Comments: faith and reason discussed

"But more than two-thirds of fertilised eggs are lost in nature anyway."

So, since more than two-thirds are lost in nature, that makes it okay to make only one of 10,000 eggs ever see the inside of a womb?

Quantitative arguments have a tendency to fall flat on their faces, especially when they dismiss out of hand the qualitative issues.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 9:17pm BST

Should I be surprised that I find more agreement with Richard Harries, in that I do with his broader view of reason? However, I take the crucified and risen bit at the end (when he closes down the discussion) more as a myth that reflects the reality of experience of doors closing and doors opening. Pity the correspondence did not continue.

They seemed to have much more in common than Andrew Goddard and Giles Goddard. I am still waiting for Giles Goddard to reply to the last Andrew Goddard letter, with his (since repeated) reference to Pannenberg and the utterly unethical outcome of combining two biblical texts for the purity of the Church. Presumably Giles Goddard finds it a rather difficult letter to which to reply.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 11:07pm BST

Richard Harries is as refreshing to read as ever: unlike so many bishops he writes with gentle persuasion and a preparation to suspend judgement rather than dig trenches. I have a great deal of time for his writings and his steady eye seems to be much missed in the House of Bishops.

Posted by John Omani at Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 11:22pm BST

I agree, John Omani, Richard Harries is an admirable example of what the Church in dialogue should look like.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Thursday, 17 April 2008 at 3:58am BST

While the exchanges were interesting, I think I would understand each man's views better, if I could simply hear a true story of how they have come to their views, the stepping stones of their philosophical or faith development so far in life, as it were. Even that approach would shape much, omit much, and be incomplete/provisional. But at least the growing, exploring, discerning, man/person would be center stage in a narrative of spiritual or philosophical pilgrimage.

Perhaps especially when we are finding one another's views or perspectives difficult and controversial, we need an enlarged true picture to understand the person who is holding such views, at least for the time being?

In that regard, this exchange tantalizes yet falls far short, incomplete, neither wide enough nor deep enough to even start getting into the heart of the differences.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 17 April 2008 at 3:47pm BST

Richard Harries: "But more than two-thirds of fertilised eggs are lost in nature anyway. If each of these really is a person, that is, an eternal soul, it would lead to the absurd conclusion that heaven is mainly populated by people who have never been born."
While not necessarily disagreeing with Richard Harries' conclusions, I agree with Cheryl that his reasoning here is flawed. It is only absurd that heaven is populated by people who have never been born if for some reason such persons are less valuable than the rest of us. But to assume that is to assume what he is trying to prove.

Posted by Mark at Thursday, 17 April 2008 at 7:37pm BST
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