Monday, July 28, 2008

Heresies?


I wrote about the philosopher John Gray a while back without knowing much of him or his work at that point. I’d been reading an article in the NZ Listener in which he was quoted at length relating to his most recent book.
Since Gray keeps turning up on my HitTail search results I thought I’d follow one of them through, and in doing so came across a review on an earlier book by Grey called Heresies: against progress and other illusions. The review is by John Banville and appeared in The Guardian back in Sept, 2004.
Banville quotes Gray several times as well. Here are some examples:
"The danger of American foreign policy is not that it is obsessed with evil but that it is based on the belief that evil can be abolished."
He says that the direct heirs of the Enlightenment are "missionaries of a new gospel more fantastical than anything in the creed they imagined they had abandoned." (Banville comments: One of the heresies promulgated by Gray is that many of those who today continue to hold to religious faith are far more profound in their thinking, and certainly better educated, than most of their liberal-humanist opponents. )
And something that would no doubt irk dear old Richard Dawkins: "in intellectual terms atheism is a Victorian fossil."
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