Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More on 'Breaking The Spell'
Dennett begins Chapter 2.4 of his book with a number of quotations including one that follows'
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"
- Jesus of Nazareth in John 8:32
As may be guessed from such an opening the author continues his argument here as to the value of scientifically investigating religion. He notes that the opposite case has two presuppositions:
1)"that religion provides net benefits to humankind" and
2)"that these benefits would be unlikely to survive such an investigation"
Neither of these propositions is a certain fact, and the author goes further in stating that,
"There is really no way of showing the first point without actually engaging in the investigation".
The author spends the rest of this chapter arguing for the value of his study, arguing with various "stage opponents" including the fundamentalists and evangelists of his home country who have little purchase elsewhere.
Better to pass on to the rest of the book.

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