Monday, April 25, 2005

Can This Blog be Saved?

The Dialogue has had some great posts and lively exchanges in the comments. For a while, it seemed as though we were headed where we wanted to go. But after a while, we ended up with just half of the ingredients.

It may be that our original hope was false -- that dialogue between faith and reason is just not possible. Perhaps the terms of discussion, or the rules of inference, or the norms of interaction, are just so different that we can't establish a meeting ground. Or perhaps most religious people just aren't interested in defending their fundamental beliefs. Or maybe we just haven't gotten lucky.

Particularly in the past weeks, with the very foundation of secular democracy under open, sustained and vicious attack, I personally had hoped that more people of faith would come forward to assert common ground with non-believers on freedom of conscience, the separation of religious institutions from wordly power, and the respect due to reason and verifiable truth. Last week, for the first time, we began to see some public statements by prominent religious leaders, including the National Council of Churches -- far too little, and far too late, in my view, but at last it is happening.

This site was, of course, an experiment. I don't call it a failure. I have learned from it and I trust others have as well. But it can it continue? I can keep posting here of course, and so can the terrifying piratical one, but that's not the point. There are plenty of well established atheist, skeptic and free thinking sites out there. So again, any believers who want to post here, we want you to do it.

Meanwhile, please comment. Why is this so hard? What can we do better? Is the project doomed from the start, or is there a way to make it work?