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  1. #1
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Cool Richard Dawkins and Cardinal Pell

    The Cardinal spoke with the voice of authority to suspend disbelief.

    And Richard spoke with reason to engender reasonable belief.

    So the Cardinal was entrancing while Richard was enlightening.

  2. #2
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    Reason and the Suspension of Disbelief

    Richard Dawkins and Cardinal Pell debated religion in Sydney last night, but there was an embarrassing moment when the Cardinal, in his authoritative voice, said, "When we were preparing little boys .......", and the whole audience erupted in laughter.

    The problem for the Cardinal is that we no longer believe the voice of authority, and yet that is just the voice the Cardinal deploys.

    And it seems to me that the problem for Richard Dawkins is that he is deploying reason against the suspension of disbelief. And the whole point of suspending disbelief is to suspend reason for a time in order to relax and refresh and control the congregation.

    So it was an asymetrical debate. For the only way to beat reason is with reason; and the only way to beat the suspension of disbelief is with the suspension of disbelief. Just as the only way to beat a poem is with another poem.

  3. #3
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    Church and the Movies

    I was sitting in Manuka the other day sipping my coffee and thinking of the suspension of disbelief, and then the suspension appeared in front of me.

    Directly opposite was the movie theatre, and to my left was the Catholic cathedral, and to my right was the Anglican cathedral. What was the business, I asked myself, of the theatre and the two churches? And the answer came back, clear as a bell, their business is the supension of disbelief.

    We all know that a movie is successful if it can suspend our disbelief for the length of the movie, but we seem to be less aware that a religious service equally depends on the suspension of disbelief of the pastor and the congregation.

    However the movie theatre has six screens, or six auditoriums, all operating at once to show movies and suspend our disbelief, while the churches only have one auditorium each, which only operates intermittently to suspend our disbelief.

    And calculating the number who go to church and the number who go to the movies, the movies outperform the churches by one hundred to one.

    In fact we don't go to church much any more but we flock to the movies, because we have a hunger to have our disbelief suspended, and the movies satisfy us, while we find church to be unsatisfying.

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