I should hope so after 8 years of the war upon faiths as opposed to fact and science lets hope common sense returns. After being house bound 9 days over lack of snow removal it appears there are still a few left in office that need to be replaced.
Thanks for the welcome. In a quick scan of your page I see how grateful you are for your parents' lack of religious dogma.
One of my questions has to do with Western culture, literature specifically, since I am an English teacher and sometime journalist. Unlike in the U.K. C of E schools (where I went for a few years when my dad was in grad school), U.S. schools offer little to no biblical literature. Secular children--the majority here in New England--grow up with little understanding of many of the great works of art and literature because they don' t know the stories on which they are based.
As an English teacher teaching Steinbeck, for instance, in an American Lit class, I end up teaching bible stories before broaching Steinbeck's work because otherwise the kids utterly miss the allusions.
My own position on God and nature etc. is rooted in Jaynes work and neurology since then showing our consciousness tied to our ability to make metaphor from language. Lately I think that one of the best ways to make metaphor is to hear the same story over and over and over and allow the mind to drift while half listening. I have not seen any work on this phenomenon--because I barely can describe it myself, but I think if that state of knowing a story and its images and allowing free-association simultaneously enables the deep, idea, and image forming understanding humans seem to crave.
One question is, if Jaynes is right, that civilization, language, society etc. brought us this far--how do we keep the stories, the moral lessons, the (sort of) history in their right place? That is, we drop the fairy tale aspect, yet retain the moral beauty, or as John Gardner might have said, the moral fiction.
Mary Gordon parses moral fiction beautifully in this essay and describes the essential nature of story to our species. My other question is, as long as the biblical allusions are part of those stories, can we afford to distance ourselves from them and what is the best way to teach them to our children without imparting magical thinking?
Thanks very much for your welcome. I'm beginning to feel that this is going to be a little nest of reason that I'll be coming back to often, for intellectual and emotional rest and recuperation. God knows we could use that every once in a while ;-)
Terry, thanks for the welcome. I'm doing my best to raise the pups to be reasoned individuals and to raise them with the capacity for critical thought processing-something that is so severely atrophied in so many people because of the religious meme....