Saturday, May 1, 2010

Insurance, God and Dawkins

It's not an everyday habit of my lovable no-nonsense aunt Nancy Walker [married name Smith] to get involved in conceptual meditations. She's a strictly down-to-earth wise and common-sense lady, who lives at one of the nicest spots in the universe (St Ives, Sydney) and is presently driving through the wilderness with her husband Peter Smith to participate in a golfing tournament out beyond Wagga Wagga. [When I told Nancy on the phone that I intended to talk about her on my blog, she pointed out that it's important—for reasons I didn't fully seize—to include the second element in place names such as Woy Woy and Wagga Wagga.]

In our British-based culture, insurance contracts generally make reference to so-called "acts of God". This expression designates catastrophic happenings that lie beyond the bounds of situations covered by the insurance. Nancy raises the following interesting question concerning my intellectual hero: Would Richard Dawkins be prepared to sign such an insurance contract?

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