Nov 14

All the Silly Reasons

Religion Gone in One Generation

I looked around a while to decide which link to share with this article, but basically they are all the same. You can also find lots of videos featuring Lawrence Krauss and his oft time collaborator Richard Dawkins on youtube if you are interested in the source material.

Here we once again see the growing conflict between faith and science in the media. The interesting thing is that I agree with most of what he says, up to a point. We should teach comparative religion. We should teach kids to think critically, to apply logic, and to question inherited values. We should, however, do so with out prejudices of our own. By declaring that religions have "silly reasons" for believing what they do he shows his own bias. Arguing that people should think carefully and come up with their own decisions about what they believe is quite different from arguing against what they believe.

I am no paranoid conspiracy theorist, not about this at least. I do not think there is some global agenda to eliminate religion, some Atheist Illuminati. I do, however, think that we are reaching a kind of crucible in our public discussion of matters of faith and science. The problem, we will find, is that both are arguing from mutually incompatible sources of authority. Faith relies either on the authority of received revelation or personal experience,or both. Science relies on the replication of measurable experience and, let us admit, a bit of faith in an understandable causal universe in which experience can be replicated over time.

All of those are silly reasons to believe anything.

I will give you a moment to calm down.

Yes, I am a person of faith and, I like to think, reason, but I say all of these are silly reasons.

If you say to me "God said it and I believe it." I would ask you how you know God said it. If you tell me about your experience of the divine I would ask how you can trust your own senses. If you talk to me about the scientific method and the value of observation I would point to quantum mechanics.

I will admit to being in something of a questing state myself; but everything I have read and learned, both from science and from faith and beyond, says that if I want to understand anything I have to start from this statement:

"I know nothing."

If we can all start there we can decide which reasons are silly and which are not for ourselves.

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