Friday, August 10, 2018

The Lynne Kelly Quote

8/10/2018—A good day for the meaningful universe. I saw a retweet by Michael Shermer of the Lynne Kelly quote:

“Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left but a dull, cold, scientific world. I am left with only art, music, literature, theatre, the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human spirit, sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination, dreams, oceans, mountains, love, and the wonder of birth. That’ll do for me.”
― Lynne Kelly

Then Jonah Goldberg, the conservative thinker, publishes a column in which he argues that political hatred is a substitute for religion—a re-enchantment creed, following Ernest Gellner. Presumably this description includes people who go to church but still hate their enemies.

The problem at base is the meaningless universe.

A question for me, however, is the status of these wonderful things that Kelly points to and that Goldberg celebrates. Are they real or just hobbies that humans have? Are there re-enchantment creeds that are true even though not supernatural?

So, there is art. Is it all beautiful? Is nature actually magnificent or does it just appear that way to a certain privileged white perspective that can afford such contemplation?

And if the good, the true and the beautiful—and justice—are in fact real (in some sense)—then why attack religion? Why play into the religion/non-religion dichotomy? Why not celebrate all the traditions that pay homage to the real?

That would be a hallowed secularism.

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