Someone or some group of people gathered together under a misleading moniker, QMonkey, have been hassling my review of Lars Von Trier’s controversial film Dancer In The Dark with comments about suffering and doubt and CS Lewis and Mother Theresa and the intellectual integrity of faith. Some would say that in beginning a blogging throw-down with super-brains like me and Jaybercrow, one should be careful to comment on the correct post but maybe these QMonkey people have seen through our impressive facade and realised that we are in fact posers, faux intellectuals and actually a bit dim.

Regardless, the throw-down takes this form:

The proposition is that in the context of the history of human knowledge and progress that the best method of answering questions about what we see around us is exclusively evidence based enquiry.
Any claims or assertions of knowledge beyond science should be respected, but ultimately treated with scepticism until they can evidence that their claim is at least probable. Although given the paradigm shift which would be required to believe that say, a man walked on water, it’s not unreasonable, in fact very necessary to demand stronger proof than just probability. Therefore there is no longer a valid place for religious faith in the progress of mankind.
I argue that pre-Darwin it was difficult, intellectually to hold a non theist position as human knowledge at not yet reached a point where it was possible to at least conceptually grasp the origins of existence, and the ‘magic man in the sky did it’ theory was still the best way to satisfy and placate us.

Am i wrong?

I have 150 words to respond, which I am going to exceed so let me begin:

In the recent history of human knowledge a stunning development has occurred with a way of answering questions that we can call empirical enquiry.

Any claims or assertions of knowledge outside empirical knowledge (all questions beginning with “Why”) should be respected, but ultimately treated with a similar scepticism to empirical explanations (all questions beginning with “How”). Although given the paradigm shift that has recently occurred, making it uncommon to disbelieve that say, a man walked on water, it’s not unreasonable to ask for more serious consideration of what we mean by “knowledge”, “evidence”, “reason” and ultimately, “reality”.

Lots of people say there is no longer a valid place for religious faith in the progress of mankind. Other people point out that talking about the “progress of mankind” is implicitly religious.

I argue that post-Darwin it is difficult for some to hold a theist position as human knowledge has not yet reached a point where it is wise. It is possible to at least conceptually grasp the origins of existence without realising the implications of existence in the first place, and they resort to dismissing Christianity as ideas about a ‘magic man in the sky’ as the best way to satisfy and placate themselves.

Am I wrong?

Your Correspondent, I insist that Neuro update her blog

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