the gods

mgansten at mgansten at
Tue May 27 06:10:19 UTC 1997

George Thompson writes (first quoting Howard Resnick):

>>As scholars, we should first admit that there is no feature or
>>aspect of an
>>academic education that qualifies one, as a scholar, to say that there is, or
>>that there is not, a god of fire. This is a religious issue, and only a
>>hopeless logical positivist would argue that we must reject a god of fire on
>>"scientific" grounds. [...]

>First, Howard says that questioning the existence of a god is off-limits
>for scholars. Second, he says that anyone who adopts the religious view
>that there is no such thing as a god of fire must be "a hopeless logical

I hope you'll see, George, that you are very clearly misrepresenting Howard
here. The epithet "hopeless logical positivist" in his view (and, I may add,
in mine) goes *not* to someone who denies a god's existence on *religious*
grounds, but to someone who tries to do so on *scientific* grounds. Science
has no say on matters which are beyond investigation; a scientist may
certainly speak on them (as may anyone else), but he does so (like everyone
else) from a perspective of personal belief. Such a statement is of a
religious or metaphysical nature, not scientific, and I believe that is what
Howard wished to point out.

The rest of the "unintelligible" comments you quote appeared quite clear and
intelligible to me. Is there some personal ill-feeling that makes you not
want to see his point?

Martin Gansten

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