What’s special about religious ’knowledge?’

By Ken Perrott 06/05/2011 5


Jerry Coyne, over at Why Evolution is True, has repeated a challenge (see Once again: does religion produce knowledge?). He does this after renewing once again his argument that religion as a “way of knowing” is an illusion. This was in response to an article by Patrick MacNamara objecting to his Coyne’s claim in a guardian article:

“And although science and religion are said to be ’different ways of knowing’, religion isn’t really a way of knowing anything — it’s a way of believing what you’d like to be true. Faith has never vouchsafed us a single truth about the universe.”

Jerry finishes his piece with:

Christopher Hitchens has offered his challenge to the faithful, and I have offered mine:  tell me exactly what ’knowledge’ religion has provided that is not derivable from secular reason.  Like Hitchens, I still have not received an answer.”

I know how Jerry feels. I bet he get lots of claims but do any of them stand up?

See also: Jerry’s book Why Evolution Is True.

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5 Responses to “What’s special about religious ’knowledge?’”

  • No it hasn’t Rob. vjtorley did not attempt any answer at all. (And if you thought he had you would have repeated his answer – wouldn’t you?). He simply made assertions and then claimed that one could not answer them without a god belief – no justification.

    When actually those two assertions are easily asnwered without any need to drag in gods.

    (“god did it” is never a correct answer).

    By the way, draggin the bottom of the barrel to rely on creationist “uncommon descent” aren’t you?

  • Most of the answers to such a question that I have run into boil down to:
    1. You should pray.
    2. God is everywhere.
    3. HE has the answers, and that’s all you need to know.

  • There’s only one I can think of, but its a sort of cheat – some thing that religion has provided, but not a fact that the religious would claim to know…

    Religion has shown us exactly how susceptible human beings are to delusions.