Archive for the ‘neutrality – myth of’ Category

It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God

December 14, 2009

In speaking of the fear of religion, I don’t mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehood. I am talking about something much deeper — namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that… My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind.

Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 130-131.

Myth of Neutral Education

June 28, 2009

“… Further, it is on our heart very heavily to stir up our friends to rescue some of the scholastic influence of our adversaries out of their hands. In the common schools of England church influence is out of all proportion with the number of the Episcopal body and the proportion of the Nonconforming churches. We have too much given up our children to the enemy, and if the clergy had possessed the skill to hold them, the mischief might have been terrible; as it is, our Sabbath schools have neutralized the evil to a large extent, but it ought not to be suffered to exist any longer; a great effort should be made to multiply our day schools, and to render them distinctly religious, by teaching the gospel in them, and by labouring to bring the children as children to the Lord Jesus. The silly cry of Nonsectarian is duping many into the establishment of schools in which the most important part of wisdom, namely, the fear of the Lord, is altogether ignored; we trust this folly will soon be given up, and that we shall see schools in which all that we believe and hold dear shall be taught to the children of our poorer adherents.

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, ch.10, 1973, p.161

Myth of Neutrality – C.S. Lewis

January 13, 2009

What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience. It is
therefore useless to appeal to experience before we have settled, as well as we can, the
philosophical question. (C.S. Lewis, Miracles, p.3)

Myth of Neutrality – Aldous Huxley

January 13, 2009

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had
none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption… The
philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in
metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally
should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and
govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves… For myself, as, no doubt,
for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an
instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain
political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to
the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and
economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in
some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There
was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying
ourselves in our political and erotical revolt: we could deny that the world had any meaning
whatsoever.” (Ends and Means, pp. 270ff) Aldous Huxley