Daniel Dennett, The Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University in Massachusettes and author of widely read Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, has apparently had a serious heart problem requiring major surgery. Dennett discusses his brush with death in this essay entitled Thank Goodness!!!. (Don’t miss the photo!!)
Let me state right up front that I wish Dr. Dennett well and a full and speedy recovery. However, I can’t help but notice the irony in his essay when he writes:
Still, I excuse those who pray for me. I see them as like tenacious
scientists who resist the evidence for theories they don’t like long
after a graceful concession would have been the appropriate response.
I applaud you for your loyalty to your own position — but remember:
loyalty to tradition is not enough. You’ve got to keep asking
yourself: What if I’m wrong? In the long run, I think religious
people can be asked to live up to the same moral standards as secular
people in science and medicine
I have to wonder why, in his near brush with death, why didn’t Dr. Dennett live up to his own admonishment and ask himself “What if I’m wrong?” (seems like it might have been a good time to ask!), instead of remaining loyal to his atheistic tradition? And given that tradition, where does this high moral standard religious people ought to live up to come from in the first place?
Please, get well Dr. Dennett, because your epiphany doesn’t quite seem complete yet!