Friday, January 19, 2007

Religious Moderates and Reason

I apologize for the lack of posting. The bad winter weather here -- or "The Big Chill: Ice Storm 2007 (dunh dunh DUNH!) Extreme Weather Extreme Graphics and Music i.e. DANGER DANGER DANGER!!" would have you call it -- has cut us off from the Internet for the last four days or so. I finally was able to drive in to work yesterday for the first time to get online.

Andrew Sullivan

Sam Harris
I have a lot to catch up on, and will hopefully be making several posts tonight and tomorrow, but for now I'll just point you to this interesting "blogologue" between Andrew Sullivan (a Catholic conservative, Time Magazine blogger, and author of "The Conservative Soul") and Sam Harris (atheist and author of "The End of Faith") about religious moderates and their relationship with reason. It touches on many of the same subjects as the religion/atheism posts I've made here.

A lot of the talk about religion and science or reason focuses on the extremes, the religious fundamentalists who fly planes into buildings or the Jerry Falwells who call down tornadoes on cities who accept that evolution is the best explanation for how life arose on Earth. This blogologue, though, is discussing the religious middle, those who, like Andrew Sullivan, believe that religion and reason are entirely compatible and there is never any need for religion and science or reason to conflict, who draw a distinction between fundamentalists and what Sullivan calls the faith of doubt.

You can find the still-ongoing discussion here, I hope you enjoy it.


Geopoet said...

Thanks for the link - this dialogue will be fascinating to watch and it's good that it's being done in an open and civil platform for the benefit of the rest of us.

I will make bold predictions however - both will make valid points but both will be just as convinced they are right at the end of it all. This is inevitable because they cannot even agree on (or disprove) the basic premise of the other (Sam's "faith versus reason" pitched against Andrew's "faith and reason"). Is all truth only that which is proveable by scientific evidence, as Sam says? To me that position is not even reasonable. On the other hand, Sam asks tough questions about the essence of faith, which helps theists in better understanding themselves and their relationship with God. As long as they're talking and not condemning, it's good stuff.

I'll be listening in. Thanks Jeff.

Snake Lady said...

The Episcopal priest in Burnet is also the high school physics teacher. I am sending him this link. Needless to say he is absolutely fascinating as a farmer north of Bertram, as a teacher of faith and science and a real believer in all - natural world, spriritual foundations and physical science. He is totally comfortable with them all. One supports the other according to him.