RE: virus: Thinking clearly about faith

Deron Stewart (
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 15:14:40 -0800

Deron Stewart:
>>The complex feedback and
>>feedforward of social dynamics...extremely hard to fit into the tiny
>>of a "rational" world view

David McFadzean:
>I don't understand this statement. The "tiny boxes" of a rational world
>are being expanded and added to adapt to describing complex phenomena
>because the rational world view is itself a complex adaptive system.

The rational world view is great -- unequalled even -- in dealing with things that are simple enough to understand: General Relativity, heart transplants, human cloning, logic, selfish genes, Mars explorers, astrophysics...that kind of stuff. These are some of the little boxes I referred to.

But what about the tough stuff? Gang warfare, human relationships, finding meaning, addiction, the Middle East, dealing with tragedy, .. stuff like that. Science has little or nothing to say about this, nor does the "rational" world view (by itself).

The "Church of Reason"[1] is just as comforting as any other church to its adherents, and for basically the same reason: it provides intelligible answers in a complex universe. Such comfort doesn't come without a price tag of requires one to close one's eyes to whatever doesn't fit in the boxes.

It can be a bit of a straight jacket after a while as the justifications have to get more and more strident and convoluted to avoid giving ground...but then again until it reaches that point for a person, maybe it's serving them ok.

We are surprised that more christians don't change their creed to accept Darwin, but how many "rational" people changed their tune when the Prisoner's Dilemma was discovered? (And this is a much greater challenge to the Church of Reason than Darwin ever was to christianity).



[1] I think this term is fairly self-evident but read _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_ for more description.