When tectonic plates of knowledge collide 2

September 30, 2010

"The dogma delusion" is thoughtful and restrained. It might have been helpful, however, to consider the contribution of Karen Armstrong to the debate - as an ex-nun, and probably now an agnostic, she draws a very helpful distinction between what she calls "logos thinking" and "mythos thinking".

The former, which has been the dominant paradigm since the Enlightenment, is about scientific and applied reasoning, while the latter is about meaning and the experience of the sacred - it is not intended to be read literally. In Armstrong's analysis, rather than imparting facts, myths are guides to behaviour: if taken as intellectual hypotheses they become incredible. It is when these two ways of thinking become confused that we get fundamentalists - of the religious or atheist type, as your piece rightly illustrates.

Mary Brown, Department of management Aberdeen Business School Robert Gordon University.

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