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Daily Archives: January 9, 2009
Like any piece of difficult literature, the Bible must be WORKED WITH and deciphered to be appreciated. Superficially, the Bible seems rather unliterary in many places, and a quick reading of a story or poem may leave one shrugging. But prominent literary … Continue reading
The Virtue of Doubt. An Agnostic’s Call For Intellectual Humility and Openness to the Ontological Mystery
Being an agnostic, I am very far from wishing to defend theism, but if I were to attempt to do so I think I would start with love. I know that sounds corn-ball, and like you, I can come up … Continue reading
Why Doctrinaire Atheism is Essentially Dead—And Why, if Religion Dies, Art and Literature Will Take Its Place
Stories, poetry, and plays provide narrative, metaphorical, and mythical ways of speaking about the world and the inner life. They give us a way of speaking to our experience that is outside the straight- jacket of strict scientific and historical … Continue reading
I’m an agnostic, but I still love the Bible. The Bible, for all of its faults, grapples with the ontological mystery (the mystery of being) in an often brutal and non-reductionist way. Many of its books are not reductionist, and … Continue reading
One reason that I am an agnostic is that I think that both atheists and theists can sometimes be too dismissive of DISORIENTATION as a means of accessing the IMAGINATION. If we know too much of the end of a story, … Continue reading
Let a Thousand Languages Bloom: Scientific Reductionism and Its Tension with Other Ways of Talking About the World
Although I am an agnostic, I think that scientific reductionism is frequently in danger of “giving away the moon” metaphorically. Wordsworth said, “We murder to dissect.” I’m okay with reductionism (who isn’t?) so long as it leaves plenty of other … Continue reading
It’s such a relief to know that we’ll soon have a thoughtful, sensible, open-minded president with a hard core of common sense and moderation:
Oh thou proud European of the nineteenth century, art thou not mad? Thy knowledge does not complete Nature, it only kills thine own nature. —Friedrich Nietzsche (Thoughts out of Season II: The Use and Abuse of History)
I agree with the philosopher Richard Rorty that languages are tools. And in the context to which these tools are applied, their value—including their truth value—can then be judged. You fly airplanes with scientific language, and you fly romances with poetic … Continue reading
I don’t think so. If I hurt myself on a ski slope, I want scientific language spoken over me between medics and doctors, but if I die from my injuries, I want my wife and friends to read poems over … Continue reading
“God may not exist, but the ontological mystery does”: Is It OKAY for an Agnostic to Point Out the Obvious? Or Does That Make One a MYSTIC, and No Longer an Agnostic?
As an agnostic, I am happy to allow some things to function as mysteries, and not reduce them (prematurely) to a ready-made, mechanistic explanation. Why matter should evoke mind when it reaches a certain degree of complexity is a mystery, … Continue reading