A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The New Atheists

Chris Tessone has a post on the new evangelical face of atheism. The opposition to liberal religion or even to agnosticism is likely to repel allies. And then there's the lack of sympathetic interest in the other.
It is always wrong to be dogmatic. It is always dangerous to avoid facing issues that are being raised by large groups of human beings, both ideally and practically.

The existence of groups whose minds are so far apart that they will not even consider the point of view of the other is a social peril, an internal division in society. No belief held by a large group can be pushed aside as not worth looking into.

The impartial friend of humanity as well as the friend of truth will earnestly seek to understand the worth of the beliefs held by those who differ most radically from him and will try to profit by them.- Edgar Brightman, The Problem of God 1930

Brightman's comments are key for any society that wants to negotiate differences. But he is also raising an epistemic point. Ideas, broadly held throughout time point to, have power precisely because they make sense of and come out of human experience.

If this is so we have a common frame of reference by which to engage differences. It means that broadly held ideas are highlighting something about life in the world. Seeking to understand them not defeating them, would be the route we would want to take.


At 3:26 AM , Blogger drew Wademan said...

well said, I am glad there are others out there that feel this way.


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