Sullivan disappoints

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Andrew Sullivan has (finally) responded to Sam Harris with “The Unclean Glass,” and wrote this jaw-dropping passage:

No civilization has ever been atheist at its core. No polity has ever been constructed in the absence of faith, or in the absence of a tradition of faith that makes belief in the present possible at all. Earth to Sam: Does this not tell you something? Or is it plausible that human beings tomorrow will become something that in all of human history and pre-history they have never, ever been?

Agriculture, philosophy, technology, the sciences, and the arts have all—individually and collectively—produced cataclysmic changes in civilization that can be interpreted as changing the very nature of what it means to be human. A non-nomadic lifestyle unhindered by anthropomorphic animism and mysticism was once literally beyond belief, but humanity eventually embraced the notion of progress. The unforeseen nature of those changes did not prevent them from happening, and the same may be true regarding monotheism. The last throes of religion may be invisible—or incomprehensible—to Sullivan, but they are neither unseen nor unhoped for by others.

Sullivan’s later claim that “There is more wisdom, depth, range, glory, nuance and truth in my tradition than can be dreamt of in your rationalism” was another disappointment in this piece. The history of science is filled with far more “wisdom, depth, range, glory, nuance and truth” than can be found religious myths and rituals.

You can do better, Sully.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 14, 2007 11:42 PM.

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