Open not shut case 1

October 14, 2005

Like many anti-religious militants, A. C. Grayling equates religion with its narrowest versions ("Amen to the pursuit of truth and reason", October 7). Understandable today, no doubt, but not from a professional philosopher.

Let's say the cosmos is not pointless matter but is in some sense made and intended. Clearly this is a "religious" belief that could also bear honest and intellectual support. Yet this "intending" is mysterious, as far beyond human ken as the Oval cricket ground would be to an ant. Belief in such is anything but "closed"; the notion that it "knows all the answers" is laughable; and it entails not the smallest wish to kill anybody at any time.

Grayling's dogmatic rationalism attacks the mirror-images of its own generating. It is as though he said all governments were Hitlerian and every school a Dotheboys Hall.

John Powell Ward

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