4 comments on “Cambridge Values Religion

  1. Pingback: Psybertron Asks

  2. Douglas Murray also said referring to religion, ‘Of course, none of it is true’. This is a point that is often glossed over by religious people as though it were so obvious that it hardly needed saying and were neither here nor there. I disagree. The truth or falsity of an idea has important consequences for how you handle it.
    Some of us atheists agree that the church is at present the only institution bothered about countering the atomisation of modern life and Douglas Dams is right to say that the secular alternative at present appears to be ‘The Only Way Is Essex’. However, if none of it is true then you simply cannot go on advocating religious belief, no matter how beneficial the life style. You have to look for an institution that can bring the same benefits while not compromising intellectual honesty.
    I’m afraid just dismissing Dawkins as arrogant or childish doesn’t begin to answer his main point: that none of it is true. This is not a detail but a large obstacle to any thinking person.
    Incidentally, I had to read your post a couple of times before understanding it. This is not because I’m uneducated. It is simply because there were a lot of big words strung together: ‘immediate unmediated communities’, ‘bring no “conservative” narrative to the whole’ etc. I actually believe that the word ‘narrative’ should be proscribed for at least the next 50 years since it has been so overused. I realise you wrote the piece quickly and I like your writing, but my feeling is that you would get your message across better if it read a little less like a doctoral thesis on post-modernism.


  3. Hi Rob.
    Magic comments on style. You are right – I tend to be writing for myself in note form with the jargon that has evolved in that environment. (This post in particular was just that – contemporary notes whilst watching a video.)

    One thing I have discovered in other areas of work, is that any writing has to be targetted for its audience. With complex matters, there is no one language that suits all. End up using lots of scare quotes, when you don’t know who is reading you. Conversation is better than “simplistication” – a simplification too far, after Einstein.

    Eventually every word gets overloaded with baggage even “narrative” – it’s one I do tend to stick with – hang on to the original intent and ignore the baggage – but again, I know exactly what you mean.

    As to content – right – the objective “atomisation” is the underlying issue.

    The one thing I might disagree about is the idea “none” of it (religion / faith) is true. Obviously I know what you mean about literal untruth of the “supernatural” elements – but all truths, even scientific truths have a metaphorical element that is often overlooked, especially by those most wedded to objective truths – most wedded to the cult of scientism, ignoring other values in human culture.

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