21 May 2007

Quick Observation

Every religious tradition is based on certain false claims about the way the universe operates. Inherent to every religious system, therefore, are bound also to be certain logical inconsistencies. Eventually, someone will notice these inconsistencies and set about to solve them.

The person who finds a solution that successfully (if provisionally) resolves this logical conflict in a way that preserves the integrity of the system for a while is called a Theologian.

But the person who, rather than attempt to patch a broken system with yet another layer of baroque, convoluted, ad hoc logic, decides instead to suggest that the system is flawed beyond repair and is based on impossibilities -- that person is labeled a sinner, a liar, and a fool.

Ultimately, the Skeptic and the Theologian are engaged in the same enterprise, but with different priorities. Both of them wrestle with inconsistencies in the received wisdom of their weltanschauung: but whereas the Theologian is willing to sacrifice logic on the altar of his belief, the Skeptic is willing to sacrifice belief in his adherence to logic.

Which would you choose?

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