I vote label, the delusionists have no problem labeling themselves. I agree with Occam, and I refuse to go under the radar. The concessions society continues to make in favor of theism are so many and varied, it isn’t even on the radar. Under the Radar is where they want us, and has allowed this country and the world to stoop to where we are now. The below, while long, describes why I believe we should NOT fly under the radar anymore. The indefensibility and insecurity of religious belief is forcing theists to become more and more demanding. Religious fundamentalists are aggressively acting to turn this country into a theocracy. The reason is an underlying insecurity, thus the need to have their beliefs validated by society, exclusively. Rational people have been too complacent for too long in regards to theists, frankly disregarding them as absurd and benign. I believe most religious people are good, well meaning people, their faith is just not based in any reality. The benign part has been over since the election of god’s right hand man, George Bush. Fundamentalists are now demanding their beliefs are accepted as true, and these beliefs are being turned into public policies. Now that theists are demanding more and more input into domestic, social, and foreign policy, and are increasingly getting it, they must be held to the same standard of reasonableness as the rest of us. The danger of religious beliefs cannot be overstated, nor can its devastating impact throughout history be ignored. One must be open to the possibility ones beliefs are wrong, and open to new data, and fundamentalists just are not. Christian fundamentalists are just as dangerous as Muslim, or any other fundamentalists who have the egotistical belief they are right and all others are wrong, and that “God” talks to them. People need to truly get off the fence, stop hedging their bets. We need to stop accepting modern biology ( esp. neuroscience ), geology, physics, mathematics, astronomy, out of one side of our mouths, and praying out of the other side. We must have the conviction to do this, as the fundamentalists certainly do. Take the precepts of the bible to their natural conclusions; the universe is around 6000 yrs old for example. Teaching Creationism as a competing theory to Evolution is akin to teaching in biology class to consider the ” Stork” theory as an alternate theory to human sexual reproduction. Simply stating something, “ I believe the center of the earth is made of bubblegum” for example, does not make it a theory. Actual theories are supported by evidence, not faith. The “Santa Claus” analogy is one I use quite often; while a child’s belief in Santa has some desirable results, that does not make it true. I believe religion has always been used as an excellent people management tool by those having or aspiring to power. I believe theism may be psychologically convenient, maybe even psychologically healthy for a large percentage of the population; neither of those makes a supreme being real though. The fallacy that religion and morality are dependent on one another has been used since religions first evolved. If the “Ten Commandments” are examined, many of them are demanding obedience and worship to a supreme being. Sounds like a pretty egotistical or needy God to me. A little delusion can go a long way. I can only respect someone’s values if they come from a realized intrinsic conviction. I do not respect values derived from a dogmatic belief, blind faith, or a selfish fear that a failure to adhere to prescribed tenets will result in eternal damnation, or non-salvation. I continually find it astonishing so many trust in a book compiled from between 5000 to 2000 years ago. What would we say if our physician referred to a 2000 yr old medical journal when treating us? How about if our next bridge spanning a river was built by an engineer using 2000 yr old engineering standards?
The Environmental rollbacks enacted by this administration are truly frightening.
This administration is clearly in the pocket of corporate interests. The balance of their refusal to protect our environment is on religious grounds. God put everything on this earth for man to use, and they are going to use it all up. Preserving anything for future generations is not needed, for the second coming of Christ, the rapture, eliminates the environment as a consideration. That begs the question; if we don’t need to worry about the environment due to the upcoming rapture, why are we so intent on building individual wealth? There is a significant core of GOP supporters who truly believe this. Of course every generation for the last 2000 years has believed the rapture would occur in their lifetime.
The rest of the world is whistling though the graveyard that is this administration’s foreign and environmental policy. Hoping all goes well, but the inmates are truly running the asylum in this country. It is incomprehensible to the rest of the world how we could let a religious zealot at the control of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. If we continue down this road, there will be another World War, and it will be the world against us. Western Europe has learned these lessons well, and is becoming more secular. Europeans enjoy greater civil liberties now than we do in this country. We will be in the wrong because we are going down a path of hypocrisy, arrogance, intolerance, and military, economic, and social imperialism.
Reason and faith are mutually exclusive and it is imperative we stop pretending otherwise, the stakes are getting too high. There either is a supreme being or there isn’t. The burden of proof rests on those making an affirmative claim. These are extremely dangerous times, and we must preserve our freedoms. We really cannot afford to humor and tolerate the superstitious any longer, if they want a place at the table they must prove their case.