Philip Pullman and Rowan Williams

Telegraph | Arts | The Dark Materials debate: life, God, the universe… is a fascinating “debate” between Philip Pullman, author of the wonderful “His Dark Materials” series of books, currently being performed as a play (which I wish I could see) and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It’s hardly a debate in that they appear to see eye to eye (or close to it) on most issues but it also illustrates a point that I have held for a long time now which is that atheists and intelligent religious people have far more in common than many would think. The true spectrum is not atheist to beliver but from thefundamentalist (whether it is a militant atheist or a fundamentalist christian or Islamic) and the educated, informed, thoughtful person.

The former conceives on the world as exactly one thing and that anyone who disagrees is the infidel. The latter understands that the cosmos is, at best, a moving target and that the many philiosophies, theologies, and even scientific theories are but a few of the many ways to try to comprehend the whole of it.

I’ve often said that all of the world’s religions (including my own scientific/atheist views) are but different windows of one house looking out at the same scene.