OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Re: Richard Dawkins, Knowledge, and Faith

Re: Richard Dawkins, Knowledge, and Faith

I couldn’t remember how we’d come to this apparent impasse, so I went back to your original post. In it you contrast modern and postmodern believers. The modernist evaluates beliefs as more or less true based on their accuracy vis-a-vis objective states of the world. The postmodernist, in contrast, might espouse a faith that is about lived commitment rather than knowledge, and/or might lay claim to a kind of knowledge that is experiential rather than objective.

I certainly agree that people’s commitments aren’t necessarily justified on objective grounds. Loving this person rather than that one, or regarding politics as more important than ethics, or even dedicating oneself to getting rich versus improving others’ lives: these are judgments of what’s good and important and meaningful, and there is no standard outside of human judgment in these matters. To the extent that faith constitutes a personal and collective commitment to a set of principles, to a community of people, to a way of acting in the world, then I agree with you that faith functions independently of what’s objectively real or true. Such a faith can imbue life with meaning that’s experienced subjectively and intersubjectively. So I’d say that we’re in fundamental agreement about such matters.

I have adopted a relational methodology that enables me to study socio-political life as an unfolding series of connections that produce larger or smaller scale networks of connections.”

Do you subscribe to “actor-network theory” or some variant on it? I’m only tangentially familiar with its tenets, but I understand that ANT includes both human and non-human actants in its networks. So a social network might include people and ideologies and money and geographical neighborhoods and standard behavior patterns etc. etc.

Richard Dawkins, Knowledge, and Faith By: Jacob (60 replies) 6 February, 2010 - 01:49