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Sunday, March 07, 2004

Among great scientists of past generations were some Christians who developed some ways of thinking about religion that I find very interesting, e.g. the Unitarianism of Sir Isaac Newton, the Monadology of Leibniz, and Latitudinarianism, which influenced John Locke and informed the approach to science that was taken by Lord Kelvin.

The latter (Latitudinarianism) says that humans aren’t smart or well-informed enough to develop theological systems, religious laws, etc. that can be taken for absolute. It is naturally appealing to scientists. Scientists can see perfectly well that we don’t know or understand everything yet, and so they are naturally suspicious of prophets or theologians who claim to have it all figured out! At any rate, this is what I think about when I think about religion.

-- Neal Stephenson
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