web counter VISITORS SINCE JUNE, 2006

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rilke and the God Delusion

I am almost finished with "Letter to a Young Poet." The second part of the book (the edition that I am using) is a chronicle of the life of Rainer Maria Rilke. It plays as a concordance to the letters he wrote Franz Kappus (the young poet in question) and it goes to show that, to a large extent, Rilke was suffering from the same doubts, joys, sadness, crushes, exhilarations that Kappus was confessing in his own letters. The "chronicles" bring Rilke's life to a larger picture... I just never knew there was so much to his writing and scholarly life beyond the letters.

I am reading an article I printed out of the New York Times yesterday. It is called "Darwin's God" and it deals with the advent of neo-atheism and other polemics of belief/non-belief. The article exposes the idea that rather than concentrating in the argument of belief vs. non-belief, there is an inherent evolutionary trait in human beings that biologically incline us to believe in something beyond. One of the philosophers in question is a man named Scott Atran. The article also mentions Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett, three of the leading neo-atheists who have come up with recent publications about the polemic. The most famous of the three is "The God Delusion" by Dawkins. The article in the New York Times doesn't really claim the idea of non-belief but it is rather an examination at the biology of belief. Is there a gene that has evolved over time to make us inclined to believe in God? It's an interesting article. You can find it here.

Labels: , ,


At 8:37 PM, Blogger Donna said...

what edition of Letters to a Young Poet are you reading? I loved the book and would like to read the biographic info you mentioned. Thx.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

I don't know about a gene, JCR. Sometimes, I think it's often easier to be the kind of intellectual that prompts dismissal to many challenges.
As for me, I've faced my own personal experiences of the unexplained, and with something that works for my good. And those results are often in a physical standing. These episodes are too real to shrug off and where if I chose to do so, I'd really be quite silly. :-)


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home