Debate:Religion's war on reason
Religion's War On Reason
That latest post about the Institute for Creation Research really bothers me. Has the US really regressed to such a point where the lines between fact and belief have merged? The fundies have really out done themselves with this confusing to populace to the point where people are confusing these things. Perhaps I will side with Dawkins and fight back against this nonsense. After all, this mind set is starting to make the US look like a religious state.
I was at Borders last night and was approached by a young man asking about my take on science and religion (I am a regular and the staff know my interests and often discuss these things with me). The man’s intentions were to take scripture and interpret the passages to show that the bible talks about modern scientific understanding of the world around us, but just in everyday terms. I explained to him that since this would be based on his interpretation that it really would not matter, I can interpret the relative similarities between our genome and a bird’s genome to say that we are close cousins (when compared to something like bacteria). He did not seem to understand the role of science and kept insisting that god had provided the answers in the bible, and then he commented that he was not religious at all. I talked with him for about 2 hours about the roles of science and the rolls of religion in society and how the separation of the two is what continues our advancements. Without science we would not be able to understand the world around us to the degree of manipulating it to improve our environment. Without religion we would not have snarky scientists who feel the need to prove things, ok just kidding on that one. Without religion we would not have a basic level of crowd control for the general populace, not kidding about that one.
I discussed further with him that science does not require belief but requires evidence and data, religion only requires belief. I used the example of the invisible unicorn to show that science is about understanding what we can experience not what we can not. I am not sure if I came across to him but I hope so. If not expect another book trying to link science and religion and further muddy the line.
Since I feel like typing I had another side conversation with this man about the mindset that is permeating the US populace. I pointed out how we are going about fighting this Iraq war. For starters we are placing young men and women from mostly rural backgrounds into a situation with the slightest understanding of the cultural mindset of the peoples they are encountering and expect the soldiers to achieve a change? Really is the US that stupid? We are fighting an ideology but in such a way that we are seen as the oppressors due to the extreme polarization of ideology. Most of the military is made up of rural Christian young men between the ages of 20-25. As such their world view is a bit myopic due to a lack of exposure with other cultures beyond the Christian mindset. As such these men and women are put into a position where they are faced with such extreme levels of antagonistic thinking compared to what their worldview has led them to understand that their only way to repel this onslaught is to delve deeper into their faiths. This polarizes the situation even more. I am not just talking about religion as much as I am talking about culture. I experienced a defying blow to some of our Special Forces guys in Afghanistan when they liberated a town from an al Qaida group. Upon said liberation the town did not throw off their burkas of oppression but seemed quite miffed about out injecting our beliefs into their society without being welcomed to do so. This is what we forget folks, that by pushing our ideology on to others we are not allowing for true acceptance, we are just fostering resentment of the ideology and therefore causing further harm to the cause. Just like the religious war on science, science is now starting to make stands about how ridiculous these claims are and are fighting back through lawsuits and more.--TimS 09:56, 20 December 2007 (EST)
- [Playing "Devil's Advocate" this evening will be CЯacke®]
- Yet another "scientist" whining about how religion is "encroaching onto reason's turf". Try to see it from our POV:
- Okay, Back in the day, Darwin posits evolution through natural selection. To people of faith this didn't really amount to much as there was no proven mechanism for traits to be passed on...okay in peas maybe but that's plants, not animals, which is a whole 'nother order (ahem) of life. Dogs is dogs because it pleases God that they be dogz. Srsly.
- Then somebody "discovers" chromostones. So this is how traits is passed on!(?) But no matter, because God-lovers know that angels reside in chromostones to affect how things, plants and animals and people grow...according to god's good pleasure.
- DNA is discovered, unraveled and revealed: You God haters just won't stop will ya? You're giving Him less and less to DO (and take credit for, [and get glory for doing so], which He's done for lo, these many millenia, 6 and change).
- It's one thing to "prove" how things work, it's quite another to go around telling other people what to believe! And that is exactly what "scientists" try to do!!!
- I have my minister and my Bible to tell ME what to think! I don't need your reasonings because my faith isn't based upon your reasonings but my own (which as I've said are actually someone else's co-opted by me because I'm too tired to go do all the groundwork again.)
- The world is as it is because of HOW I believe, if I believed differently, (God forbid), then EVERYTHING would change and I wouldn't know what to believe...and neither would anyone else!
- Can you imagine a world where everyone believes exactly what they WANT to??!?
- CЯacke® 11:32, 20 December 2007 (EST)
- (My opinion, may not be factual.) The American right has made the Christian conservatives aware of their political power, and has margialized the moderate Republican. I don't think there has been a time in the last 40 years the Christian conservatives have been so organized. And it has spred to popular culture, including the media. The right tends to focus on values (abortion, traditional marriage, etc.), which really doesn't necessarily help us chart a path for the future of the country (economic security, energy independence). Hence, everything has become a culture war. They also tend to focus on blame and the past. (Think 9/11 is Clinton's fault. Does that really help our country move forward? No.)
- It's a little bizzare if you think about it. Even if one could ignore the science of global warming, why wouldn't you want gas prices to be lower or rid our independence on the Middle east and other policitical volatile areas of the world? I've never understood the right's resistance to renewable energy from that perspective. Sterileminichatroomthingy 11:50, 20 December 2007 (EST)
- But it goes right to the...right. Think of the political spectrum as a time line:
- The right is concerned with what happened, the left is concerned with what may happen.
- The right wants MOST things to stay the same, too much change is BAD.
- The left wants the good things to stay in place but want to change other things to become (future) "better." The problem the left faces is that not all the left agrees with what are the "good things" and what are the "bad things", so change (if it happens) happens incrementally, slowly. What the left learned in the 20th century is that with concerted effort one CAN change society's views and introduce change in a real and positive way.
- What the right still hasn't figured out is, once change occurs it becomes the new orthodoxy, the "conservative platform" of this generation's grandchildren. CЯacke® 13:28, 20 December 2007 (EST)
The Ethics of Anti-reason
If you believe a religion then the ethics of your debate is not to use reason per se but to proselytize your faith. Any declaration of faith is an admission that one's ethic is framed by the righteousness of believing and entreating others to believe in that faith. By that ethic the use of logical fallacies and ignorance of scientific evidence is moral and righteous. Keep that in mind when you attempt to debate about religious beliefs (including the worship of the "collective will" and the "collective good").
There is no debating with a zealot. You walk away if they are harmless and you lock them up if they become violent. The exception is if you gain entertainment and exercise in the endeavor. Then it is as useful as lifting weights... in the end they are back where they started but you have had a nice workout.