Read something yesterday that really, deeply bothers me. It was a reply to my reply on another blog responding to a, in my opinion, very lame attempt to defend contradictions and factual errors in the Bible.
My response pointed out the absurdity of using a. circular logic, b. spurious logic, and c. hypocritical method of equating the Bible with any other secular historical document to defend contradictions but then claim the Bible is inerrant and holy, d. equating internal contradictions with variations in crime scene eye-witness accounts and then claiming the Bible is still inerrant and holy.
But the reply to my challenges and exposing logical fallacies in defending the challenges was:
“Apparently mechphisto, some of us just see what we want to see because our hearts know the truth, but it’s our human nature to reject the truth. I believe your heart know the truth or you would not so fervently argue the opposite. Perhaps I am just not as “enlightened” and “educated” as you. Hopefully I never will be.”
This type of reply seriously bothers me, makes me sad. It’s indicitive of the reason rejecting attitude most evangelicals, fundamentalists, and most generally religious people hold onto.
(I’m not posting the link to the blog or my reply because I really don’t want people to possibly flame the blog, any more than I may have already. I’m surprised now and then how I discover there really are people I don;t know who read this blog! People who are likeminded freethinkers, and I’d hate to inadvertantly send them to flame a nice person. Because this replier I know to be a sweet, selfeffacing, person; and while their response is pretty, well, sharp and *sigh* ignorant (sorry) they shouldn’t be flamed for it.)
But here’s my problems with this reply. First of all, the assumption that humans reject “truth” is kind of absurd. By what evidence can one say humans reject truth? Isn’t it the goal of humanity to find “truth”? Well, maybe not. But certainly not reject it. Most of us are in search of truth. Which is why we have religions and myths and beliefs in New Age claptrap and aliens and stuff. We all are looking for truth… but, and here’s the crux, most of us rely on pseudoscience and feel-good mythologies because they are a. easier to understand and b. touch on our emotions which can be more powerful to people than intellectual awareness.
And that brings me to the part of that reply that makes me the most sad, and I touched on it in my blog entry: Is U.S. Becoming Hostile to Science? The rejection of reason and intellectualism in favor of myth and illogic in order to defend a belief that is in conflict with hard evidence and scientific discovery. I also address my thoughts on why people hold onto religion with unreasoning deathgrips on my page: Faith or Delusion? In this case, I think upbringing, social conditioning, and fear of the (believed in) alternative makes so many people unable to see through the dogma and conditioning and accept the “truth” of the mythological aspects of religion and the harmful effects of attacking scientific and logical intellectualism.
For hundreds of years, thousands, science and faith hadn’t been in conflict. Up until the last couple hundred years in fact, science didn’t challenge the tenants of religion (although pure reason and logic should have ALWAYS been a threat to Biblical fallacies and interal illogic and contradictions.) Now that science can prove the universe did not come into existance as a literal interpretation of the Bible suggests, the development of humanity is different than the Bible’s explanation, the need for evangelicals to try to prove the validity of their religion becomes tied to DISproving science. Despite the futility of that point of view. Imagine disproving airflight, penicillin, cancer treatments, food preservation techniques, genetic medicine, crop disease immunization….
Here’s the answer. I HAVE THE ANSWER! *grin* It’s such a simple answer, that will allow all of us to live in peace and harmony. Er, OK, TWO answers. =) The impractical and impossible answer (at least until humanity evolves a little further) is to eliminate all religion.
OK, but the feasible answer which seems completely absurd and impossible to so many, is to accept no religious text is inerrant, infallable, and to be taken literally.
That’s it. That’s the simple answer. People could live in faith, still have their relationships with God and Jesus/Mohammad/Bashet/Zeus/whoever, and not have to try to disprove science in order to validate their religion. And not use ancient laws and rules and intolarance and hatred to hypocritically accuse people of “sinful” behavior. Isn’t that just the crazyest idea?!
Oh, and the other part of that reply, “I believe your heart know the truth or you would not so fervently argue the opposite.” The rest makes me sad and depressed for humanity, and American society, but that comment really irks me. It’s patronizing and condescending and arrogant. To assume one knows my heart. =P The truth in my heart is unequivocalbly passionate about reason, logic, intellect, and a focus on the human condition as opposed to mythological distractions and intolarance. If I doth protest too much, it is because I spent the first 18 years of my life ensconced in the fantasy, making the same rationalizations and leaps of circular and spurious logic I see apologetics using to defend something that can’t be turned into literal and inerrant. And I so desperately want to help people to see the truth of the harm of following a dogma. Sure it’s feel-goody-goody and I get the appeal of that. But it’s still a lie. Is it better to feel good and happy but because of a lie, or be a little scared and uncertain but knowing you’re not a slave to dogma? Me, I prefer to live life truthfully and with my eyes and mind wide open even if it means being uncertain about some things…which may have no answer.
It’s scary, to leave the comfort of dogma. It took me 14 years to come to grips with reality. It wasn’t over night, and it wasn’t taken lightly. And certainly not superficially and not without a lot of angst and fear. Coming to grips with reality and the truth of mythology/religion is a leap of faith! (Yes, I said faith.) But strengthened and bolstered by evidence, proof, logic, reason, and not “prophesies” and scrolls and hearsay and ancient texts filled with circular logic, fantasy, draconian laws, and magic. My heart believes in the awesomene mysteries of relativity and quantum science, of amazing mind bending evidence of an infinite universe created from an infinite Big Bang, the incredible delicacy and complexity of evolution and genetics. The inerrant truth of the scientific method, even when the results are sometimes wrong. because unlike religion, when science is wrong, it finds it out and self-corrects. Scientific errors will always eventually lead to discovery, accuracy, proof.
Religion seeks to defend itself using acrobatic bending of logic and skewing of “evidence” to match a sought result. Science seeks to explain reality as it is, while religion tries to bend reality to fit a preconception. And that is the truth my heart believes in, and why I feel a desperate need to try to help people to realize that religion leads to intolarance, hatred, arrogance, ignorance, stagnation; and reason and intellect will lead to the betterment of humanity, the improvement of the human condition, the evolution of the species, and a better understanding of this amazing universe God has created.