Saturday, October 3, 2015

Religion Poisons Political Rhetoric

"In religion, faith is a virtue. In science, faith is a vice." - Jerry Coyne

Religion poisons progress.

If a person can believe in something without any proof, it follows that they can believe in anything without any proof. A large group of people such as these form the basis of the Republican Party. They believe in anything that they want to believe in. Logic and proof are not a necessary part of their thinking, hence their thinking is incredibly limited. Black and white, zeros and ones, on and off; no grey areas exist for them. Abortion is "baby killing", climate change is not man-made, birth control is wrong, marriage is between a man and a woman, and on and on. Flexibility and compromise are non-existent. They think that they are always right.

Republicans are not reasonable people because so many of them are religious. Reason and religion are like oil and water. Religion defines the current Republican Party. It defines the issues they consider to be important. It defines what and who they will vote for, and the rest of us be damned for wanting a world that isn't so medieval.

Just look at some of today's headlines:

It looks like Pope Francis is not so liberal and progressive after all. It looks like he is judgemental after all.

To true progressives and liberals these issues are not political issues at all. In fact they are all legal in the United States. They are only political issues because Republicans force them to be issues. Somehow these issues become more important than murders, crime, infrastructure needs, poverty, pollution, etc. I think that all of us would like the world to be a better place. It is therefore ironic that the Religious Republicans impede many solutions that could do just that.

Belief trumps logic in the minds of the Religious Republican. Debate and discussion become totally useless. Evidence, science and logic become totally useless. In their minds they are always right. They are proud of their idiotic arrogance. They are not content to live in a country that allows them to have their beliefs. They want to legalize their beliefs so that the rest of us are forced to be like them.

They believe that religion is what makes America great. I believe that the Enlightenment is what makes America great, and never the twain shall meet.

Because we are a democracy, a large number of Religious Republicans can make the United States a hellish place to be for the rest of us. 

As E.O. Wilson says, we have become dysfunctional.

"I’m not a Marxist, but Marx got at least one thing right: for many, religion weakens the incentive to fix both personal and societal problems." - Jerry Coyne

"For good people to do evil doesn’t require only religion, or even any religion, but simply one of its key elements: belief without evidence—in other words, faith. And that kind of faith is seen not just in religion, but in any authoritarian ideology that puts dogma above truth and frowns on dissent." - Jerry Coyne

"But the God hypothesis for morality and altruism has its own problems. It fails, for example, to specify exactly which moral judgments were instilled in people by God and which, if any, might rest on secular reason. It doesn’t explain why slavery, torture, and disdain for women and strangers were considered proper behaviors not too long ago, but are now seen as immoral. For if anything is true, God-given morality should remain constant over time and space. In contrast, if morality reflects a malleable social veneer on an evolutionary base, it should change as society changes. And it has." - Jerry Coyne 

Just read Faith vs. Fact, for god's sake.

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