"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here We Go Again

PeWi sends me this link in comments below. My response is that ignorance is not a defense:

Blakemore establishes straw men (the important issues of religion are the "existence" of God; without ever addressing the phenomenological questions of how 'existence' is defined. Or establishing that the only concern of the religious is whether or not God exists. How long, O Lord, how long? Oh, and religion "explains" the world, except now science does. Which is crap on so many levels I want to send him back to pre-war Cambridge and set him down in Wittgenstein's lectures for a few more lessons on philosophy, epistemology, and hermeneutics. I don't know where else to start with such nonsense. Or such ignorance.)

He presents empiricism and positivism that would embarass Hume and Russell, and yet he thinks he's got "religion" (as he poorly and ignorantly defines it) on the ropes. Feh. Sez Blakemore:

I'm dubious about those "why" questions: why are we here? Why do we have a sense of right and wrong? Either they make no sense or they can be recast as the kind of "how" questions that science answers so well.
Well, of course they can. They're called reductio ad absurdum, and it's considered a logical fallacy.

I'm guessing logic wasn't really a course in med school, though. And ignorance of the subject makes you an expert in it. Well, after all, his only authority in the whole column is Richard Dawkins. With that kind of scholarship, what else can you expect?


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