12 February 2013

Atheists vs Dawkins or fifty shades of truth

Religion – it’s either true or it isn’t - is the headline of the post by Francis Sedgemore. It relates to an article Atheists vs Dawkins by Douglas Murray. Murray's opening statement is "While an atheist myself, it seems to me that claiming that religion should disappear is not just an overstatement but a seismic mistake."

There is a lot of interesting statements in that article besides the one quoted above. Like "Religion, whether you believe it to be literally true or not, provided people, and provides people still, with a place to ask questions we must ask." One would think that science and philosophy provided and provide people with at least some of the answers and that religion (or ideology, if you prefer to fill your head with another kind of nonsense) serves as a prosthesis where our knowledge and understanding are still insufficient. The ability of religion to fill the lacunae were science doesn't yet have a clear answer and fight for every square millimeter when the science fills the lacunae is amazing indeed. But the unwillingness of men to try and live without the prosthesis when it is no longer needed is amazing even more.

Doubly amazing when a self-defined "atheist" shows such dependence on something he should be rejecting and does his best to persuade other atheists to behave alike.

Says Mr Murray in his closing paragraph: "We may not agree with the foundational claims, but we might at least agree not always and only to deride, laugh at and dismiss as meaningless something which searches sincerely for meaning." Indeed, religion shouldn't be dismissed as meaningless. It is precisely for its meaning that we should dismiss it. Either humanity will learn to walk without crutches or it will fall. Or fail, if you prefer. And as far as the wave of religious "Renaissance" of XXI century looks, we are failing. Or falling.

As for the statement Francis focused on, namely "Just because something is not literally true does not mean that there is no truth, or worth, in it." - yep, dear Mr Murray: the definition of something "not literally true" in my (granted, limited) dictionary would be "false". Or, if "false" is not to your taste, feel free to choose from the following:

  1. Contrary to fact or truth: false tales of bravery.
  2. Deliberately untrue: delivered false testimony under oath.
  3. Arising from mistaken ideas: false hopes of writing a successful novel.
  4. Intentionally deceptive: a suitcase with a false bottom; false promises.
  5. Not keeping faith; treacherous: a false friend.
  6. Not genuine or real: false teeth; false documents.
  7. Resembling but not accurately or properly designated as such: a false thaw in January; the false dawn peculiar to the tropics.
  8. Unwise; imprudent: Don't make a false move or I'll shoot.

So there.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Religion hardly needs the rationalizations of atheists to be worthwhile.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Why are you holding back? Tell us like you really feel about it :)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That true, religion definitely doesn't have to deal with rationalization. This way both sides could stay entrenched. But why all these public debates then?

Church definitely wants to look rational. Too bad.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

In print? You must be kidding.