I got into a debate over religion in a Care2 group that is specialized for such things. Based on some of my writings here, its easy for one to conclude that I despise all Christians and regard them as idiots. But in fact I never paint any group of people with the same brush. What’s my REAL problem with some religious people?
One of Creationists’ most serious objections to how science is taught to students in most public schools is that all supernatural explanations (miracles) are rejected out of hand, and this somehow limits the vision of scientists. But the truth is actually the opposite. To explain why, consider this scenario:
Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?
Father: God sends lightning bolts and thunder blasts to frighten people into submitting to His will.
Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?
Father: Lightning is caused by unequal electric charges between two clouds or between a cloud and the ground causing a massive discharge of electricity. Thunder results from lightning heating the air and causing it to expand suddenly, producing powerful sound waves.
OK, Creationists, would you want BOTH these explanations taught in science classrooms regarding how weather occurs? Well that’s about as silly as requiring any form of Creationism taught alongside evolution! There is no evidence whatsoever that God directly causes lighting or thunder, and indeed such an idea might lead to the assumption that anyone struck by lighting was being punished by God. This is “magical thinking” which, if it had not been questioned centuries ago, would have prevented research into finding ways for people to avoid lighting by understanding how it behaves. Thus, any supernatural explanation, one that totally ignores or negates the known laws of physics and chemistry, would be no explanation at all, but merely an argument without evidence. And that is exactly why Creationism can never be scientific, but evolution is. Evolution is consistent with all known scientific laws, it is based on physical evidence, and it leads to more research. Acceptance of Creationism, or even the assumptions that allow for Creationism to be considered credible, would bring scientific advancement on almost any subject to a grinding halt, because you could then simply dismiss any unusual or complex phenomenon by saying “God did it, I believe that, so it’s settled”.
Therefore, there is no place for the supernatural in science education.
A decade ago, I was a member of a religion known as the Baha’i Faith. This religion teaches that God is called by various names but is still the same all over the world, that all religions teach the same basic message, and that humanity is one and is destined to unite under the banner of the Baha’i Faith in a new age of peace and unity.
I am always sickened by those who claim that the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is God’s Word and that it has no errors and does not contradict itself. Well, maybe if you exclude one of these two verses from it, that may be somewhat true. Otherwise, the Christian fundamentalists should SHUT UP!
The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. – Deuteronomy 24:16
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Conclusion: PAUL WAS A TRAITOR TO THE TORAH! And NO Christian can claim to be a true spiritual descendant of the ancient Hebrews!
And it gets even worse! See this:
My friend Silly Old Bear (SOB) posted this excellent blog about the difference between criticism and bashing: http://dovaryeh.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/when-does-criticism-turn-into-bashing/
He then made a copy of that blog in Care2 and posted dozens of discussions of it in various Care2 groups:
This was taken from an anti-Creationist website:
One of the most popular creationist attacks upon evolution theory (and science in general) is the moral attack. As the argument goes, science, evolution theory, and atheists are immoral, so they must all be wrong. This is a bizarre and logically indefensible argument; there are a lot of things about nature which are brutal and which may strike us as immoral, but that doesn’t change the fact that they exist!
Even if we were to accept the nonsensical argument that a scientific theory can be judged by the morality of its proponents, would the “moral argument” hold water? In order to for it to hold water, one would have to first show that atheists are immoral, and not only have creationists never produced a shred of evidence, but they’ve never even tried. As far as they’re concerned, it’s an unquestionable truth and no evidence is required.
In “1984”, George Orwell’s totalitarian state altered the language and created “NewSpeak” because its leaders understood that if you can control the language, you can control the way people think. Did Orwell invent that idea? Hardly. Any student of the English language can see that this is precisely how religionists have been subtly influencing people’s thinking for centuries. The growth of the English language has taken place under the care of evangelical Christians, and it should come as no surprise that it was deliberately designed to glorify religion and vilify rationalism. The word “materialism” refers to the idea that the material universe is all that exists (ie- the atheist viewpoint), but it is also synonymous with greed and selfishness. The word “faith” describes religion, but the word “faithful” describes trustworthiness and loyalty. In other words, the English language itself subtly reinforces the idea that religion is virtuous and atheism is immoral!
The English word “atheism” has a literal meaning, which is simply non-theism. Therefore, it is defined in most dictionaries as the absence of theism, or the refusal to believe in a God or gods. However, the Third Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (copyright 1992,1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company) still retains an older definition which happens to be quite convenient for the fundamentalist hate-mongers:
- Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
- The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
- Godlessness; immorality.
Did you notice the third definition? According to the American Heritage Dictionary as of 1996, atheism is immorality! What is it about America that breeds Christian fundamentalism? Why should it surprise no one that the “American Heritage” dictionary still shows the ancient 18th century definition of atheism as “immorality”? Whatever the reasons, America is a land of overt hostility towards atheism, and the continued use of the above definition is only a minor symptom. Perhaps the Minnesota Atheists put it best:
“Religionists regularly slander atheists as immoral and it goes far beyond a difference of opinion. Because of our supposed immorality, for which no evidence is ever given, we are barred from admission to organizations such as the Boy Scouts, the VFW and the American Legion. We are insulted publicly by clergy of all faiths, who seem to consider us unworthy to be citizens of the United States. A climate of opinion is created in which the chances of a known atheist being elected to office, no matter how ethical and well qualified, are slim to none.”
They aren’t exaggerating. In the 2000 federal election, both prospective leaders loudly and repeatedly bragged about their piety, in an obvious attempt to court the religious bigot vote. Newsweek magazine commented that it doesn’t matter which religion a candidate belongs to, as long as he is religious. The notion that “religious piety = moral fortitude” is deeply ingrained into the public consciousness, and no one ever stops to consider how hateful its consequences are: if piety is morality, then a lack of piety (ie- atheism) must be immorality! And with that, millions of Americans are instantly slandered as immoral, perverse degenerates who are unfit to hold public office. In fact, the state of Texas is one of several states which has even enshrined this bigoted policy into law: its state constitution bars anyone from public office if he does not acknowledge the “existence of a Supreme Being”.
Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever for religionists’ bizarre assumption that atheists are immoral, and while it would be considered hateful to make similar attacks upon Jews or Muslims, no one raises an eyebrow at this continued, public mistreatment of atheists. These pages were written with the goal of explaining, in some detail, the following points:
- Christians have been systematically rewriting history in order to pretend that Christianity versus Atheism is symbolic of Good versus Evil. We are never allowed to forget evil atheists (eg. Stalin), but evil Christians receive a distinctly different treatment. Their crimes are minimized or forgotten, and their religious affiliations are either concealed or misrepresented as atheism.
- You don’t need faith in God in order to be moral.
- Humanist morality is universal, while Biblical morality is not.
- Humanist sexual liberation is not the assault on family values that the fundamentalists seem to think it is.
- Humanists are no more likely to commit immoral acts than Christians.
Personal note by Dale Husband: My own experiences tend to support this. Athiests, as well as Christians, can be either enlightened or bigoted, and religious affiliation, or the lack thereof, seems to have nothing to do with one’s moral character.