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View Diary: Know Your Creationists: Know Your Friends (65 comments)

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  •  Literalism is not always your friend (none)
    In certain parts of our current culture, we prize precise, literal descriptions of reality and recipes for action, ideally of a sort that a well-programmed robot could apply in the absence of human supervision. But in other parts of our current culture — the parts that appreciate (even need) poetry and the other arts — there's a great deal more room for, well, stuff that is literary rather than literal.

    Yet: Science is more respected than the arts, over all, so religion gets pitted against science (even by the people in religion and science, much of the time). That's just mostly wrong, when you consider that in the time that the Testaments were being recorded, religion was much more art than science. Properly contextualized, "believing" a scripture is like "believing" any book of poetry — it's a matter of appreciating that there is a deep nonliteral connection to reality there.

    The real challenge for each religion is: Does it hold up against current art? Religions never have been bodies of science; they have always been bodies of art. The very word "design" gives away that the real challenge is about art, not science.

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