Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Serial delusion

Diogenes at Off the Record .
Remember that Serial Dilution technique you learned in high school chemistry? You mix one part base with nine parts solvent, and then use that solution as the base to which you add nine parts solvent, and so continue as long as you wish. Each step results in a ten-fold reduction in the concentration. You start out with, say, raw battery acid, and after five or six steps you could drink the solution on the rocks with no ill effects.

What brought serial dilution to mind was a number of recent articles in which Catholics are invited to embrace "a diversity of religious perspectives" about teachings that belong to the deposit of faith.

Here's what's going on: doctrinal differences are reductively treated as theological differences, which are in turn reductively treated as methodological differences, which are reductively treated as aesthetic preferences, i.e., matters of taste.

And before you know it, it's Church on the rocks.

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