I think we have Adam to blame for launching us into this thread that seems to have jump-started RIMATARA. And, I think we should thank him for that. Ian and I have done our fair share to heat things up, so to speak, and it seems now (at least according to Ian) that this might just turn out to be yet another tiresome "atheist vs. theist" debate. If it were true, it would be something to signal a rather normal -- not to mention boring -- blog has begun and you should ignore it so it can die quickly. Now, you may indeed want to spend your time in better ways than reading this blog since, after all, there are better -- much, much, much better -- things to do, I am sure; but, if these recent exchanges have anything to do with it, I think they might be an indication of good things, not bad ones, to come. Let me explain.
Adam and Ian are not religious atheists. What I mean here is that they are not devotees of a non-god. They are not claiming certainty over their skeptical views about theism. This is a very good thing indeed. Otherwise we could simply dismiss them as adherents of another religion: atheism.
Now, my quibble with them is that they are not totally godless. They seem to represent the modern turn towards a religious devotion to science. There are two clear differences in modern scientific outlooks as I see it. Let me sketch them here briefly.
One, is a Newtonian outlook. This is not to claim any entry into Newton's mind, it is just a place holder. This outlook see the world as "explainable" through what we call scientific inquiry or method. The hard thing to put your finger on, though, is where human inquiry gets "sciencey". Where and why does it become the new religion of modernity rather than the old, outdated ways of looking at the flat, Ptolemaic world? This view of things is still the dominant one, as I see it.
The second view is the Quantum outlook. This one is still suffers from a great deal of assumptions about epistemology (that is, how knowledge gets "sciencey") but it has one great insight -- the world, at its core, is a mystery. This mysterium tremendum of the world opens the door, once again, for a discussion not so unlike the pre-modern one. Only this one has been augmented by the things we can say about the world (e.g. the earth revolves around the sun, thus far it seems to us), albeit carefully and modestly.
I may have some big problems about science with Adam and Ian, however, none of them centers around belief in a higher power or not, it is just a dialogue over the foundations of knowledge, which is a good dialogue to have, I think. So, to restate what I meant to get across earlier, I wonder what we mean by "sense" here (hence the openness to mental "disorder"), I am not denying it completely, I just think that we could be much smarter -- and humbler -- about it.