Summarizing the questions Mark raises
Mark’s “That Old Time Religion” raises a lot of important questions – there’s material there for a few hundred good blog entries, but for now I’m going to satisfy myself with restating those questions and addressing them in depth later. (I suppose I should also thank him for giving my blog a reason to exist. When I can afford my favorite whiskey again, I’ll drink a toast to him.)
- Is it possible to hold a religious belief on a reasonable basis?
- Can a leap of faith be reasonable?
- Must one choose between science and religion, or is there room for a combination of both?
- Can one who draws a sharp line between the “proofs” of science and the “faith” of religion truly claim that his or her basis for belief does not include leaps of faith?
- To what extent is it appropriate to base one’s beliefs on direct experience?
- To what extent is it appropriate to base one’s beliefs on the authority of science?
- (Mark states, “I cast off both religious authorities AND scientific authorities insofar as either would claim that my direct, personal, repeatable, and personally verifiable experiences are non-scientific or anecdotal, or non-scriptural or Satanic, or any other label that strives to dismiss me and my experience by conveniently labeling it.” So, I find it appropriate to add another question here, related to 5 and 6 above: To what extent is it appropriate to base one’s beliefs on the authority of religion?)