important than belief, is John Henry Newman's: being capable of bearing doubt. I recommend it for all agnostics.