Christians regularly tell me I’m headed for hell for being a freethinker. But when I try to imagine this fiery underworld, my mind falls short, and all I see is spending an eternity with them –an army of pious brain-dead conservative robots, dressed in matching polyester outfits, oafishly shuffling about under twinkling chandeliers and gaudy lighting, to the most insidious, elevator music ever conceived. It’s an intellectually barren world where the only shape is a square. I’m afraid even considering its existence. Now, peer into my hell, if you dare.
Tag Archives: Evangelical
In a Newsweek opinion peice from September 27th, writer Lisa Miller, “argues against the atheists”. The column is called “Belief Watch”, and Miller’s apologetic scribblings do the vacuous nature of religious belief complete justice. She begins by arguing that atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are unfamiliar with real believers.
First, if 90-odd percent of Americans say they believe in God, it’s unhelpful to dismiss them as silly. Second, when they check that “believe in God” box, a great many people are not talking about the God the atheists rail against—a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs, who lays down inexplicable laws about sex and diet, punishes violators with the stinking fires of hell and raises the fleshly bodies of the dead.
When over fifty percent of Americans believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, what are we atheists supposed to think? If we include all Christians worldwide, particularly the ones in poorer Catholic and Eastern Orthodox nations, the percentage is probably much higher. This doesn’t take into account the non-democratic Islamic nations, where Western ideas are spat upon, and where basic education is limited to males, and where people are threatened into believing in the all-powerful Allah. So, the actual number of believers in an angry, vengeful, and intervening god is probably much much higher than even Lisa Miller cares to imagine.
Apologetics is a form of faith; it’s faith in faith. Miller finishes her paper-thin argument by hauling in the invisible sacred cow.
Submitting faith to proof is absurd. Reason defines one kind of reality (what we know); faith defines another (what we don’t know). Reasonable believers can live with both at once.
Reasonable believers? Can reason and faith coexist? And how can faith define the unknown? Isn’t the unknown, by its very definition, indefinable? Here, Miller’s mental gymnastics are Olympic quality. And most believers would likely take great offense to her reducing their unshakable faith to an algebraic X. Personally, I prefer to think of all faith simply as a Y.
These guys either didn’t read the complete definition or they have a really crappy dictionary, or they’re just stupid. They are wearing clownish costumes on TV, after all. I just wish they had looked up the word “colloquialism”. If they had, they might have understood that some words, like “theory”, often have a common everyday definition as well as a scientific one. Even Scrabble players appreciate the fact that many scientific terms can’t be found in Webster’s or American Heritage.
The “evolution is only a theory” argument is sad, pathetic, and old. It’s what uneducated goofballs spout from their blowholes.
In addition to the common definitions, Merriman-Webster’s defines a theory as “a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena” and “the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another”.
It’s strange how these three wise men missed that one.
Now, before your outrage at our title reaches apoplectic levels, please consider for a moment what we have to say. We chose a deliberately provocative title for two reasons, to grab your attention, and to make a serious point. Our point is that emotion has no place in determining scientific truth. A scientific theory is valid regardless of human emotions.
Some of the same bible thumping people who object to evolution also object to sex education in the public schools. The morning after pill is one major point of dispute. The pill (actually a series of pills) is a post-sex option for women who don’t want to get pregnant, but were irresponsible in not using contraception during the sex act. It is affective up to 36 hours after. The problem is that many anti-abortion groups call the morning after pill an abortion pill. It is not.
Just like when creationists make up lies about evolution, anti-abortionists have made up this whopping lie about the morning after pill. The fact is that sperm take up to 3 days to reach to the egg. Conception is not instantaneous. Sex is not like sinking a putt on a golf course. The morning after pill prevents conception. It doe not abort a fertilized egg. The pill is useless after 36 hours.
The real issue in both cases, anti-evolution and anti-abortion, is an atmosphere of anti-intellectualism spurred on by adherence to irrational religious beliefs. People are welcome to have their own opinions, to have their own religious beliefs, but not to make up their own facts. That is where the conflict occurs. When parents prevent their children from receiving sex education or biology education our whole society suffers. Those ignorant children grow up to be ignorant adults and uniformed voters. Reality is not evil, it just is. It’s what we do with reality which is evil.