This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Is Science Killing the Soul?

Shuggy's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Shuggy

Well, in the passage I've just quoted, Sagan seems to be criticizing religions not just for getting it wrong, which many people would accept, but for their deficiencies precisely in the sphere in which they are supposed to retain some residual virtue. Religions are not imaginative, not poetic, not soulful. On the contrary, they are parochial, small-minded, niggardly with the human imagination, precisely where science is generous.

Yet oddly, some of our greatest art and music is based on religion. It's as though Haydn, Bach Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Dvorak; Michaelangeo, Leonardo, Giotto etc. looked into Christianity (and their counterparts into Judaism and Islam) and drew out the soul that ought to be there, but isn't. Faure, I'm told, was an atheist, yet his Requiem is among the most soulful.

In the 1970s, Dan White was given a light sentence for murdering the mayor of San Francisco because his mind was addled....

Funny, I've never seen it put like that. He didn't only murder the mayor, and I think most of us gayfolk would have said, "In the 1970s, Dan White was given a light sentence for murdering Harvey Milk, the first gay supervisor (and some other guy), because his mind was addled..."

...addled from too much junk food, the infamous Twinkie Defense.

Like most gayfolk, I've always taken it for granted that any defence would have done, and the real reason he got a light sentence was homophobia (the SF gay community certainly did so, and rioted, burning 12 police vehicles, at the verdict.) But that doesn't explain the light sentence for murdering Moscone.

Mon, 26 May 2008 20:15:00 UTC | #175660