Saturday, September 12, 2009

Empty Deity

I was going to write something on the Dawkins/Armstrong throwdown in the WSJ this morning, but PZ beat me to it and was a lot more eloquent about it to boot.

I'm a little disappointed by Armstrong's article. I've read a couple of her books on the history of religion (A History of God and Holy War) and have generally found them to be balanced and insightful. It seems that when Ms. Armstrong ventures into the realm of apologetics she puts her usually sharp, analytic mind in a box and wanders off into spiritual la-la land. Her conception of god is so refined and so ineffable that the only way to get at em at all is via some sort of spiritual intuition. How does she even know that these "spiritual exercises" are actually putting her into contact with anything at all?1

Is this what apologetics has come to? We saw the same thing from Robert Wright in the NYT a couple of weeks ago. It seems that if those who've decided to reject a literal interpretation of scripture are charging headlong towards the logical conclusion thereof. Who's going to left for us to argue with once they're gone?


1 Or, for those of you with a literary bent: "You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato...”

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