To those who are hardcore religious

I’m finding fewer and fewer of you I can deal with.  I want to like you, I really do.  Many of you are very caring and generous and I feel better being around such people.

However, I also find that many of you are stupid, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to look past this.  In fact, I actually wish for the Rapture to happen (looking past the fact that there isn’t any real biblical basis for it and the problems with who would be taken) just so I don’t have to deal with any of you people anymore.  I honestly believe the world would be better off with you not on it; leaving us unbelievers behind to create the world we have always wanted.  It would be, for lack of a better term, a “heaven on earth” with you gone.

The reason I feel the way I do is the way you deal with contradictory evidence.  Most people, even religious, deal with contradictory evidence in the same fashion; it causes them to question the beliefs they hold and try to find the actual truth.  Sometimes you change your initial belief, sometimes you do not.  For instance, I saw the “Loose Change” 9/11 Trufers (that’s what I call them) video when it first came out.  I thought there may have been something to some of their theories, so I looked into them.  I found them to be completely debunked within minutes.  Were the evidence better I would have had to change my mind since I consider myself to be a rational person, as I’m sure many religious people consider themselves to be as well.

However, when the religious person deals with contradictory evidence regarding their cherished religious beliefs the whole system breaks down.  No longer is the truth important; more important is that the beliefs stay intact.  While a rational person could either confirm or reject his/her initial belief the same is not true of the religious.  These people somehow twist reality to the extent that many times the contradictory evidence actually strengthens their initial beliefs so much that they become irrefutable!

Part of the problem has to do with a particular person’s tolerance of evidence.  My tolerance is very high, meaning it has to be very well supported and logical for me to accept it as truth.  The tolerance of evidence regarding personal religious beliefs tends to be quite low (to nonexistant) among the hardcore religious.  This is unacceptable for humanity to continue to progress.  Just because your pastor said it does not mean it’s correct.  Just because Glen Beck said it does not mean it’s correct.  Just because Keith Olbermann said it does not mean it’s correct!

Take this day to learn about your world.  Read primary sources, talk to experts, try to find faults in your logic (and accept and change them when you find them!), and never be afraid to consider the fact that you may be wrong.  Don’t worry, it’s really not all that scary.  It’s a cliche I know, but the truth really will set you free.

Now go out there and have a fantastic Darwin Day everyone!

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5 Comments

Filed under life, religion, Those Other Sciences

5 responses to “To those who are hardcore religious

  1. Def Leppard

    Darwin himself doubted his theory, but it is just a theory…nobody will have all the answers they want in this life.

  2. wellwateredgarden

    Well, Chad … truly you are an amazing guy!

    You actually sound as though you really want people to see the truth (your idea of it, anyway) but you are so critical of everyone ‘religious’ … who would want to respond (except me, maybe) to you and probably get some more abuse.

    You talk about the ‘religious’ people, but you know, everybody believes something, so everybody is religious. People are religious, as opposed to animals, which are not. But then, you probably consider yourself just another animal, and that then would explain your anger toward people.

    Now, maybe you are an evolutionary scientist and have arrived at all your own tested theories and as result you really have reason to believe those theories. Short of that however, you are really just placing your trust (belief) in someone else’s findings and published theories and accepting them as your own, which, of course, they aren’t.

    But, hey … you are entirely entitled to your beliefs, but you should lighten up a little if you want to have anyone taking you seriously.

    The way I see it, anyway …

  3. I am very glad that you highly value independent investigation of the truth. I would call myself hardcore religious, but my faith sees unity between Science and Religion. They are both two ways in which we can better know the world and should not be in conflict. Science helps us to learn about the material world and all that is within it, and Religion helps us to deal with things of the spirit. So much that is written in spiritual texts is meant to be metaphorical, not literal, and when it is taken out of context (like the Rapture for example) it doesn’t make sense.

    You talked of progress and how you want humanity to continue to progress. It does, and as it does it’s science progresses, and so does it’s religion. I agree with you that when people cling to outdated beliefs it can be problematic. One of those outdated beliefs is that Science and Religion conflict.

  4. masonryan

    Your fallacy is in assuming that the hardcore religious are anywhere close to being rational. They look at the evidence that supports their beliefs and then dismisses the contradictory evidence as that of the Devil trying to sway them away from the Word. It doesn’t exist in a world of rational thought. And aside from the moral teachings and the explanation (albeit rather absurd and judgmental in nature) of the afterlife, religion finds itself becoming less and less relevant every day. It once helped people explain the world that seemed extremely supernatural and awe-inspiring. It’s still awe-inspiring, but what once wasn’t explainable now is. We know we’re on a planet. We know we revolve around the sun. We know the sun is not a god. We know that people get sick and die due to bacteria and viruses, not bad karma or as punishment for sin. Religion was science before we had science. Now, we just don’t need it.

  5. Def Leppard – “Just a theory?” You’re not even worth responding to.

    wellwater – Bobdamn right I’m amazing. I’m not saying I have the “truth” all the time, but that I’m at least willing to seek it. You see, that’s what is so great about science, the knowledge we come up with is provisional and self-correcting meaning that even if I’m wrong about something I’m more than willing to give it a second look given new evidence. Faith shown by the religious is evidence-free, which is fine by me except when you tell me that there really is evidence backing your position. There isn’t, get over it. At least I can show other people my evidence, can you?

    anotherworld – I’m actually a strong believer in SJ Gould’s NOMA principle, so I can see a harmony (but no unity) between religion and science. However, spirituality to me is absolutely unnecessary; anything not answerable by science can be undertaken by philosophy. That whole “meaning of life” crap and its ilk can be taken in a secular way that doesn’t come to the table with any preconceived ideas that need reinforcing. Either way, it’s not going to change the way I live my life. I’m going to try to further knowledge regardless of whether there is a God or Gods, an afterlife, or any of that other junk.

    mason – It’s not really a fallacy, it’s just an obvious cognitive-dissonance because they CAN be rational in other aspects of their lives.

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