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  • The Kindle is now available to Canadians.
  • Let the War on Christmas Begin
  • Beyond belief
    An excellent article on non-fundamentalist religions.
    Some sophisticated arguments for God have been made in response to the New Atheists. Richard Norman puts the ‘New Believers’ to the test.
    A religion built around metaphors and stories, rather than doctrines, seems to me to be inherently unstable. If talk of divine creation is just a metaphor for the awe-inspiring beauty and complexity of the natural world, it can hold that meaning for anyone. The stories are a common heritage. We all share in the riches of a culture which includes not only the Bible but the great literary and artistic treatments of the Bible stories – Paradise Lost and Haydn’s Creation, the glories of Renaissance art, the life and death of Jesus in Handel’s Messiah and the Bach Passions – and, increasingly, the images and symbols and art of other religions. “We” here includes humanists. So what is it that sets the religious apart? Isn’t an identity based on metaphors and stories always going to be fragile and porous? I cannot see how, in the end, a distinctive religious identity can be possible unless it is based on the acceptance of at least some non-metaphorical factual beliefs – beliefs about the existence of a personal deity and about how his intentions and purposes explain our world. Those beliefs do, inescapably, need to be rationally defended. And they can’t be.
  • 124th Meeting of the Skeptics Circle
  • Books of the Year

 

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