I finished most of the section on whether science and religion are incompatible while on my flights to and from Denver. The short answer is that there’s a fatal problem with the question. Religion is a collection of values, practices and claims, while science is a method, a way of asking questions. It’s not even like comparing apples and oranges — it’s like comparing apples and math. “Does Religious Claim X hold up to scientific scrutiny?” or “Are science and revelation compatible methods of inquiry?” — NOW you’ve got apples and apples.
Also finished most of Andre Comte-Sponville’s Little Book of Atheist Spirituality. What a refreshing piece of work, rich and fulfilling. More on that soon.
A depressing observation (and the reason for my post title) is the title of Comte-Sponville’s book in its various releases. In the original French, it’s L’esprit de l’atheisme (The Spirit of Atheism). It was released in the UK as The Book of Atheist Spirituality. Only in the US was it thought necessary to dampen the off-putting grown-up quality by calling it The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality.
A similar example is Stephen Law’s book titled The Philosophy Files in the UK, then made safe and fun for the US as Philosophy Rocks!
GAWD we are such children. Though maybe the author of Atheism for Dummies isn’t one to talk.