Between Religion and Biologism

A couple of quotes Raymond Tallis, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

p. 10 “As an atheist and also a humanist I believe that we should develop an image of humanity that is richer and truer to our distinctive nature than that of an exceptionally gifted chimp. It does not seem to me a very great advance to escape from the prison of false supernatural thought only to land in the prison of a naturalistic understanding.”

p. 327 “Atheism has certainly had some eloquent advocates in recent years. Indeed, they have been so effective that they have provoked their religious opponents not only to criticize – often quite savagely – their grasp of theology but also to accuse them of being “fundamentalists”. Unfortunately, some of these deicides – notably Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins – do indeed have their own fundamentalism, namely biologism. They provide the most direct and clear-cut illustration of the tendency that I deplored in the Introduction: rejecting supernatural accounts of human nature only to embrace the opposite error of concluding that humans must therefore be simply parts of the natural world. It is as if a consistent atheism is obliged to tie itself to the anti-humanist view that we are, at bottom, just organisms. This brings atheism (and mankind) into disrepute and should be equally repugnant to believers and disbelievers. It is because I do not believe that rejecting a divine origin of the universe in general, or of us in particular, necessarily leads to a naturalistic account of what we are that I have written this book.”


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