Welcome back, seekers!
We were talking about that crazy Marxist Terry Eagleton’s defense of the right to believe in a series of bubbly lectures at Yale. And then we here at The God Project Dot Net happened to notice that the most-read blogs on BNET.com (“The CBS Interactive Business Network”) all seemed to be titled something like “3 Ways To . . .” or “The 5 Most Unbelievable …” or “5 Steps to Incredible ….” So from now on all our entries will be blog-optimized to be lists of 5 things. (Rule in effect 24 hrs.)
Again, you’re welcome. We aim to scientifically optimize this blog until it becomes a list of Justin Bieber’s favorite Wii games illustrated with close-ups of Kim Kardashian’s breasts. Can’t fight the machine, sisters; it’s warmer on the inside.
“5 Anti-Faith Dissin’ Arguments” (by Prof. Eagleton)
- Religion is not as stupid as it looks – The New Atheists are trying to “grab a victory on the cheap” by attacking religion’s most pin-headed examples, like creationists and terrorists. This is undemocratic. It’s unfair to assume that anything as popular among so many people for so long has “nothing going for it whatsoever.”
- Science and religion are different topics – Religious faith is not primarily an assertion of facts about the world; it is something else. “The difference between science and theology … is one over whether you see the world as a gift or not.” But how we look at it doesn’t change the gift itself.
- Scientism is a form of fideism – Faith in “Science” has many of the same problems as faith in “God,” because both are practiced by human beings. Science is “shot through with prejudice and partisanship, not to speak of ungrounded assumptions, unconscious biases, taken-for-granted truth.” Science is more likely to kill us all than religion, and over-rationality breeds arid materialism and – irony patrol! – religious fundamentalism.
- Reason is not as objective as it seems to be – Human reason is unreliable, as Kant convinced us. We organize the world into patterns all the time, using rules we’re not even aware of. You don’t have to be a post-modernist to see we all have very different ways to interpret what we think we see in what we think is the world.
- Faith is not a choice – Eagleton is not a science-basher; he’s pleading a second look. His main point is that religious faith is not a rational subscription to a set of ludicrous facts, as “Ditchkins” believes. “Religious faith is not in the first place a matter of subscribing to the proposition that a Supreme Being exists” – God does not “exist” in the human sense. “It is more common to find oneself believing something than to make a conscious decision to do so.”
Faith is a lot more like being tossed into a soccer game by your big brother and finding you love it than it is like going to the library, researching the sports of the world, drawing up their pros and cons, and then willfully choosing soccer because it has the best cardio component, even though science has proved that rowing is superior.