Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Darwin and Religion - 2

Yesterday we learned that modern practitioners of revealed religion can hold onto their faith by maintaining a distinction between believing in and believing that.

In other words one needs to believe that most of the stuff many readers of the Bible before Darwin sincerely believed in, is not necessarily true — in the sense that people who habitually handle factual information understand the concept of Truth.

For Christians this means that they can permit themselves the luxury of believing that the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection etc. are all meaningful fables, without apparently sacrificing their belief in the overall spiritual message of the New Testament.

But why torment oneself with these intellectual gymnastics?

I can see how it would be possible to simultaneously believe in an uncreated creator and that the resulting creation was not entirely random and purposeless. From that point I would try to build up a metaphysical (and an ethical) system which assumes that it's best to hold my ins and thats together as much as possible.

The alternative - reverse engineering centuries old 'authority' so that it somehow corresponds to the ideal one has of the alphas and omegas of human existence is hardly laudable.

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