Monday, July 6, 2009

The Least You Can Say Is That Robert Wright Is Interesting

Bob Wright is an interesting guy in that he's a) technically atheist but b) still sees some kind of plan and c) is able to write and talk about the questions engagingly. An example of how he does see a design of sorts (not one coming from a personal god) is Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny.

I tend to distrust anything that smacks of the teleological, even one originating in the mute cold laws of physics. After all, the history of modern knowledge has largely been one of decentralizing the role of human action and viewpoints in the events of the universe, which is not surprising since we now understand that we're adapted to this one tiny pocket of it.

While they dissolve into theobabble at one point, I found his description of his experiences at a silent retreat to be really compelling - to the point where I'm thinking about trying it!


Dan said...

So this guy is a pro-religion for because he posits that the good that religion does outweighs the bad?

That's just fine in an unchanging moral environment. In the real world, however, it cripples critical moral thinking.

Michael Caton said...

I'm not sure he's even making that argument. He talks a lot about what religion can be, and points out the good pieces of it - but all those pieces can exist in the absence of anti-empirical dogma.