Who knew that in the past few months I was fated to have so much contact with a couple of mediums, after a lifetime of psychic skepticism?
Well, maybe Marcel and Lenny. But I don’t know, since I’m still skeptical.
Which brings to mind my favorite part about the interview: I didn’t say “you know” nearly as much as last time. Before the phone rang to connect me with these guys I gave myself an affirmation: “You will catch yourself before you reflexively say you know.”
It worked. Pretty much. I didn’t mind listening to the archive of the show this morning (click on DEC-6-06-at-9:00PM---In Good Spirit). I made a few inane or incomprehensible comments, but that’s par for the conversational course.
Marcel started off by asking me what I thought about the ascendancy of aggressive atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Julia Sweeney. Their books (in Sweeney’s case, a play and CD) have titles like “The God Delusion” and “Letting Go of God.”
What’s going on here?
I said that I thought this was a healthy reaction to excessive religiosity. Fundamentalists have urged us to get on our knees. Now we’re hearing from the get off your knees crowd. That’s balance. The Tao abhors tilting too far one way or the other.
The most genuine faith is simply openness. A wide-eyed innocent embrace of reality, whatever it may consist of. The fact is, we don’t know. Science recognizes that there is a lot more truth to be found under the thin layer of knowledge that humankind has revealed so far.
It doesn’t make sense to rule out the possibility that reality extends beyond the domain of the physical. But it also is nonsensical to blindly accept on faith that earthly existence is only the ground floor of a grander metaphysical structure.
As I frequently say on my Church of the Churchless blog, I’ll believe it when I see it. Not before.
Yesterday I wrote that for me the changing face of faith “means moving away from looking at life through spread mental fingers, believing in this but not in that, refusing to consider the possibility of X while embracing the hypothesis of Y.”
Listen to the interview for more along these lines. I’m on for about eighteen and a half minutes. I know this because I wanted to check out how much I talked, compared to Marcel and Lenny.
Near the end of the interview Marcel commented that agnostics sure have a lot to say, as he couldn’t get a word in for the last five minutes. Well, this morning I found the archive and I whipped out two digital watches with timers on them.
I talked for nine minutes and fifty seconds. That’s 53 percent of the time, Marcel! A nicely balanced use of the available minutes. About half for the interviewers, half for the interviewee.