The Unknown Is Good Enough For Me


James Carroll's otherwise excellent Oct 17 op-ed, All God, all the time, comes to a strange and unjustified conclusion. Carroll, in a desperate search for a baby in the religious bathwater he legitimately throws out, asks us to use religious language to emphasize the "radical otherness" of God. But "radical otherness" is just a euphemism for meaninglessness. There is no baby.

As Carroll himself shows, religious language is grossly inadequate to address questions of truth. But there is a language that has shown itself to be very good at probing the mysteries of "an infinite cosmos where every answer sparks a new question": the language of science.

I suspect that Carroll, along with so many others, simply doesn't want to accept that the world we know is all there is. But scientists already know we don't have to. Since answers continue to beget questions, we don't need to posit a sacred "unknowable" to guarantee a life filled with mystery.

Jonathan Dreyer