Pullman on Blake

Been reading around Philip Pullman since discovering earlier this year he was a beacon of hope in the BHA (British Humanist Association) and that he’d received the BHA award for services to humanism in 2011. (I guess in that context Dawkins‘ award in 2012 counts as balance?)

I’ve been a humanist since I recognised the word used by my first mentor back in the early 80’s. I’m a BHA member, a non-theist / atheist, but sick and tired of their monotonous cracked-record of one campaign after another against just about anything religious; faith-based schooling, creationism, the lords-spiritual, etc, with barely a hint as to what they might actually be for apart from science, scientific knowledge, scientific truth, evidence-based choice, etc. A literal god is not great – we get it already. What else? Beginning to despair that humanism had redefined itself entirely as scientism set against theistic faith.

If humanism is to be more than scientism the BHA must redress this balance in the messages it promotes. Finding things to fight against is all too easy, or poke fun at (fair game) if you’re the recognised court jester like @rickygervais, but what is BHA’s vision of a better future ? That’s not in fact a rhetorical question, but I digress from the point of this post. Pullman has a wiser vision.

Rather than murder by my analytical dissection, just read this and weep.

Recognising “the system” that makes you “twice-born” rather than clinging to the belief that you operate within a baggage-free neutral absence-of-belief-system. Better a good value system than the neurotic pretence of none. Beautifully argued. Twice-born(*) = Wise. Hallelujah. Nuff said.
[So close to Nick Maxwell’s scientific neurosis thesis too.]

[More – And so gently but skilfully effective in damning (Dawkins and Hawking) with genuinely-respectful-but-faint praise for being half-right – as in 100% right but barely half the humanist story. On a par with Wittgenstein – who came to bury logic, not to praise it. So many more good articles here too.]

[(*) Not to be confused with born-again.]

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