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← Philip Kitcher - Living with Darwin

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Flagellant

Yes, it's all about priorities and strategy, isn't it? It's about framing the question, as Kitcher says, without answering it properly. (Mind you, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that, either.)

First of all, Kitcher seems to want a more just World. So should we perhaps be trying to make a better World before trying to get rid of religion? (Join your local Socialists (lol).) He hopes that rationalism would ultimately triumph over supernaturalism largely perhaps as a consequence of a more just world, because 'religion is a response to harshness'.

This raises the very important point: to what extent should we have temporary alliances (truces?) with moderate religionists (e.g. progressive Episcopalians) to get rid of the extremists? There's no doubt that this would be effective should we be able to co-operate. But it's hard enough to get atheists to agree, let alone co-operate; bringing the moderates in won't make it any easier. Here, very few atheists agree about 'the enemy': some think it's all the religiosi; others think it's initially fundies and those who are beyond engagement.

The moderates present a problem, too: they often see themselves as having more in common with their co-religionist extremists than with mild (sic) polemicists such as Dennett and Dawkins.

So maybe Kitcher has a point. He identifies the militant (militaristic) religiosi as a threat to existence and by that I think he means the US Taleban as well as the real thing. But are the moderates doing their bit? They seem to be more offended by rational attacks on their faith by atheists (skeptical humanists) than by their co-religionists' total nihilism.

Religion – an activity for consenting adults in private.

Mon, 30 Jul 2007 05:14:00 UTC | #56451