Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bryan gets libelled ...

... but only mildly: The Childhood Superstition of Secularism.

This is linked to in the Comments, and should not be missed: Daniel Dennett Hunts the Snark.

I could quote plenty from this, but I'll confine myself to this:

In the end, nothing of any significance is decided by talking about religion in the abstract. It is a somewhat inane topic, really, relevant neither to belief nor to disbelief. It does not touch on the rationales or the experiences that determine anyone’s ultimate convictions, and certainly nothing important is to be learned from Daniel Dennett’s rancorous exchanges with nonexistent persons regarding the prospects for an impossible science devoted to an intrinsically indeterminate object. If Dennett really wishes to undertake a scientific investigation of faith, he should promptly abandon his efforts to describe religion in the abstract and attempt instead to enter into the actual world of belief in order to weigh its claims from within. As a first step, he should certainly-purely in the interest of sound scientific method and empirical rigor-begin praying. This is a drastic and implausible prescription, no doubt, but it is the only means by which he could possibly begin to acquire any knowledge of what belief is or what it is not.


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