Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hugh Trevor-Roper on Religion

Very much a skeptic -- he once called Catholicism ‘sinister unintelligible babble’ --historian Hugh Trevor-Roper nonetheless remained a member of the Church of England and refused to support a younger colleague who publicly proclaimed himself an atheist:
I will not join you as a ‘solid atheist’…Who are we, …sitting in academic insulation, with security of tenure and three meals a day, to despise the consolatory fantasies of suffering humanity, especially when those fantasies have produced heroic poetry, towering cathedrals, real saints, great conquests and memorable crimes, while we can only pick holes in each others’ theses. No, I find ‘solid atheism’ too mean and cold a system with which to challenge the wonderful organisation of the world.

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