It is funny how a religionist can scoff at the irrationality associated with something like scientology, and then go "eat the body and drink the blood" of their ancient, silent, and utterly absent savior - without once recognizing the irony of their actions. Aside from being completely irrational, it is one of the most sick and twisted concepts a human can come up with.
I don't think so.
With over 3000 Gods in circulation and exploding populations in under-developed countries, religious and superstitious people number in billions and billions, uneducated and impoverished. They can be controlled but not re-educated or eliminated.
With Richard Dawkins going around saying he's an agnostic, we haven't got a chance anyway.
It's not sad, that's just the way it is.
One example of that statement can be summed up in how religious people interpret their "so-called" sacred texts. The bible, we all know, is full of contradictions, but the common christian defense is one of irrationality. You know that old drivel, "You have to accept Christ in order to understand his revealed word." I prefer to call it the reviled word, but that's just me. Any how, to me this is one of the most common examples. I find it irritating how someone can deny something that's right in front of them, but then they do that where evolution is concerned too. I agree with Daniel Dennett, that we should work to incorporate classes that teach the history of world religions in public schools. This could go a long way toward removing the chains that religion and superstition place on the minds of children. The sad part is that the chains are commonly put in place by the parents. It's certainly a problem that needs a solution.
we should work to incorporate classes that teach the history of world religions in public schools
If you think that ID folks are crazy now, just try and pull that one off. That would probably start a civil war in every municipality in the nation. The only thing worse for these people than not having god in the classroom, would be having references to any religion that isn't their religion in the classroom.
You're absolutely right. The creationists would fight that tooth and nail. Violence certainly wouldn't be out of the question on their part either.
"Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers."
Rational arguments don't work with irrational people. This is directly analogous to the phrase that I got from the CFI Blasphemy Contest of a few years ago:
Faith Is No Reason
There is no intersection set between faith and reason, because they speak two entirely different languages. One is based in fact, logic and reason; the other in myth, superstition and emotion.
A further problem comes with the fact that those of us who embrace atheism have at least some understanding and acknowledge the qualities and values of emotion. We balance emotion against a sober, objective point of view which equally values those tools which allow us to know the world as it is. We don't permit emotion to overwhelm the necessary rationality which allows us to function in a coherent fashion.
This is not to say that those who live their lives based in faith are completely dysfunctional. Obviously, they function, but they fail to recognize the bases from which they function. Their problem is that they assign their capacities and abilities to incorrect sources, based on their indoctrination and mistaken conceptions of how the world works. They also fail to recognize the real mechanisms of reality from a lack of education and/or a denial of the validity of science, based in their own religious confirmation bias.
As a result, we may understand where they are coming from, especially those of us who were raised with religion and later rejected it, but it is far more dubious that they will get our point of view. I am reminded of a proposition made by an atheist friend of mine on another board: that atheism is a CONCLUSION, a rational deduction made by an individual. Atheism is the result of having personally run the data through our own processor and coming to the recognition that the facts don't support the assertions of the believers, that indeed, beliefs, however fervently held, cannot alter facts. I suspect that this is how a great number of us have come to this place called atheism.
And until and unless those who continue to cling to their irrationality can go through the same process, the chance for any kind of meeting of the minds is unlikely at best and a frustrating impossibility at worst.
Love this video.
The utter CRAP (or bollocks, since it's an English show and audience) which came from the guy who speaks first completely deserved the response from Ms. Smuirthwaite, and I applaud her for calling a spade a spade. Would that more such calling bullshit could happen here in the US. It is far past due.
I suspect there might be something of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion at work here. Indoctrination into religion usually starts early, capitalizing on the authority of both the parents and revered clergy. Then, religion offers emotional enticement (both positive and negative) in the forms of heaven and hell, wish fulfillment, etc. Finally, apologetics uses scientism and twisted reasoning to reinforce the programming.
I submit that atheists rely almost solely on logos (rational arguments) when articulating our doctrine. So, while we may plant seeds of doubt by scoring points on pure reason, we do very little to address the ingrained ethos and pathos of a religious upbringing.