Richard Dawkins points out the telling fact that the specifics of religious conviction correlate closely with geography. That is, most people believe whatever religious paradigm happens to predominate where they were raised. If you’re raised in a Hindu culture, chances are that you believe Hinduism is the conduit to absolute truth — likewise for Islam, Christianity, and so on. There is a temporal component, as well. For example, the original Vikings probably all believed in Valhalla. Interestingly, practitioners of each of these competing systems of faith-based belief are often certain that their particular metaphysical framework is the right one, the absolute truth, and that all others are wrong. This naturally begs the question: how can anyone be so certain of their metaphysical paradigm that they would make laws, oppress others, deliberately retard the advancement of knowledge, medicine, and science, wage war, promulgate divisiveness in general, torture, and so on based on a doctrine that is theirs simply because it happens to be the one they were raised with? Are the arbitrary geographical circumstances of your birth the best predictors of truth?

Personally, I don’t believe in what the fictional character Temperance Brennan calls “invisible super beings.” To my mind, there is simply no logical or empirical support for doing so, and too many compelling reasons not to. There are simply too many alternatives that make much more sense. I’m a rational empiricist, however, so if bona fide evidence (as opposed to creative, selective data mining and clever rationalization, such as can be found in works like Investigating Christian Evidences) surfaced to support the existence and purported doctrine of one of these posited invisible super beings, I would accept that. To date, none has. Some people have called me closed-minded for this perspective, but my mind is open to whatever is defensible by reason and/or is empirically supportable. I don’t expect the phenomena of nature to conform to my prejudices, presuppositions, or fantasies. In some cases it would be nice if they did (time travel, trans-light-speed velocities, or immortality, for example), but I do not expect it. What is actually closed-minded is to presuppose a belief system based on where you happen to have been raised and to try to force-fit the world into this system, regardless of facts or reason.

Now, people believe all kinds of empirically unsupportable things that are perfectly innocuous. However, no one goes to war with anyone to force them to stop breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, or failing to throw salt over their shoulder for good luck. No one has made a law requiring you to carry a “lucky” rabbit’s foot, nor do any politicians proudly proclaim they would consult their astrologer (as certain Roman Emperors did) before deciding how to respond to some burgeoning global crisis. It is not illegal in Las Vegas to blow on dice because of the unfair advantage it might convey. No on has been forced through torture to adopt palm reading. No one is demanding that Ragnarok be taught in school alongside physics and astronomy as a legitimate alternative explanation for the probable end of the universe. And so on. Hence, although I think those kinds of beliefs are nonsense, they don’t bother me because they don’t engender war, oppression, elitism, hatred, xenophobia, torture, genocide, willful institutional ignorance, and the like. Religious fundamentalism often does.


States Move to Restrict Stem Cell Research After Obama lifts Federal Restriction

4/6/2009 — I neglected to mention child abuse:

Texas Man Allegedly Trying to Beat Demon Out of Son

4/10/2009 — A veteran of the Israel Defense Forces Discusses the influence of religious fundamentalism on the behavior of soldiers.

Morality Play

36 Responses to “Fundamentally Dangerous”

  1. What the “conflict” is about is basicly this: one believes either the Bible to BE the Word of God instead of the PCUSA believing it CONTAINS the Word of God. Our church is voting today to leave the PCUSA and go to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We will not be leaving them – they left us.

  2. nmandel balgoetta says:

    I am glad to see the Christian religion finding its roots back to this…..because the religion was never meant to answer scientific questions but questions of morality…but it has become a monster of judgement within the twisted hands of Western thought. The reason there are atheists are because of the twisted meanings- it never taught to judge anybody but yourself, and instead all it is used for is to judge others and make yourself look good. I am not christian, but this is some wise stuff.

  3. sant bradess says:

    Youth have a knowledge of sustainability, education that is not fundamentalism, and that will carry us into a better realm.

  4. lapenaud ebrus says:

    Holocaust, Great Crusades, Westernization, Globalization. As history has shown, the most violence in the world has been caused by Christians. Christians have spilled the most blood on US soil. I’m not defending Islam. I’m just saying that Christians is responsible for more violence than Islam. Personally, I think the world is better off without religion.

  5. Every morning I ask myself how to be a better businesswoman, a better daughter, a better friend, a better Muslim, a better person..

  6. If some of u noticed that when he got all those paghs the dad said that the other kid want them which was what happened in akakaamazing living in a brown fam 2

  7. Actually the prophecies say that there would be many false prophets preceding the end of the age and no one, not even Jesus, knows the day or the hour.

  8. pand tracusenba says:

    Great Video, very Good points, just wish i could get my christian freinds to see this, but there Brains are locked down, its amazing how stuborn they are.

  9. sterman clandhire says:

    The word ‘read’ was the 1st word of the to be revealed. This shows how acquiring knowledge is in +using it correctly

  10. dhauffeyer bhammerazi says:

    Dog domestication was natural: study
    By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News December 19, 2011 10:28 AM A Canadian researcher who specializes in the biology of ancient dogs co-authored one of the most significant studies of the year in canine science: a paper detailing the world’s earliest …
    and more »

  11. haha is it just me or when k got that gunship she was turning her head at the same time hahaha epic face when she got knifed too xD

  12. Comments are sad, I pity U.S Americans, the British colonizing you people must have been the worst mistake of U.S.A’s history. Ever

  13. Peace Be Still: John Charles Ryle (May 10, 1816 – June 10, 1900) was an evangelical Anglican clergyman and first…

  14. why not? we have the right to want to know out there? just because we prove it mean that not to us.

  15. a dumb-ass. He is an example of one of the millions of brain washed low class white Americans, who are fueled by right wing racist and religious ideas.

  16. gundalle says:

    AP – Officials say Oklahoma Natural Gas crews have contained a propane leak that prompted a voluntary evacuation of a Oklahoma town.

  17. azu nold says:

    Ali Sina, renowned ex-Muslim author, founder of and SION Board member, has a brilliant idea, a plan, to educate and liberate those enslaved by the most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the but he needs our help: A Movie about Muhammad: An Idea whose Time Has Come. I writing about Islam in 1998. When I read the Quran and the life of Muhammad it became clear to me that the world is in danger. Islam is a threat to mankind and this threat will not end until we all surrender to a global tyranny ruled under Sharia – the most draconian law since Hammurabi. Never underestimate the power of stupid people motivated zealotry. When I my campaign, the Internet was new and from, and Ibn Warraq’s few on ISIS, there were no other sources of truthful information about Islam online. There were also pundits like Dr. Daniel Pipe who wrote about “Islamism.” They conveyed the message that the problem is not Islam per se, but…

  18. taksim’de gaz-cop-mermi sağanağı varken kadıköy’de halay çeken, yağmur dindikten sonra da bir güneş gibi ışıyan ve taksim’i herkesten çok sahiplenen sol oyun hamurlarını ne etsek?

  19. Tamamı için: ** *Müezzin* & İslam Ansiklopedisi & TDK isim Arapça mu¢e££in “Ezan okuyan” demektir. Namaz vakitlerini bildirmek için, cami­lerde beş vakit ezan okuyup cemâati camiye çağıran din görevlilerinin genel adıdır. “Teravihi takiben imam ve müezzinlere buzlu şerbetler ikram edilirdi.”- N. F. Kısakürek.

  20. binski moraat says:

    The presidential candidate is used to faith-based that translates as truth even in the face of evidence to the contrary

  21. defends his Muslim brother in his absence, Allah will keep the Hellfire away from his face on the Day of Tirmidhi

  22. lar krus says:

    Presiden Afghanistan Hamid Karzai pada Kamis (12/7/2012) menyerukan pemimpin Taliban Mullah Omar untuk menghentikan perlawan terhadap pemerintahannya yang didukung oleh AS sebagai imbalan atas kesempatan untuk mencalonkan diri sebagai presiden dari negara yang dilanda perang tersebut.

  23. Gösterilen dayanışmayı takdir ediyorum
    Cumhurbaşkanı Abdullah Gül İslam İşbirliği Teşkilatı Olağanüstü Zirve Toplantısı’na katılmak üzere Suudi Arabistan’a gitti.
    Devamı İçin Tıklayınız…

  24. kita bokimbach says:

    “Most of the revenue of the religion [Mormonism] is from the U.S., and a large percentage comes from an elite cadre of wealthy donors . . . (It) is a religion that appeals to economically successful men by rewarding their financial acuity with respect and positions of prestige within the religion.” –

  25. Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading. – Oswald Chambers

  26. How much is your faith of y’all I think probably will even sell me you claim you got faith but in constant doubt

  27. Opposing Views

    Arkansas Rejects Legalization of Medical Marijuana
    Opposing Views
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) — Arkansas voters, by a narrow 51 percent majority, defeated a ballot measure on Election Day that would have made their state the first in the South to legalize medical marijuana. Meanwhile, Massachusetts overwhelmingly …
    Medical marijuana will likely resurface in Ark.NECN
    Arkansas voters reject medical marijuana proposalSan Francisco Chronicle
    Medical Marijuana Vow to Get Issue on Ballot Again5 News
    all 419 news articles »

  28. romly bloseli says:

    Download here Oscar Steer
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  29. inglen fey says:

    but if you do it even muslims will cry”extrimists” apparently only way to unite Muslims is attack on islam …

  30. klos paston says:

    « Bu evi satin almamin tek çaresi, Singapour’da daire almam için tek care, faiz ile kredi almam gerekiyor, baska çare yok ». Yalan söylüyorsunuz, böyle yalan söylediginiz için utanmalisiniz, melekler böyle kisileri cehenneme dogru alirken ve melekler sorunca : « sizlerin basiniza ne geldi ? » “ sizi cehenneme atmamizin noktasina kadar bu duruma gelmek için ne yaptiniz?” Siz de cevap verirsiniz o zaman : « bizim için baska seçenegimiz yok du » « daire satin almak için faizsiz borç almaktan baska hiç bir yol yokdu ». Melekler sorarlar.. « Al-Nisâ » suresinde : “ihanet etmeden yasamak için bir yer aramaniz Allah’ın arzı yeterince geniş değil miydi » « girin cehenneme » böylece imtihan olursunuz.

  31. The loon. I can’t recall a single moment when any of us questioned our scepticism. Hammer just got more evangelical.

  32. cantzen issaac says:

    Studying for my political science exam when I find this. Apparently I was tired of taking notes that day. …

  33. Download here Nidal Al-Askhar
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  34. riter querio says:

    God knows our so if he still givin you life that means he still has faith in your ability to do right . . . So …

  35. Okay, I understand your point but ‘zealout’ can be a name like ‘bigot’, means what you want. My seriousness can be your zealotry.

  36. schedeta glas says:

    We must slay the monsters of the world, they say. And yet they believe that without Jesus we’re all monsters. Evangelical contradiction?

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