Thursday June 13th 2013 Tim Candler
Definitions are rather crucial. What do I mean by
religion? What do I mean by tradition? What do I mean by
Nationality? And far too easy to suggest that someone who practices a
religion or observes a tradition primarily because he or she considers
it central to social cohesion is therefore somehow alienated. Or has
lost his or her religion, or has lost his or her contact with a
tradition, or who is for one reason or another expatriated.
Here I'd argue that The Pope
doesn't have to believe in the Resurrection to be The Pope. What he has to
do is to persuade others that he believes in the Resurrection. And why
might he pursue such a deceit? Because he wants to be The Pope. And I
can say this, because we as individuals, "Join" ideas. We do not "Belong,"
to ideas. Infuriating, I know, because barriers to membership can be
insurmountable, no matter how the 'heart' might yearn to 'belong.'
Wittgenstein wanted to belong to the class of Genius. Scruton
wants to belong to the class of philosopher. And to my un-contactable
comrade, there is no such thing as a flawed novel, unless you have joined an
idea of what a novel might be.