1. I now see that this book may work well with fundamentalists for whom there is a large superstructure of interdependent facts, the completeness and integrity of which is..er..crucial.

    I feel though there is another book to be written on faith. Perhaps, it is about faith in faith? The point is that the varieties of religious knowledge are hugely broad yet equally susceptible to developing the defensive carapace of faith. I suspect that the faithful (most particularly the non-fundamental faithful) see the varieties of this “certain” knowledge and its logical inconsistency. They “know” that the outer details of the McGuffin might not correct yet the common cores to religions’ “knowledge” may be.

    Everyone receives some life lesson along the lines that having a steadiness of purpose is a good way to better achieve things. This more than anything I contend is the anchor of faith, from the prosaic “Keep going, my boy!” to the last desperate hope against hope. I think tackling the reliability of religious knowledge is yet superficial to this emotional/aesthetic level heuristic.

    Overlaid on this is the horrid trick of religious faith, which renders it as “faith as a test”. Ultimate steadiness nets the ultimate boon, with God as judge. Your faith was strong at the end. Welcome. To the moderate, faith may actually be more resilient a thing than the brittle all or nothing structures of fundamentalism when faced with challenges to knowledge. The varieties of religion suggest much of it may be contentious. The McGuffin can change, but the simple core of a concerned creator able to reward is the inviolable nugget. Successfully attacking the truth of “knowledge” outside of this (but within the particular McGuffin) will not cause a fault line to run through the rest of a personal belief system as may happen with fundamentalists.

    My contention is that in this situation, with the faithful moderates, the point of access may reside in the deceptiveness of faith. The pretended core knowledge of God is the least accessible to a direct disproof. And as suggested I see it more as an aesthetic value. (Though. I’m with Hitch in finding it repellant.) Anyone with actual inviolable faith in God, will not talk about faith. To talk of faith does indeed mean you are acknowledging a pretence, just as C.S.Lewis invited the would-be religious to do. Pretend until one day you wake up simply living it, which can work except the next day after a few hideous newspaper headlines you will be back to pretending again.

    Pascals Wager doesn’t work because you can’t simply pretend to love or believe and fool God. Atheist Russel T. Davies’s answer in his teleplay “The Second Coming” is the message for Moderates for me. Any truly loving father would set you free. Your moral life is yours. Never pretend.

  2. In reply to #2 by phil rimmer:

    I have posted the above without being able to see the screen so apologies for any nonsense in there.

    My migraines are purely visual, golden and beautiful. If only I were religious, glory and riches could be mine.

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