Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tim Crane critiques the BHA doctrine of Humanism/ New Atheism - we should tolerate religion

H/T Matthew Coussell. highlights comments

The Humanism Crane talks about the current BHA Humanist doctrine or worldview - the specific approach to religion and morals.  He claims BHA Core Beliefs are the same as the '17 million /36% of UK population are 'humanists'' Mori poll conducted after Linda Smith died viz:

1) Science provides fundamental explanations for things in the world
2) Human nature by itself gives us an understanding of what is right and wrong

    3) What is right and wrong depends on the effects on people and the consequences for society and the world
    In other words the source of all values lies in humanity  and what is right and wrong action should be judged in terms of their consequences. (Mori question 4)

    I wonder why was Question 3 not included in the definition of BHA Worldview or Doctrine 'This life is the only life we have and death is the end of our personal existence' 41% of the UK population chose this as the best match, against 45% who said 'when we die we go on and still exist in another way'. My guess is that Whilst those agreeing with Q1,2 and 4 is 36% my guess (I don't have the full survey in front of me) but those agreeing with Q1-4 is << 36% (possibly 14.7% but probably more than this, approaching 20-30%?)

    "there are many aspects of the humanist approach which are inadequate" (1m43s)
    Crane distinguishes between BHA 'pressure group' activity and the BHA Doctrine / Worldview.

    He does not understand how the 17M figure was arrived at, choosing not to believe it (NB. MORI poll was representative of UK population). 4m00s
    "to what extent should we tolerate religious beliefs if we atheists? (4.26s)
    "I'm an atheist but I don't asubcribe to humanist view of the world"
    BHA Worldview
    1) stress importance of cosmology - religion is fundamentally a cosmological view
    2) religion is the source of many of the problems of the world eg dawkins, dennett, sam harriss
    3) religious is false (ie not true) AND irrational (reasoning badly)
    Debate is intractible; both talk to the converted on each side; cf very bad marriage of 2000 years ago. 9m48s

    What is core of views? New atheists/humanists have not got to heart of religion. Central doctrine of christianity is existence of god and resurrection of christ = cosmology - this is NOT central to christianity 14m18s.
    Dawkins demolishes Cosmological arguements. Religion does not provide the same sort of explanation  that science does (this TC says is true) but Christianity is not interested in this. Doctrine of trinity - literally identical - not logical - but Christians say this is a mystery and struggle to understand it. 17m40s.

    Theoretical Attitude to Religion
    Cosmology is not so important - not protoscientific explanations
    Identification with group is important for religions - which guy said something, not what he said
    Practise - what they do (fast, pray) only 1 is doctrinal (allah is god). Rather than fully formed conception of the world.
    Practical Attitude to Religion:
    John Gray - must accept that religion will not go away. 24m12s
    We should tolerate religion. Not all equally good view. We can only tolerate things we disapprove of. eg neighbour has a noisy dog, I don't like it but I tolerate it. 26m38s. If its not against the law I tolerate things but I don't approve of them. What is point of Toleration of religion? Our aim is not truth or to change attitudes, are aim is to tolerate religion so that we can live in peace within the rule of law (see John Gray Black Mass).

    Tim Crane seems to be the great appeaser philosopher. Simply tolerate religion, provide religion keeps within the law. Don't try to change religionists attitudes, don't even worry that what they
     say is not true. The primary aim is to tolerate the religious so that we can all live peacefully in the world. Back in 2011 I blogged a debate between Crane and AC Grayling. Listen to their debate here. ACG effectively demolishes TC the arguments he uses here, but TC has not learnt and he repeats his mistaken arguments here.

    We should instead be challenging religious faith, whenever possible. But, bottom line I, like TC want to live peacefully with everyone.

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