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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Sunday, November 27, 2005




Where am I going? Posted by Picasa

Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online: "In the current issue of The Atlantic, Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology and linguistics at that New Haven trade school otherwise known as Yale, offers an interesting perspective on the whole God thing. He makes a very powerful case that belief - or a tendency toward belief - in the supernatural in general and God in particular is hardwired into our systems from birth. His article is titled 'Is God an Accident?'

"Citing among other things some very clever experiments with babies and young children - don't worry, no babies were harmed in the process of writing his article - Bloom argues that we come into this world preprogrammed to divide the world into spirits and objects, or minds and bodies. This, argues Bloom, is an evolutionary adaptation designed for one thing - socialization - which has made us susceptible to another thing: religion."
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I assume that Jonas Goldberg assumes that it is a good thing that no babies were harmed in the writing of Bloom's article. Though he also finds Bloom's articles "annoying," he really gives no good reason for either of these observations.

But maybe there are no reasons. If Goldberg is right in reducing the reasons to "mystery" then the world of "the spirit" is reduced to preference, isn't it, and what are we to make of that? If the only difference between Muhommad and Christ is only a preference, what does anything at all matter?

It might be very chic in the airy confines of academica and Washington, D.C. to talked learnedly about such preferences, but the 9-11 bombers did not think they were dying for a preference, and neither did our brave soldiers at Bunker Hill, The Alamo, or Iwo Jima. Those who risked their lives in Afghanistan and those still doing so in Bahgdad don't think so either.

To say that faith rests in mystery is comfortaable, of course. You don't have to examine it, or subject it to "truth claims." That way you do not have to be "annoyed." Truth can be very annoying, however. I am sure that Saddam was quite annoyed that Allah didn't deliver him from the Marines searching his hole in Iraq.

A lie is very often comfortable and can bring escape from annoyance, rather like alcohol. Truth never.

BTW, I usually like to read Goldberg. Bloom's article is based on evolution, and I find it annoying also, for the same reason that Goldberg's is annoying. Both are trying to explain a mystery that is not a mystery, but something that God Himself has revealed in Scripture. Blindness is blindness, no matter if it is called conservative or liberal.
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