Friday, December 29, 2006

The need to define ...

... Dave Lull sends along this link: Weak Belief, which in turn links to and comments upon this piece: Believe It or Not .

Richard Stern, author of the first piece, calls the second piece, by Joseph Epstein, "exceptionally shallow and foolish," but I think the phrase applies more to Stern's own. While neither writer specifically defines belief, it is clear from Epstein's piece that he does not mean the sort of casual beliefs Stern is referring to. In other words, Stern is equivocating. "Was Mozart a believer?" Stern asks himself - and answers, "It's beside the point." Well, no it isn't. Mozart, like every great artist, had deep beliefs about art - and his music demonstrates that. Beliefs he may have held - casually or otherwise - about things other than music may be beside the point. Though even that isn't necessarily the case.
Of course neither piece bothers to differentiate between belief and faith.

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