A Tale of Two Cities

September 26, 2007

Cambridge and Malibu, that is. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…

I just read two very different articles over at Beliefnet that compliment each other well. One is by Michael Shermer, a Christian who attended Pepperdine University, got interested in science, and later became an atheist. His article is titled Atheists are Spiritual, Too. An excerpt:

Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one’s place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond ourselves. There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality-art, for example.

Shermer describes taking scientists including Gould and Dawkins to visit the Mt. Wilson observatory in California.

As we were standing beneath the magnificent dome housing the 100-inch telescope, and reflecting on how marvelous-even miraculous-this scientistic visage of the cosmos and our place in it all seemed, Dawkins turned to me and said, “All of this makes me proud of our species.”

Alister McGrath, on the other hand, has a piece entitled Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond, in which he describes his own pilgrimage from atheism to Christianity.

The faith McGrath found sounds more reasonable than the faith Shermer left (Shermer’s is remarkably similar to some strains of the tradition in which I grew up). Also, the atheism Shermer developed seems to be better defined then what McGrath held; from McGrath’s article, it sounds like he confuses atheism with positive belief that there is no God, which is of course a view only held by a small minority of atheists. I’d like to hear them dialogue sometime.

Top 10 Reasons I’m Not Posting Very Often

September 23, 2007

1) I’m still a full-time student. That means I have to go to classes.
2) Senior research thesis on democracy and economic/human development.
3) Awesome new job on non-class days that requires a commute but is well worth it.
4) New campus organization to work on public policy ideas.
5) All the old campus organizations to stay involved in.
6) Arranging some cool speakers to spice things up around here.
7) Girls.
8) Ridiculously intense scholarship applications with ridiculously low odds of winning.
9) Books.
10) Being burned out on blogging for a bit. I think on vacations and after graduation (in May!) I’ll have a wee bit more free time.

Just thought I’d share.