Sunday, October 14, 2007


Cant From the Archbishop

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is fighting back against the "New Atheists." Singling out Richard Dawkins, Dr. Williams said:

There are specific areas of mismatch between what Richard Dawkins may write about and what religious people think they are doing. There are few things more annoying than people saying 'I know what you mean'.

Don't distract us from the real arguments by assuming that religion is an eccentric survival strategy or irrational form of explanation.
Acknowledging the role of believers in the controversy, Dr. Williams stated that God had often been reduced "to the kind of target Dawkins and others too easily fire at."

The Archbishop described Dawkins as a "wonderfully lively and attractive writer." But Williams gets in his own effective licks (while admitting to being "mischievous"):

Our culture is one that deeply praises science, so we assume because someone is a good scientist, they must be a good philosopher. My inner jury is out on that.
You don't have to be a theist to appreciate that.

From the press release:

"The archbishop described belief as being naturally self-critical..."

My jaw dropped at that bit. Believers are often critical of themselves (all their real and imagined sins) but rarely succomb to rational thought.
Yeah, that struck me as possibly a mangling of what the Archbishop said or only part of some larger thought. Theologians do try to be rational, of course (based on arational or irrational premises), but naturally self-critical?
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