Dr. Coyne comments about a Spectator piece written by atheist Douglas Murray, who argues "it’s time we admitted that religion has some points in its favour." Jerry responds:
This is, pardon my French, complete bullshit. If Adam and Eve did not exist, and there was no Original Sin caused by human action, and the Primal Couple was just a metaphor, it means that if Jesus really was crucified and resurrected, he died for a metaphor.Bravo! I stand with him against enablers and accommodationists and I reserve the right to mock them when I see fit.
And what is that metaphor? Who knows? What, exactly, is the “truth” in the story, then? Good luck with that, for those Evangelical Christians who doubt the historicity of Adam and Eve have been arguing for years about what it could mean as a metaphor. A fictional Primal Couple completely turns the Christian narrative on its head, for a metaphorical Adam and Eve means that humans are sinful not by through own actions and nature, but because God made them that way. And in that case, why did Jesus have to die, for God could simply have made us good? If Eden speaks profoundly about ourselves, then what is that profound meaning?
Well, theologians have thought of many meanings, but all of them come from secular reason rather than faith, for you can’t privilege one over the other when making up stories.
In the end, Murray proposes a deal, which turns out to be a devil’s bargain.
[N]on-believers like me should...concede that, when it comes to discussions of ideas, morality and meaning, religion does have a place. Rather than dismissing it as some mere relict of our past, we should acknowledge that religion has an important contribution to our present and future discussion. We may not agree with the foundational claims, but we might at least agree not always and only to deride, laugh at and dismiss as meaningless something which searches sincerely for meaning.Nope, I refuse to concede that. Morality, meaning, and ideas are addressed much better with secular reason than with religion. Again, are the largely atheistic citizens of Scandinavia and Northern Europe bereft of morality and meaning and ideas since they abjured religion? I don’t think so. In the end, a search for meaning based on fictitious foundations only impedes one from finding the best way to live. The pervasive discrimination against gays, for example, comes wholly from faith.
I claim the right to mock and dismiss those organizations that sincerely search for meaning so long as their search is conditioned by claims about reality that are palpably false. Link.