M C Morgan (mcmorg@VAX1.BEMIDJI.MSUS.EDU)
Wed, 7 Aug 1996 09:44:46 -0500

At 8:50 AM +0000 on 8/7/96, Steve Finley wrote regarding Re: Re[4]: THE
>Boy, are the analogies people use illustrative or what! Steve
>Krause's idea that favorite colors (green and purple) are analogous
>to one's choice and defense of a religion rest on the assumption that
>there is no religion truer than another, and that, more importantly,
>there's nothing for students to talk about in trying to establish one
>as truer, wiser, or whatever, than another. This requires us, of
>course, to be in the position to be so far above, or outside of,
>religion and faith that we can say it's all just insignificant
>squabbling about preferences that really don't much matter and don't
>rest on any kinds of substantive claims at all.

Steve -

I'm not so sure Steve Krause is writing off religion and faith as
insignificant squabbles with his analogies. I read him as suggesting that
many people will place matters of religion--like matters of
taste--off-limits for discussion or debate. I see this all the time in how
FY students tend to use "in my opinion" in their papers: as walling off the
claim from discussion. It's shorthand for "That's what I believe and I
don't have to explain why because it's just what I believe and you can
believe what you want to now get off my back." You certainly don't have to
stand above or beyond the debate to find it silly or tedious, just
somewhere outside of it, like at the next table. I would argue, instead,
that in claiming that one religion is truer than another, the rhetor is
implicitly claiming a god's-eye view from outside of the debate.