RodionRaskolnikov wrote:Suppose that a child was running to touch the hot stove thinking that it was a good thing to do. But, this time, instead of only the child being burned, all of society is burned. The child not only runs toward the hot stove but lures other children to run toward it and touch it. You, seeing that it is not good to touch the hot stove, try to stop them, but they're so stubborn and unwilling to listen to reason that they overpower you and touch the stove. Once burned, they cry and then, instead of saying that it wasn't a good thing to touch the stove, they conclude that they were burned because they didn't touch the stove enough and that not enough people touched it. Do, perpetually, they get burned, lure more people, burn, strengthen their belief in touching the stove, burn, lure more people, burn, etc. You're such a good person that you cannot stand there and watch them not only burn themselves but burn others by touching the stove. So you try, over and over, to tell them what they're doing but they reject everything you say and continue to avoid reason and keep being stubborn. After a while, you just stop giving a shit. Why should you care that they're doing that to themselves. You're angry that their touching of the stove burns you too since you're part of society but you have to take it since they're so stubborn and unreasonable.
For me, it's the same for religious people. Studies show that it's the poor and uneducated who are the most religious and religion has, and still does, lead people to do horrible things. Without religion, there's no question we would have by now been much more advanced. But, no! I can't convince religious people of what they're doing. So why should I care? Go ahead touch the stove! Go ahead and believe in an invisible creature in the sky! I'll just go ahead and keep it real! I'm not gonna sugarcoat your touching of the stove. Not gonna say you're playing handsies with it! Not gonna say you're cold and looking to heat up! No! You're touching a fucking stove! Yes, it's THAT stupid! You're believing in an invisible creature in the sky who grants...! Yes, it's THAT stupid!
Meh, I totally agree with you in principle I just hate the approach. Totally agree that religion has held us back, particularly scientifically and socially, but at the same time I think that is everyone's right to make a decision about religion and I should respect that in the same way that they should respect whatever choice I make. And I don't agree with you that religion is entirely bad. I think for a lot of people it can be a very valuable tool in living a good life and being charitable, etc.
I used to feel bitter like you do toward religion. Then I came to ND, where I am surrounded by 8000 brilliant kids and professors, most of whom are religious, and realized that it can't be all that awful of a thing for a person to have religion. It really does a lot of good at ND and I have seen a lot of religious people who I really admire.
On a scientific/ geopolitical level, though, religion has no fucking place to be in the discussion and really fucks shit up (see Israel/Palestine, stem-cell research, etc.)