I Cannot Tell a Lie, Mostly
I call this unfair. Andrew Sullivan commented on Norm’s reply to my comment on a post of Norm’s. (Hey that’s one of those tests. One of those levels things. We can only go so many levels before our puny primate brains go all sideways-bent and can’t function. I think she thinks you think he thinks – and that’s about it, or maybe it’s one more. Four, or five, I think, and no more. After that we just unhook and can’t follow any more.) So what did he say? (Sullivan. Come on, that’s level one, you’re supposed to be able to manage that far. Get a grip.) He said Norm is an honest atheist – in implied contrast to people who say something else, perhaps.
Norm Geras is an admirably honest fellow: a leftist who supports democratization in the Middle East, and an atheist who refuses to dismiss all religion as somehow dangerous or untrue. The truth, as he rightly points out, is much more complex.
There’s no somehow about it; we said how. Anyway – it’s not dishonest to think that the good religion sometimes does may be compromised (or ‘tainted,’ if you want to be all quasi-Hegelian about it) by its reliance on unsupported faith. It may be wrong, but it’s not dishonest.