Cambridge Values Religion

Now there’s a turn up for the BHA.

Hopefully enough to make the BHA think about its position.
Hopefully we’re beyond this being “just a bit of fun”.

[Video Here. No time to watch the whole right now, but after Copson vs the outgoing Archbishop, you can already see where the more subtle argument lies. Organized churches as agencies of communal humanity and tradition, BHA same as CofE in this respect. Immediate unmediated communities – social media etc –  allow freedom of communication and thought, but they bring no “conservative” narrative to the whole (*). Social, cultural and intellectual evolution without conservatism cannot progress, any more than biological evolution, merely change and repeat errors. The “aim” – purpose and meaning – needs to be enshrined “metaphysically”  (or maybe “transcendentally”) beyond the current process and content – even the concept of humanity beyond individuals – “bigger than themselves”. BHA is currently too naive and “scientistic” about where that value is maintained. Dawkinzzzzz …. when will he let go of childish things …. sarcastic, arrogant, ignorant, dogmatist and childish. How could this debate go any other way? As a humanist I’m embarrassed by the BHA.]

[Having listened on, Copson loses it at 1:07 by saying in his very own words that he is NOT actually for the motion as stated. Hope for him. Unmitigated disaster for the BHA. Tariq Ramadan and most of the students all very impressive. (*) As Douglas Murray says – we’d find ourselves living “The Only Way is Essex”. The opposition wins hands down – anyone know the actual voting numbers?]

4 thoughts 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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