by Greg Spearritt
Karen Armstrong has responded to Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion with a new book. Peter Kirkwood’s review suggests that The Case for God: What Religion Really Means is much more than a cogent refutation of simple-minded atheism.
Evidently, Armstrong quotes Einstein:
To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself to us as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our full faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms -- this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of all true religiousness.
Having read a couple of previous Armstrong books, I have no doubt she could make a compelling case for religion. To be fair to Dawkins, though, I do wonder whether what she describes in The Case for God bears much resemblance to religion as it is actually practiced by the naively-realist 95% of pew- or prayer-mat-warmers.
Interesting title for the essay--- "heavy hitter".
Which is of course typical of the editorial style of the OZ in its culture wars crusade.
The OZ, with its right-wing religiosity is also one of the last places that you will find a truly intelligent essay on the nature of God.
As though understanding Truth and Reality has anything to do with hitting anyone (even with POWER-ful arguments).
Right life is ecstatic participation in boundless feeling-radiance, and thus the celebration of The Beautiful
Posted by Sue
I join those who find value in what Richard Dawkins has done and continues to do, but who regret his militancy and his assumption that scientifc explanation is all that matters.
I'm in the middle of reading about studies of consciousness and the difficulties confronting those who seek a science-based explanation of how neuronal activities in the brain give rised to subjective experience e.g. the taste of a red liquid can be so pleasureable.
Even more difficult to explain might well be the positive effects that meditative and contemplative practices have on human beings.
In my view Dawkins has thrown out the baby with the bath water. Throw out the latter by all means, but ....
Posted by Scott McKenzie
I agree with Sue that the Oz headline is overblown (though I hasten to say I haven't read Armstrong's book as yet!).
Though many commentators in the paper do err on the 'right' side, I'm not at all sure Peter Kirkwood can be dumped in this camp. (Phillip Adams also writes for the Oz...)
Posted by Greg