Journal Note 2
A sense of the religious
I want to remark on the idea of “the religious” as a mode of existence by
addressing a related question of a "religious sense."
Does everyone and anyone have it?
What if one doesn't?
Is it then like not having blue eyes? or like being color blind? or not
speaking German, or being unable to read Greek? or is it a lack, like not having a sense of
Are we dealing with a disability or a decision; a matter of capacity or
I suspect: "all of the above", depending on the individual case.
Consider the case of a dispute, of sorts.
Two friends, the Tweedle siblings, say, speaking
"I believe that God created the world, that He cares for all of us, that if we believe
in Him we shall never die.
"I don't believe any of that.
The world was not 'created', it simply happened; no
one cares for me except, on occasion, my mother and my dog, and it is natural and
necessary that all things die."
We could imagine more characters here and other views or positions.
But what I
want to ask is this: What kind of disagreement is this, if it is one? and How is it to be
resolved, if it can be?
Is this, e.g. a factual disagreement?
Both look at the world, both see the seasons
change, delight as new life appears, wonder together at the enormity of space in the night
sky, are awed by the majesty and beauty of mountains, the force and depth of the sea.
all appearances these two Tweedles see the same things, the same world.
Or do they?
-- I want to suggest that the disagreement is
, if by fact we mean something
which is publicly, demonstrably true: In the case as I set it out no additional looking will
help either of these people, so it is not an empirical dispute.
Nor is additional argument
likely to clear anything up.
Dee understands what Dum is saying and vice versa.