Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Here Come the 'Faith-Heads'

What is faith anyway? - To hold a position based on faith... Is really saying that one holds a position devoid of evidence. But of course that is the nature of religion. Religion without faith, would be a very odd kind of religion. Indeed, to the religious mystic, it is somehow more noble to hold a position purely on faith, than it is to present evidence for one's position.

The trouble with faith is, that by its very 'nature' it flies in the face of reason. If a person holds a position based on faith, then this can lead to unreasonable behavior and it does so, because reason is not applicable. But worse still and even more destructive than faith on its own, is the combination of faith and religion.

The fact is that the more 'honestly' religious one attempts to be; then the more one is reliant on a faith position and at the expense of reasoned behavior and this inevitably leads to dishonesty. The fact is that we now live in a World being torn asunder by individuals, that truly believe that a position held purely on faith, is somehow more reasonable than reason itself.

We now live in a World that is under attack by religious extremists, who think their position held purely on faith and without any evidence, gives them the 'God given' right to bully 'infidels' who rely on more reasoned behavior. Those infidels of course, also include the less faithful religious moderates, who while still holding irrational beliefs are at least more tolerant.

The difference between a "faith-head" who bullies and initiates force, such as in the form of suicide bombing, as apposed to the more mild fundamentalist "faith-head" who feels the need to bully in the form of religious indoctrination, by undermining science education and attempting to "pull down the Wall" of separation between Church and State... The difference is only of degree and not of kind. Each is hostile to reasoned argument and think they have the right to bully and coerce from a position of faith. Indeed, they want to drag us back, to living in a Dark Age World, where reasoned argument and scientific inquiry; are trumped by religious fundamentalism.

Many individuals hold positions that are believed purely on faith, such as those that believe in astrology or homeopathy both of which have no evidence in their favor. But the faith of astrological and homeopathic believes does not seem to lead to extreme fundamentalism. But the combination of religion and faith is a devastating combination. While we live in a World, where individuals believe that the faith of religion somehow trumps reasonable argument, then while those beliefs are held, then we will live in a World which is separated in conflict, between the reasonable and the irrational.

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Guitanguran said...

Have you actually ever sat down and talked with a person of faith about how they got where they are?

Based on your post, I'd say not.

So, beheadings and brou-hah-hahs at the local school board meeting where everybody gets a say, and then a vote by elected officials decides the matter are different only in degree...


Suicide bombings and opportunity for redress of grievances for both sides of an issue, all the way to the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of those issues are different only in degree...


When is the last time you got beaten up by a Baptist? Mugged by a Methodist? Car-jacked by a Catholic? Pummeled by a Presbyterian? Whip-lashed by a Lutheran?

Ultimately, in the marketplace of ideas, only those ideas that can stand up to absolute truth will carry the day. If faith in a Creator is an invalid concept, it will fall under its own weight. It won't be able to stand up to absolute truth.

Craig Secularman said...

When board members try and force a religious agenda into the science class... The fact that they were elected is beside the point. In the Kitzmiller vs Dover Area school district trial... It was shown that the school board members were not only behaving dishonestly, but illegally and they were doing so, to force a political agenda based around Intelligent Design. So to simply say they were elected does not excuse their behavior.

Indeed, this was a well organised plan by the Discovery Institute to force test cases... To see how far they could push their agenda and it was also shown that this was directly related to the Wedge Strategy document created by Phillip Johnson. So, yes this is a form of religious fascism that is trying to tear down the Wall of Separation of Church and State.

They even stole funds from the schools kitty to fill the library with Intelligent Design books.

Even the right wing judge who was appointed by Bush in the Kitzmiller vs Dover trial, when referring to Intelligent Design used the words 'breathtaking Inanity'.

Well, of course I never mentioned been beaten up by a Baptist or car jacked by a catholic.... Although the masses of child rapists that have come out of the catholic church is worth noting and so is the violence that was perpetuated by Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Well, I have no problem with saying the violence in religion can be measured by degree... and the hostility towards secular values by religious extremists can be measured in degrees. The more 'honestly' religious one attempts to be, the more dishonest one tends to be, with reference to reality. The reason for that is obvious. The religious edicts in scripture, bare little resemblance to objective reality and the more disconnected through religion, one becomes, then the more hostile towards anything that contradicts it. This is why I said in a previous post, 'religion poisons the mind'.

You have thrown in a pathetic non sequitur which has no relationship to what I said: Are you seriously suggesting that the fact that I have never been "beaten up by a Baptist? Mugged by a Methodist? Car-jacked by a Catholic? Pummelled by a Presbyterian? Whip-lashed by a Lutheran?" ...Is somehow proof in your favor against the fact that there are religious fascists who hate secular freedom and want to live in a fascist run theocracy. If I happen to be walking down the street tomorrow and I did get attacked by a Baptist would that prove me right? ...It has absolutely nothing to do with my point. My point stands on its own merits by simply identifiy that these religious crackpots exist.

Guitanguran said...

"Have you actually ever sat down and talked with a person of faith about how they got where they are?"

No answer. I'll take that as a 'no, I haven't'.

"You have thrown in a pathetic non sequitur which has no relationship to what I said:"

Well, I wouldn't characterize it as pathetic. As I've mentioned b4 on my blog, you guys have NO sense of humor. What, you didn't pick up on the alliterative style of my prose? What was the point? See below.

You say you have no problem with measuring hostility to secularism by degree. However, you devote all the first paragraphs to ID and its pernicious religious fascism.

I think the people, their elected officials and the courts will ultimately decide the rightness or wrongness of ID as the flip side hypothesis of natural selection in school, and I'll bet no one will die in the process.

But lets get back to the situation above with beheadings and suicide bombings. To use an analogy, these would be the same as another atheist cutting you or someone in your family's head off or blowing everybody up because you don't suscribe to HIS brand of atheism.

There's a 'fundamental' difference between the two, and characterizing the difference as a matter of 'degrees' is disingenuous.

Craig Secularman said...

"I think the people, their elected officials and the courts will ultimately decide the rightness or wrongness of ID as the flip side hypothesis of natural selection in school, and I'll bet no one will die in the process."

Natural Selection is not a hypothesis... It's a scientific theory. ID is not even a hypothesis. It's a religious position. I have nothing against ID been taught in school as a comparative subject. The point is, that it does not belong in a science class. But that is what the ID proponents want... They want it taught as a scientific alternative to Evolution by Natural Selection. What would happen in a 'scientific' ID class ..."OK children, it was Intelligently Designed, unfortunately we cannot produce any evidence for Intelligent Design" ...End of lesson. That is not science, it's religion.

The courts have already decided on the absurdity of ID... That is why the Discovery Institute had to rip up the Wedge Strategy document. The Wedge Strategy was exposed and now the ID proponents are looking at finding another avenue; to attack science They have been doing this for over 50 years and this nonsense started with the Scopes trial. But it is purely political, the one thing they cannot do, in their attempts to force religion into science classes, under the guise of ID... Is show any scientific evidence for their position... Intelligent Design is pseudo science.

I devoted a paragraph to religious fascism, because that is exactly what we are moving toward... It is a deliberate and organised attempt to overthrow science for religion. Fascist is a perfectly good definition and I make no apologies for it. The religious extremists and that includes Creationists that are now beginning to pop up in the UK will not be happy until religion is taught as science. Professor Richard Dawkins British ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, was not joking when he said, the US is "heading toward an American Taliban".

Phillip E. Johnson himself, has admitted that they are hostile to scientific naturalism... what is scientific naturalism? - It is simply the process of identifying natural order within the World through the scientific method. But what is the alternative to scientific naturalism, the only alternative is supernaturalism... This is really what they want taught in school. Imagine a World where supernaturalism overthrows naturalism as a way to learn about the World. Scientific progress would come to a grinding halt and we'd be dragged back to the Dark Ages.

The fact is that scientific naturalism is under attack, that does not just mean Evolution by Natural Selection but all of science, because all sciences rely on scientific naturalism... One cannot identify aspects of reality through supernatural means.

As far as having a sense of humour... Well when it comes to the religious bullies that are trying to trump science with religion, then on this point, you are probably right... I don't find it very funny. In fact I think it is tragic.

But another point on secularists not having a sense of humour... are you sure the boot is not on the other foot. I remember when I was a kid and Monty Pythons wickedly funny 'Life of Brian' was released at cinemas... The religious cronies were in uproar, what happened to their sense of humor, it disappeared. They cannot even stand to see their religion stand up a little ribbing. This actually became a major news story in the UK... Do a Google on Mary Whitehouse - Life of Brian... and this was just a film for 'gods' sake. Some local councils actually managed to get the film banned from their cities.