Jul 07

Under the tutelage of the estimable Eric MacDonald, I have spent several weeks reading Christian theology. And so far, I have learned only three things:

[1] I am spending my middle age reading drivel about beliefs that have no basis in fact. This seems a total waste of time. I could be reading books about real things instead.

[2] Theologians can’t write. A lot of what they have to say is postmodern or obscure bafflegab, and I’m starting to believe that this obscurantism is deliberate because of reason 3 (below). I have for example, just opened my book (An Introduction to Christian Theology, edited by Roger A. Badham) to a random chapter, which turned out to be “Process theology and the current church struggle” by John B. Cobb, Jr. (Process theology holds that god is not immutable but changes over time, and so does his creation, not totally under his direction.) And there I find this, in a discussion of Alfred North Whitehead (one of the founders of this “school”):

But each occasion transcends the
causality of the past by responding to
it with more or less originality.
This requires that physical
prehensions are supplemented by
“conceptual” ones. Thus, in addition
to prehending past events, an occasion
also takes account of possibilities
ingredient in those events or closely
related to them. Just how it relates
these possibilities to the actualities
it feels is its “decision.” That
means that in a situation that is
inherently indeterminate, there is a
determinate outcome Other
possibilities are cut off.

Believe me, the book contains paragraphs far more obscure and pretentious than this one. Can you imagine reading this stuff night after night? Do you see why my head feels about to explode? Eric, why are you doing this to me?

Read on [From Why am I reading theology? – Jerry Coyne – WEIT]

I’ve debated with religionists online sometimes, and it doesn’t take long before they start ‘speaking in tongues’ 🙂 Pure gibberish. And they don’t seem to realise it. Must be a brain thing.

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