Friday, September 29

your guardian response to Dawkins

Dear Stephen Unwin,

1. Dawkins is more than able to look after himself. Nevertheless: it's not true that (in his book) he"comes down firmly on the side of certainty" (that there is no god) . He admits the possibility , but passionately and caringly opposes the imposition of obscurantism and sectarianism and above all fear on children. Myself I'm impressed by my understanding of Ockham's Razor: we have no hope of discovering any order there may be (and indeed is) in it all if we allow needless concepts into our reasoning: they are legion. Only therefore accept god if you have to.

2. My complaint against Dawkins is however not dissimilar : his polemical stridency , even when in response to that of others, will only intensify division - and division is what bedevils our species beyond all else. And now when we both can (in the global village) and need (in an ecological collapse) to unite for the common good, it behoves us to think again. Dawkins seems quite ignorant of the nature of redemptive empathy. The fearsome dogmatists who preach a heavenly eternity for their martyrs or a hellish ditto for their opponents are surely trapped (more blatantly but not essentially differently to the rest of us) in prisons of the mind. To release them one has to enhjoy wide understanding, and visit their prisons and appreciate their logic - and its place in the logic of it all. Without minding ! One gets released oneself in the process.

In my opinion that is the sort of thing true religion (wisdom) is about - something which if generally dispersed could change and "save" our species. I will take the liberty of forwarding, immediately after this, my own "response" to Dawkins, since it elaborates these points (to which in my turn I am exceedingly attached!)

yours sincerely, Hugh Sacker (81 years old, scholar, traveller, grandfather) , Knockandarragh, Donard, Co Wicklow, Ireland


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Hugh:

Thank you for your thoughtful message. I'm not sure that Dawkins' perfunctory acceptance of doubt obscures his position.

Your idea that wisdom is the true religion is a perspective with which I have strong empathy. Thank you again, and I hope your travel continues.


5:39 p.m., October 01, 2006  
Blogger obol said...

dear Stephen, try this :

the logic of any position (item in the pattern of the whole) is an
integral part of the logic of the whole.

one whose understanding of the logic of the whole embraces this truth may display universally redeeming empathy ( something sorely needed at present ) - and thus "prove" it.

1:59 a.m., October 07, 2006  

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