From: Steve Petermann (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 22:08:32 EDT
Dr. Nelson wrote:
Most atheist screeds,
for example, talking about how ridiculous christian
belief is a strawman caricature of christianity and
are just plain theologically ignorant and wrong.
Sadly, there are people whose beliefs probably
coincide in a folk religious way with those strawman
I agree. What readers of the likes of Dennett or Pinker probably don't know
is that the guys are not consistent in their approach. When they talk
against religion they pick on, as you say, folk religion instead of the best
theological thinking they could find. However, they would throw a fit if
their own technical work was dismissed by someone based on a critique of
Second, I think that it is not due to "rational"
reasons why people leave.
That may be true of many, but the thinking people I see at the UU church
have left for that very reason. If religions are not compelling to the
intelligentsia there is a problem. Some will say that the intelligentsia
are not important but to the contrary those are the teachers and professors
who are shaping young minds. While it takes time for the "beliefs" of the
intelligentsia to pervade popular culture, it eventually does. Just look at
Or arational as William James refers to it in the Will to
Believe, which I think encapsulates part of the
problem very well and which I wont go into here at the
True. Probably most people make religious choices based on some sort of
"feel" for it. However, as we see with the increasing efforts in the
science and religion arena(particularly among clergy and the educated
laity), there is a growing number who want a *well reasoned* faith as well.
The question for Christianity and all religions is how to address this
desire for a well reasoned belief system. Included in this good reasoning
is also an embrace of a modern worldview. While it may be immanently
rational to believe in God(which I also think it is), where the religious
framework goes from there may not be.
Scientism is just plain bad philosophy and uncritical
I am all for people thinking critically
about what science means and does and what it doesn't.
It is only in bad theology or ignorance of theology
that a scientific worldview has much of anything to
say about religion.
That sounds just as prejudicial as a scientism. Surely science has
something to tell us about how the cosmos unfolds. When religion does the
same thing then there can either be a conflict or partnership.
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