Reminded me of the "biotech & ethics" Friday chats we did a couple years back: rapid-fire, a bit choppy, but fun and challenging and quickly over.
Here was my little exchange. (The excisions marked by [...] indicate moments when all those other unseen chatters rushed in to interrupt with their own agendas. You obviously couldn't do this in the flesh, it would be too much like a presidential press conference.)
And I do totally agree: many of us don't feel a need for Jesus to furnish our lives with meaning, though we admire his message-- which was not exclusively his, of course-- of hope and charity and love and forgiveness etc. But like William James and Adam Gopnik I must also acknowledge the "double feeling" of so many others for whom sweet reason seems not to be enough.3:35[Comment From Osopher]Thanks for clarifying the end of the essay. But it still bothers me that you evoke a "mystery" surrounding this man, rightly credited by Jefferson with moments of moral sublimity but also documented by Bart Ehrman and others as having been almost uniformly misunderstood. So my question: what do you see as the unsolved mystery about Jesus of Nazareth?3:36Adam Gopnik: By "unsolved mystery" I meant only that there are aspects of the Jesus myth that are just never going to be susceptible to rational judgment, and that faith, as everyone says, remains a leap -- foolish or necessary -- but a leap past reason. [...]3:38[Comment From Osopher]So the mystery might be more about us: why do so many find reason so uncongenial?3:39Adam Gopnik: Because our lives are bounded by the certainty of death, I suppose, and what reason can give us seems, to some -- to so many -- unsatisfying. I'm with Darwin on this one -- enough in life to give anyone meaning, if we make it hard enough -- but I understand the opposite feeling. Much the best account of this, I think-- this double feeling --is in William James's "Varieties Of Religious Experience" [...]3:42[Comment From Osopher]Totally agree about Darwin and James. Thanks for the chat and for the review, I've got to go and pick up the kids now.3:43Adam Gopnik: Pleasure sharing views; even in this odd and pixeled forum.
It is indeed a pleasure sharing views. But I don't think I'll be joining your "mafia family" (an avatar-driven online game, I presume? ), Adam. Thanks for the invite, but I already feel a little guilty for the time I stole to join you online yesterday. But only a little.