Belief In Belief

Since emerging, chastened, from the militant atheism of my not-so-distant past, I have in recent years come round, despite being an unbeliever myself, to the opinion that wide-scale secularism is a maladaptation that sharply — perhaps even lethally — reduces a society’s fitness.

In a recent lecture at Washington University in St. Louis, George Will discussed the continuing importance, and necessary role, of religion in America. It is brilliantly done, and I urge you all either to watch or read it.

5 Comments

  1. Oh dear, two intrusions in five minutes – sorry! But, may I recommend a book which has moved me considerably in all senses, that is, intellectually and emotionally. It is written by the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Jonathan Sacks, and is called:

    “The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning”

    A profoundly wise and civilised man with an enormous breadth of knowledge. Alas, he failed to convince me to believe in God but he certainly convinced me that Judaeo-Christianity is crucial to a civilised society.

    Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink
  2. Thanks for the recommendation, David. I have ordered a copy.

    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Oh Lord, me and my big mouth, Big Henry!
    Hope you enjoy it.

    Posted January 12, 2013 at 6:25 am | Permalink
  4. Luke Lea says

    Have you re-read William James’s essay, “The Will to Believe” lately? It expresses my approach to this issue.

    Anyway, the God of the Hebrews was essentially the God of History and there is no question that their conception is the single most influential idea in Western intellectual history. In that since God has most certainly existed and His legacy lives on. Understanding, not belief, is the big issue now, above all for our intellectual elites. I write about this in an essay you can find on the web, “The Torah and the West Bank”

    I’m really enjoying surfing through your archives. You are one sharp guy.

    Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    …the single most influential idea in Western intellectual history.

    Darwin’s big idea has swung some heavy lumber in the past century or so, too.

    I’m really enjoying surfing through your archives. You are one sharp guy.

    Thanks, Luke.

    Posted December 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

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