Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Under God's Pledge of Allegiance... Why Not?

The Secularist holds that reason and religion are opposites. One cannot identify reality through mysticism. This obvious fact extends to government. A government that mixes religious indoctrination with secular laws, leads to a mongrelized political system. It is in effect the mixing of rationality with irrationality or as the saying goes, it is the 'mixing of food with poison'.

In countries that do not respect separation of Church and State, one ends up with a society that struggles to separate just, man-made laws, from arbitrary theistic pronouncements, that substitute for those laws. In such countries injustice becomes commonplace and is accepted as a common fact and necessity of reality. But the reality is that such societies breed intolerance and hatred. In such societies one has entered a dark age, where mystically mind-spun religious text is accepted as scientific fact.

The barbarism of religious indoctrination, through theistic state controls was evident in the Dark Ages. Few individuals today, doubt the historical record of the brutality that took place in the name of religion in the period between 476 to about 1000 A. D.

If one wants to see a modern day equivalent of the brutality inflicted in the name of religion, if one wants to step back into a dark age, one only has to look at Iran and Syria and other middle eastern state run theocracies today. In Iran for example they still cut off hands and feet, they still stone women to death for adultery, they still hang men and women in public. They often carry out these atrocities, not because of the evidence, but because of a dark age mentality that arrives at "justice" through mind-spun political agenda laws, that have no connection with
real justice ...but are fake man-made laws built upon a rotten religious foundation.

In such backward societies, technological progress stands still. Progress is exchanged for stasis and even regression. There is no forward momentum in such societies, no development of knowledge, no growth of thought and no advance towards civility.

Thanks to the reforms of individuals like Thomas Aquinas, Copernicus and Galileo the western world progressively evolved out of dark age mysticism into enlightenment. Thanks to this progress in thinking, Biblical literalism was replaced with secular identifications; that put the theocrats who held direct political power "out of business".

The Islamic theocrats today, also need to be put out of business. This can only happened through the same kind of reformations, that will evolve the none-thinking and duped Muslim masses; into their own enlightenment. The Islamic world desperately needs to catch up with the western world and realize that holding on to antique myths from the past, is keeping them from experiencing a happy life in the present and progressing toward a bright new future.

This however is only the first step. No religion can truly and absolutely be reformed and fully enlightened, yes, one religious view can be less extreme and thus, more enlightened than another. But true enlightenment in totality; comes from identifying that religious beliefs are based on mysticism and are not the route to true enlightenment. One cannot be honestly enlightened, if one holds onto beliefs that are held based on tradition and faith and not because of evidence.

An example of the impossibility of genuinely reforming religion and becoming enlightened, is what is happening today with Young Earth Creationists. They are willingly stepping backwards into darkness and away from enlightenment. They are the fire and brimstone Bible bashers, the fundamentalist Christian equivalent of the Islamic extremist.

The only reason that these Young Earthers are not as dangerous today; as the Islamic theocrats, is that they do not hold direct political power. But a statistic from a 2005 poll showed that 45% of Americans believed in a Young Earth of only 10,000 years old ...and further, only 26% accepted the central tenet of evolutionary theory, that all living things are descendants of a common ancestor.

Science magazine published the results of international polls assessing public acceptance of evolution around the world:

Only one country beats the U.S. in the race to the bottom: Turkey, probably the only country in the list with more severe fundamentalism vs. modernism issues than the U.S. But the people in the U.K. can take heart - a BBC poll (which was widely cited by creationists to support the idea that in the U.S. Anti evolutionists are not weird), said that less than half of Britons went for evolution. That result is strongly contradicted by this survey, where the U.K. ranks near the top in accepting evolution (as well they should, Darwin is on the money there... The Ten Pound Note). - (Ref: Pandas Thumb ).

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