Friday, February 24, 2012

Very interesting ...

... New Statesman - Religion for Atheists: a Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The fixation on belief is most prominent in western Christianity, where it results mainly from the distorting influence of Greek philosophy. Continuing this obsession, modern atheists have created an evangelical cult of unbelief. Yet the core of most of the world's religions has always been holding to a way of life rather than subscribing to a list of doctrines. In Eastern Orthodoxy and some currents of Hinduism and Buddhism, there are highly developed traditions that deny that spiritual realities can be expressed in terms of beliefs at all. Though not often recognised, there are parallels between this sort of negative theology and a rigorous version of atheism.

Well, even Thomas Aquinas said that we can only say what God is not, not what He is. What I think it is important to remember is that belief and faith are not the same, and a preoccupation with formulae can prove detrimental to the latter.
Finally, a quibble: Pascal did not convert to Catholicism. He was born a Catholic. He later had a conversion of sorts to Jansenism and later still a more profound conversion following a vision.

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