Commenting on my Electrons to Enlightenment post, a friend asked whether I had read Samuel Johnson’s The Vision of Theodore, the Hermit of Teneriffe, prompting me to do so. I didn’t find Johnson’s short work compelling as literature, but the allegory was apropos. Synchronistically, I had just read Moral Psychology & the Misunderstanding of Religion by Jonathan Haidt in today’s edition (#222) of Edge: The Third Culture newsletter to which I subscribe, an article touching on the positive correlation between religiosity & happiness, a central theme of Visions of Theodore.

While I share a great deal of intellectual sympathy for the positions of 4 Horsemen of the Counter-apocalypse & applaud the dialogue ensuing in the wake of their controversial anti-religion books, I think that militant atheists among them (Dawkins & Hitchens in particular) would do well to consider the perspective advanced by Haidt, one that I find consilient with Ken Wilber’s developmentalist approach to religious belief as advanced in Integral Spirituality. I can’t say I believe all of Wilber’s spiritual claims, but I do find compelling the aim of his “integral methodological pluralism“, to honor the truth & wisdom in as many paths & paradigms as possible.