Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Sensible Atheist Speaks

David Friedman (Ideas) writes:
Part of my skepticism with regard to the efforts of my fellow atheists [e.g., Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris] to demonstrate how absurd the opposing position is comes from knowing a fair number of intelligent, reasonable, thoughtful people who believe in God--including one I am married to. Part comes from weaknesses I can perceive in the foundations for my own view of the world. At some point, I think, each of us is using the superb pattern recognition software that evolution has equipped us with to see a coherent pattern in the world around us--and since the problem is a harder one than the software was designed to deal with, it isn't that surprising that we sometimes get different answers.
UPDATE (01/20/08): Friedman ends a follow-up post with this thought:
My own conclusion, as before, is that I do not think God exists. But neither do I think that conclusion so obviously true that all reasonable people ought to accept it.

Related posts:
"The Universe...Four Possibilities" (07 Jan 2007)
"The Greatest Mystery" (24 Dec 2007)
"Religion and the Inculcation of Morality," which links to many other related posts (12 Nov 2007)