Discussing the recent exposure of the make-up of the House committee on science when it was viewed in light of current issues involving a woman's reproductive rights, I remarked that the most depressing thing is the committee members' total ignorance of science. Science has come under attack by the religious right entirely for the reason that both cannot be right. Either we evolved from primitive forms over hundreds of thousands of years, or we came into existence at the same time as dinosaurs approximately 6,000 years ago. Take your pick. Acceptance of one negates the other -- for you at least. And you can fall back on a ton of scientific data that says only fools go around claiming God put fossils in the earth "to fool the Darwinists."
Almost all of the committee members debating such things as trans-vaginal devices, sonograms of fetuses, funding for birth control advice groups, &c. are Republicans, and I'd wager all are evangelicatholics. (These are Christians who tend to be evangelicals or Catholics, and both houses of Congress are full of them.) They have them in the Senate, too; however, the ones in the Senate tend to be more sensible and less likely to choose myth over reason. The most alarming thing about the committee, however, is that its members know little to nothing about science. They do not care about the scientific method. Do they know that critical thinking leads to rejection of dogma? Are they afraid that if the atheists take over, the nation will be given over to immorality? Do they believe Eve talked to a snake and that Mosheh went up the mountain and came back with the Decalogue -- Moses, a totally mythical figure having no recorded history whatsoever.
Ignorance of science led to the humiliation and torture of untold thousands who uttered truth in the face of fiction. Galileo is the most famous, but he was not the first nor last, and dogma's imprisonment of humanity, its enslavement of us through silly proscriptions and appeals to fear and superstition, its justification of our irrational treatment of others unlike ourselves -- all are part of a continuing history of violence, intimidation, and terroristic tactics. Yes, terrorism! When these lunatics inspire others to murder abortion doctors, torch gay bars, drag African-Americans by rope behind pick-up trucks, &c., &c., &c., what else can their words of hate be seen as?
Ignorance of science is the most disturbing thing about religion. After all, if you can say, "Trust in the Lord" and go about your day without a thought to why prayer was seen in a study to make hospital patients actually get worse, then you are a danger to humanity. The same fatalism we criticize Muslims for exhibiting our own religious people prove part of their mind set. "The Lord will provide." Better apply for food stamps. "God helps those who help themselves." Help yourself to a bank vault through force of arms. Science has explained all of the mysteries, but people go on believing. They know nothing of science and they do not want to know anything of it. Their pastors and priests do not want them to know anything about it, either.
The Bible says that the truth shall make you free. If the religious nuts have their way, there will never be freedom. Only freedom from dogma is devoutly to be wished.
I have a very healthy respect for all religions' power to propagate, indoctrinate, delude, twist the truth to fit their goals, create divisiveness, to provide false hopes and promises, and to convince people with average intelligence to believe the unbelievable.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."
There are multiple dangerous things about religion. Let's each nominate a few.
Ignorance of science belongs on any list of dangerous things about religion, but it and the dogma that accompanies it are more dangerous in the minds of public officials than in the minds of most of us.
I nominate fear. Fear accompanies religion, and religious leaders need their followers to have fear. Many religious leaders use their followers' fear to acquire money; those who use their followers' fear to gain public office are more dangerous.
Yeah, I nominate fear.
Most fears could be stilled by knowledge of science. The fear of death is what drives most people to religion in the first place. Science gives us certainty about death; religion, a false promise of eternal life in a place that keeps us in a kind of infantile world, carefree and perfect in every way.
That infantile world is one of the things that turned me off from religion other than it didn't make sense. I have no use for gates made of pearls, streets paved with gold, angels flying around playing on harps, etc. And there are many family members and acquaintances I just plain out hope I never, ever see again.
Wow, you mean nothing's changed in 50 years? I was forced to go to "Sunday school" to learn about the Bible, and the guy teaching our class was "an overdressed man," though I do not recall any teaching on science being evil. I guess you are going to a more fundamentalist church, while I went to our local Church of the Good Cadillacs, Episcopal. Baptists called us "Whiskeypaleans" but if you show me four Baptists I'll show you a fifth. Some of us eventually caught on to the dogma and hype and slipped away after the church service. The church is on a hill and down at the bottom at that time there was a popular eatery called Mac's Drive-In. We drank cherry Cokes while the phony fancy pants was doing his thing uphill.
The "science" part blew me away. I had no idea they'd gotten that desperate.
Agree with you completely. Thanks.