Thursday, November 01, 2007

A look at ...

... The truth in religion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Religious faith is not a matter of the unquestioning acceptance of unmotivated belief, demanded of us by some overriding authority. Quite the contrary. Faith is a commitment to a form of motivated belief, differing only from scientific reason in the nature of the subject of that belief and the kind of motivations appropriate to it. Science achieves its success by the modesty of its ambition, only considering impersonal experience open to repetition at will. Personal experience, let alone encounter with the transpersonal reality of God, does not fit within this limited protocol. The concept of reality offered by scientism is that of a world of metastable, replicating and information-processing systems, but it has no persons in it. Darwin’s angel criticizes Dawkins for a lack of trust in the power of imagination to explore reality, such as we exercise through poetry. He is said to sound “as though he would substitute a series of case-notes on senile dementia for King Lear”.

1 comment:

  1. Frank, it's times such as this that I miss Stephen Jay Gould, who suggested that two magesteria, "science and religion ..." (two of his NOMA) "... do not glower at each other ... but interdigitate in patterns of complex fingering, and at every fractal scale of self-similarity."

    A product a secular, and politically-progressive upbringing and education, Gould often argued against the theories raised by creationists/ID'rs/etc. ..... yet, at the same time, his writings (especially the book "Rock of Ages") suggested ways that the place of religion - as a realm of understanding, separate from science - be established, respected and defended.

    Needless to say, such ideas attracted the ire of other science writers - including Dawkins - who had found cause to praise Gould's ideas and work, in the past.