Brian Cox Says He’s Fighting Maniacs Not Religion

“There is a lot of goodwill toward scientists among the religious communities in this country. I met the dean of Guildford Cathedral when I was an atheist on a panel and we got on well. After that I took him to CERN and we became good friends. I also recently got invited to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s house because he liked Wonders of the Solar System,” Brian Cox, the famous particle physicist and professor at The University of Manchester, tells The Telegraph.

“Rowan Williams is a very thoughtful man. If you want to move society forward in a more rational direction, religious leaders can be useful because they share that view. Setting yourself up as anti-religion is not helpful. You can set yourself up as anti-maniac, that’s different. So it’s OK to say that if you believe the world was created 6,000 years ago, as the creationists do, then you are an idiot. There is nothing wrong in saying that because you are an idiot. But setting yourself up as an atheist who is against all religion is not a battle that needs to be fought.”

Category: On the Record

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One Response

  1. Mike Magee says:

    It depends whether the battle between science and religion needs to be fought. Brian has met two clergymen who are nice. Old fashioned CofE clergymen still consider nice to be part of their job description. Anglicans used to be generally nice, but now the Evangelicals have taken over.

    But nice or not, Brian Cox is skipping basic differences between science and religion as world outlooks. Religion requires gullible people to be able to sell nonsense. Science requires skeptical people to question everything.

    Science honestly deals with the material world of observable phenomena, and the consequences of it. Religion is no different, but dishonestly pretends to deal with a fancied supernatural world, and invisible things.

    Science only considers acceptable what has been repeatedly tested and confirmed. Religion tells tall stories such as that of the eternal life after death, as if they were absolute truth, though no clergyman knows these stories to be true. Again, it is dishonesty.

    So, had Brian tried engaging his clerical chums in a serious discussion of metaphysics, epistemology and ontology, he must inevitably have ended up exasperated. He should take care who he trusts. Many an innocent traveler has walked along a lonely road with someone they did not know, and woken up sore, cold and walletless.

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