Monday, February 11, 2008

Reasonable atheism (7): a brief comment about structure

I thought it would be worthwhile to say a little something about 'where am I going with this?' as it may not be clear. Just as my Virgin Birth tirade evolved from what I thought was going to be two posts into a great long series of over a dozen, so too this sequence I now expect to stretch over at least twenty posts. This is how I see the structure of it panning out:
- first some conceptual ground clearing, especially on the difference between atheisms (mostly now done);
- then I'm going to talk about how wisdom is taught, and how 'wisdom language' and traditions function, not least in neurological terms;
- then I'm going to talk about the nature of theological language, when it'll become clearer (I hope) why I'm talking about wisdom so much - I see theological language as a means of forming wise people;
- then I'm going to talk in more specific terms about what it means to be a Christian, not least in terms of the claim that Jesus is wisdom incarnate, and, therefore, what a Christian is actually committed to claiming over against the humourless atheist critique. This is where the 'meat' of positive assertion will come; I'm holding it off until the end because I don't believe it can be properly understood without the prior clarifications.

Along the way I want to disinter some 'theological mistakes' made by humourless atheists (and many Christians). This is my list at the moment:
1. Why God does not 'exist' (this will explain the basic principle of idolatry).
2. The fallacy of 'I only don't believe in one more God than you'.
3. Christians don't believe in 'the supernatural'
4. The fallacy of "You're just a liberal and you don't believe anything, you're not really a Christian".
5. The nature of magic and superstition.
If there are any others that people can think of I'd be happy to add them in.

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