Thursday, January 18, 2007

On the theme ‘if you take away God people don’t believe in nothing but anything’, from a youngish hip agnostic:
It’s no wonder so many kids are obsessed with the hippie-dippie abracadabra bollocks of Dungeons & Dragons and The Lord of the Rings. Compared to the grim reality of a high-tech rerun of the Crusades, a fictional medieval hell-world full of spell-casting wizards and battle-axe-wielding trolls must be comforting.
No offence intended to the fine folk who love Rings. But I’m sure you know what this person meant.

As I like to say if I were 14 and didn’t know better I could have been like that. Natural religion: as Joseph Campbell said of another generation when the church stopped using Latin (putting faith in a white-hot technological future instead, the common belief of the secular élite at the time?) the kids started learning Sanskrit.
...the Scientific Revolution was not, as is popularly supposed, the result of an alleged Enlightenment battle of “secular forces of reason” against the “irrational religious dogma” of the Middle Ages. “Rather, these achievements were the culmination of many centuries of systematic progress by medieval Scholastics, sustained by that uniquely Christian twelfth-century invention, the university. Not only were science and religion compatible, they were inseparable — the rise of science was achieved by deeply religious Christian scholars.”
Get rid of the church and you get rid of the right use of reason (conforming to objective reality, just like science): the result is not perfect order but among other things people who believe in spell-casting wizards and battle-axe-wielding trolls.

Maybe Gandalf can fix my arm. Have you got his mobile number? Meanwhile I’ve got prayer (thanks) and my physical-therapy exercises at least don’t do any harm. Chances are even if the back deltoid remains paralysed I can get back at least some range of motion.

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