Arrogance, dogma and why science – not faith – is the new enemy of reason

8 08 2007

religion michealangelo

Melanie Phillips in The Daily Mail

We are living in a scientific, largely post-religious age in which faith is presented as unscientific superstition. Yet paradoxically, we have replaced such faith by belief in demonstrable nonsense.

It was GK Chesterton who famously quipped that “when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing – they believe in anything.” So it has proved. But how did it happen?

The big mistake is to see religion and reason as polar opposites. They are not. In fact, reason is intrinsic to the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The Bible provides a picture of a rational Creator and an orderly universe – which, accordingly, provided the template for the exercise of reason and the development of science.

Dawkins pours particular scorn on the Biblical miracles which don’t correspond to scientific reality. But religious believers have different ways of regarding those events, with many seeing them as either metaphors or as natural occurrences which were invested with a greater significance.

The heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition is the belief in the concept of truth, which gives rise to reason. But our postreligious age has proclaimed that there is no such thing as objective truth, only what is “true for me”.

That is because our society won’t put up with anything which gets in the way of ‘what I want’. How we feel about things has become all-important. So reason has been knocked off its perch by emotion, and thinking has been replaced by feelings.

More here

Rebuttals in the comments here at RichardDawkins.net

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