From: Kate Distin (email@example.com)
Date: Mon 16 Jan 2006 - 17:02:03 GMT
Derek Gatherer wrote:
> At 16:04 16/01/2006, Kate wrote:
>> This is true of the meme of "faith" as defined by Dawkins: faith as
>> belief-without-evidence. But no serious Christian writer would accept
>> this definition. I don't know where he's got it from. It is one of
>> the straw men he's so keen on fighting (see Derek's point about his
>> reluctance to engage with McGrath).
> I think it's fairly obvious where he got it from - those scary people he
> was interviewing last week, and others of their ilk. It really boils
> down to what constitutes a "serious [enter school of thought] writer".
> I agree entirely that the tele-evangelists don't constitute anything
> serious in an academic sense. But Dawkins would probably say anybody
> who has conference calls (so the guy claims) with GW Bush has to be
> taken seriously. Debating the finer points of Barth or Tillich and how
> they might relate to a Popperian conception of knowledge is all good
> stuff, but let's wake up and smell the coffee: evolution is about to be
> removed from the curriculum if the tele-man and his friends have their
> way (and I dare say Tillich and Barth are also a little further down his
> list for removal too....). Of course, this is not a
> with-us-or-against-us scenario, or at least it shouldn't be. Perhaps
> Dawkins does tend to tar (and even feather) all from the same brush, but
> if the liberal theologians were to be more publicly visible in their
> opposition to the bibiolators (it is heresy after all, all CAMP - ie
> Catholic, Anglican, Mainstream Protestant - churches agree on that don't
> they?), then it would be more difficult for Dawkins to allege that
> "you're all the same".
But I could pick out people from all manner of non-religious backgrounds
who would provide equally scary interview-fodder.
Showing us examples of mad religious people proves nothing, if you are
deliberately refusing to engage in discussions with the non-mad
religious people; and ignoring the existence of mad non-religious people.
Of course I agree that what makes these people scary is that they refuse
to accept any contradictory evidence. But I don't agree that this
characteristic is "faith"; and I don't agree that it is either
restricted to religious people, or as omnipresent amongst them as
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