Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Shoutout from Dan Dennett

by JG

From Breaking the Spell: Religion as Natural Phenomenon, pg. 224:

"[Some religious leaders] have come to realize that the robustness of the institution of religion doesn't depend on uniformity of belief at all; it depends on the uniformity of professing. This has long been a feature of some strains of Judaism: fake it and never mind if you make it...Recognizing that the very idea of commanding someone to believe something is incoherent on its face, an invitation to insincerity or self-deception, many Jewish congregations reject the demand for orthodoxy, right belief, and settle for orthopraxy, right behavior. Instead of secret pockets of festering guilty skepticism, they make a virtue of candid doubt, respectfully expressed."

Unfortunately, he gives no sources as to where the open orthopraxy is to be found. I wonder if he has the same thing in mind we do. (As a side note, does this make us a pocket of festering skepticism or a site of virtuous candid doubt?)

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