Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Having Faith In Yourself

I will be the first to admit that my fellow Christians can be intolerant assholes to Atheists, frequently interested in "fixing" their philosophy and converting them to their cause.

But the fact is, Atheists can be just as guilty of this kind of assholery in reverse, frequently interested in "fixing" Christians and converting them to their cause.

For the most part, I don't give a shit about what Atheists say.  If my faith in God requires everyone to believe what I do, that's pretty weak faith.  The only reaction I am obligated to give anyone be they Atheist, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Shinto, or whatever, is my complete and utter apathy.  About a year ago, Bill Nye The Science Guy was on TV, and said, "We are maybe ten years away from disproving the existence of God."  I thought about the two attempts to map the human genome, said out loud, "Yeeeeeeaaaaaaah...maybe not, though," and put on My Little Pony instead.  I tend to view religious people as I view myself -- everyone is reaching the best conclusion they can with the limited information available, so there's no reason to hate.

But then, someone will say or do something stupid.  And whatever the religion, it's stupid.  Because it becomes less about their personal beliefs and ideas and more about advancing a wider social agenda.  It becomes about teaching these stupid uneducated people what The Truth is, a Truth that I figured out because I'm smart and if everyone else was smart, they'd see this self-evident conclusion and think the same way.  There is something wrong with them and I (cue dramatic superhero music) will save them!

Everyone does it, but the most friction does occur between the Christians and the Atheists.  Lots of Atheists say they are simple embracing a practical philosophy.  And I agree with that.  If you doubt me, just look at the number of pro-Atheism pieces that I, a Christian, have run here.  When they have a point, they have a point.  But when they get smug and acting like their philosophy is absolute, I got beef.

The subject of my annoyance is Lawrence Krauss.  Krauss is a scientist and cosmologist.  He's also an active antitheist.  For those unfamiliar with the term, that is a person actively opposed to religion.  He is the Foundation Professor of teh School of Earth and Space Exploriation at Arizona State University.  He and Richard "Dicky" Dawkins co-created the documentary "The Unbelievers."  On Monday, video was uploaded on YouTube of Krauss speaking at the Victorian Skeptics Cafe in Melbourne, Australia, back on August 29.  Asked about religion being taught in schools, Krauss let his flag fly.  Here's what he had to say:

"What we need to do is present comparative religion as a bunch of interesting historical anecdotes, and show the silly reasons why they did what they did.  People say, 'Well, religion has been around since the dawn of man.  You'll never change that.'  This issue of gay marriage, it is going to go away, because if you're a child, a 13-year-old, they can't understand what the issue is.  It's gone.  One generation is all it takes.  So, I can tell you a generation ago people said there is no way people would allow gay marriage, and slavery - essentially - [gone in] a generation;  we got rid of it.  Change is always one generation away.  So if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our childred, religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away.  And that's what I think we have an obligation to do."

I love that last sentence.  "And that's what I think we have an obligation to do."  Another noble narcissist coming to save us brainwashed group-thinking sheeple from our ignorance.  You want your commemorative statue made of marble or bronze?

I'm going to deal with the easiest part first, and that is his radical misrepresentation of the eradication of slavery and opposition to gay marriage.  Surprise, genius, opposition is still there.  The times didn't change because a bunch of people in schools started telling the kids slavery is wrong and that gay marriage was right.  It was from the grown-ups who made the laws and held office who changed things, and even now, there are still people who oppose gay marriage and still think blacks were better off under slavery than as free people.  It's because the general populous started to see what was wrong with their stances and started changing them, not a bunch of educators hard programming young minds.  You also underestimate how much influence teachers have on kids.  Most kids tune out their teachers as being old and out of touch.  They don't usually give anything they say about social stances any credence.

Oh, wait.  Krauss is a realist.  He doesn't want people's ideas when it comes to this stuff, he wants cold hard facts.  Well, here you go -- history.  It's happened, it's recorded, you can't deny it.  Twice in the 20th Century, countries have made concerted efforts to destroy religion.  In Russia and Eastern Europe, people were raised for generations in a secular society.  Guess what?  80% of Russians identify as Christian.  China also tried to eliminate all religion, and they failed spectacularly, with Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and even Christianity enjoying a resurgence among the populous.  Your "seeds of doubt" are 100% pure bullshit.

That said, here's a guy who would scream bloody murder about people forcing their religious beliefs on him, but not only does he think it is his obligation to force his on others, but to do it in a way that effects virtually the entire planet.  All because he thinks religion is hokum, like there is no good reason for intelligent people to believe in God or Allah or Yahweh or whoever.  He's got it figured out, and he's going to make you think like he does.

And he can't.  As Douglas Adams, himself an Atheist, wrote, "In the beginning, there was nothing.  Which then exploded."  Christians don't have to prove anything.  We just say, "God made it."  Krauss trying to convince people that there is a chain of cosmic events which resulted in life means he has a lot of work to do.  Not only has there been no recorded phenomena other than species evolution observed, but for all the talk of science being pure and demonstrable and true, it isn't.  There are a lot of fields such as electronics and cancer research where all tests are conducted within the framework of generally accepted fact, and anything outside of it is dismissed instead of being looked at.  New theories, contradictions, and logical falllicies are conveniently glossed over.  They are building on unreliable data that they are helping to keep unreliable.  Science is just as subject to agendas for popular control as religion but gets a pass because science has an air of authority (if I hear one more person say the coxyx is proof that man evolved from monkeys, I'm going to throw up.  It's not, it's an anchor point for rectal muscles!  Get a goddamn physiology textbook, dipshits!).

Krauss is free to think religion is stupid and people like me are just letting folklore guide our lives.  He is free to say our folklore is false.  Go ahead, I admit there are contradicitons in Christianity.  But if you are so sure of your facts, you shouldn't need social manipulation and youth indoctrination to eliminate religion.  You should be able to simply present evidence, field questions and theories.  You aren't.  You are stacking the deck.  You are using the techniques that you so deride as the source of religion.  That's like infecting someone with chicken pox in hopes that they get mumps instead.

You believe in hard evidence?  Show it.  Otherwise, quit acting like you have all the answers.
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