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From the mercy seat to the saloon

July 19, 2010

Savage Minds in an interesting weekend post argues that the debate between rabid evolutionist-cum atheists and rabid evangelical christians-cum creationists is in reality a conflict between to different permutations of protestant culture. Its a delightful little piece with some wonderful images. I especially liked this quote: one side believes it possesses an infallible book written by an omnipotent author with a huge beard with completely explains the dynamics all living things on earth. The other side believes in the literal truth of the bible. I read it twice before I got it and then fell around the floor of a lounge in Frankfurt Airport laughing. Given that Richard Dawkins is talking about setting up a "faith" based school with atheism at its core and his site has many a testimony to people who became atheists after they heard Richard preach; one can see the point being made.

The trigger point for this is the report that a group of atheists are de-baptizing people with hair dryers. Now OK that is a bit trivial (although very creative), but the either/or we_are_good/you_are_evil polarisation of this debate is leaving no room for intelligence. Not only that, the position of both sides is in effect a variation of the manichaean heresy. What it does say is that religion/aesthetics/ritual/culture are all pretty fundamental to human identity and we might want to take a more catholic attitude (small "c" before anyone starts nailing things to doors).

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