Front page


Spectator notes

7 Nov 09 | Re: Thought-provoking writings

As the postal system gets back on track, I’ve just received the October 31 edition of the Spectator. There are a couple of excerpts that made me think.

First, James Hannam says:

Even the lowliest producer can expect to have me eating out of her hand.

He’s using that neat trick where, instead of using ‘he’ all the time or resorting to ‘they’, you just swap between ‘she’ and ‘he’ at random when someone’s gender is undetermined. Except that here it’s rather infelicitous because he ends up implying that the world’s lowliest producer, whoever it is, is going to be a woman. Rather takes the edge off the feminist intent there.

Second, in a well-written piece about alternative medicine, Anthony Daniels opines:

As one grows older one grows more tolerant, or more aware that no one conducts his life as if it were an algorithm, at each branch of which he decides which way to go on strict evidence of what is best.

He’s saying that we should suffer people to go to homeopaths or acupuncturists or witch doctors if they really want to. But I think he’s also put his finger on what bothers me about the hard-line Dawkins-style anti-religion brigade.

At times, the Dawkins people do seem to set themselves up as campaigners for a life of complete rationality - but this is an absurdity. Every day everyone makes hundreds of decisions for reasons that cannot be considered strictly, or even vaguely, rational, because that is simply how humans behave. Not that this necessarily means that we shouldn’t try to be rational. Just because there is always going to be an irrational element to life does not mean that we should abandon ourselves to whatever outlandish behaviour takes our fancy, with no heed to the consequences! Perhaps the important thing is to strike a balance; to seek rationality where it is available to us, while still acknowledging the fundamental irrationality of the human condition...

... and now replace rationality with righteousness and you have a basic statement of Christian doctrine. No one can be without sin, but we should still strive to avoid it - a struggle that is avowedly not made vain by the impossibility of complete success.

Interesting to notice that similarity between the hard atheists and the Christians they like to attack.

Posted by THE ROBOT ANTS at 20:48

[Back to main blog]

[Or dive into the blarchive...]

Take me home