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← Richard Dawkins interviews Father George Coyne

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by black wolf

you beat me to it; that's exactly what I noticed. His only apparent reason for his faith is his belief in the depth of tradition. Maybe he has grown so attached to his faith that his mind just gives up and refuses to contemplate the thought that all these tens of thousands of people who wrote scripture and theology over the last forty or sixty centuries could have been fundamentally wrong. Writers who themselves were thrown on the wrong track merely by doing exactly what he is doing now, refusing to acknowledge the very plausible and parsimonious possibility that all it took were a few ignorant or deluded or gullible or even deceptive men to start it off. Mankind has started off hundreds of thousands of religions, and many of those survived and prospered for long times.
Sticking with the story from a position of a nearly totally crisis-safe and well-paid occupation within the system is reasonable from a personal standpoint, and of course that makes the mind all the more reluctant to consider letting even the most intellectually shaky position go. Intellectual rigor and honesty are not high on a list of human priorities in comparison to things like food, clothing, lodging and emotional security, even if a false sense of security. Ironically, that's exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.
Exasperating is exactly the word I had in mind when I heard what he said at the end of part 1. The justification for the assumption that the supernatural exists is the assumption that the evidence lies outside the realm of nature. I cannot comprehend how someone can insult his own intelligence so gravely and confirm it with a straight face without bursting into tears. The strength of the self-defence our minds build up around cherished delusions is truly phenomenal.

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:39:00 UTC | #285357