Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two quick thoughts.

If it is a problem for theists that they restrict which books they will engage with, then isn't it a problem for atheists that we will not engage with scriptures?

I think when we try and understand the religious we need to be more careful to remember that there is no god, and that organized religions are just social phenomena that have a role in our culture. What do they do? What do they say? What impact does that behavior have? I think we will come to different understandings if we stop focusing on the fact that their books contain fairy tales. Talking about the fact that there are no fairies doesn't seem productive.


  1. I think that talking about the tradition of writing about fairies doesn't hurt though.

  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/us/28religion.html

    To be fair, I've never read the bible for more than a few chapters. That being said, reading the bible for a few chapters is enough to realize that modern religion, and in particular modern christianity, is only loosely based on what's actually said in the bible.

    Also, as per the link above, atheists are more knowledgeable about religions than most other religious people.

  3. Better to know about "scriptural reasoning" rather than the specific content of individual scriptures, I'd say. Make an analogy to woodshop in middle school: you don't teach the students to make a bench; you teach them to use a hammer, saw, square, and plane, through the making of a bench. Likewise with learning to understand how others understand their world through a scriptural perspective. Whether you're studying the Koran or the Bible or the Vedas or the what have you, the point is to acquire the hermeneutical tools of using a "foundational" text as a source of guiding wisdom; it isn't the point to acquire such wisdom as the text may contain. Though that latter might well be an additional benefit OF your study...

  4. This comes to mind: