Religion and science was the theme of last night’s Drink and Think; to be specific, ‘Is there a fundamental rift between science and religion?’ Jan, who presented it, claimed that there was; however on deconstructing the argument we arrived at the position that the rift was only between fundamentalist religion and science: religion which not only denies Darwin but disallows other interpretations of its texts, which lays down truths without substantiating them and which – above all – does not allow room for Doubt.
Doubt is in my view a key component of faith – in fact I would argue that without doubt, true faith will not emerge. Thomas – doubting Thomas – has had a very bad press; I think his refusal to believe without experience was entirely legitimate, and the church has a lot to answer for in the way it has tried to promote blind faith and unquestioning obedience. I could go on and on about the ways in which religion is harnessed to power (whether political or otherwise) and how much I hate this; I could rant about how nowadays if another Messiah were to emerge he or she would not be recognised for precisely the same reasons that Jesus was not recognised: I could bore you to tears with my take on wrestling with faith which I think is something every mature believer goes through on an ongoing basis.
But I won’t. Instead I’ll just comment on what a friendly and respectful debate it was, and how enjoyable and productive that made the evening. So thanks to all who came (a good turnout as well!) and to Jan for preparing the subject.
In other news, I’m writing a song at the moment. It’s about the process of giving up TV; from the time in 2005 when Friends and Frasier finished and there was nothing worth watching any more, to the time when we only had videos and the radio, to the time when we discovered the i-player. The song contains the refrain ‘the man from Del Monte says yes.’ The man from Del Monte continues in debating form, going through maybe, no and never before dying and coming back again.
Hey! Maybe the man from Del Monte is the new Messiah!
Holy cling peaches, Batman!