Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Religion and Stupidity
Here's a distinction I make: spiritual people are concerned with the life of the spirit while religions are concerned with dogma and advancement of their organization and structure. These are massive overgeneralizations but I still find it a useful distinction. There are, of course, spiritual people who are members of congregations and groups within religions but the hierarchy is more concerned with logistics, decrees of belief, and standardization.
So while perusing the current Pew report on religion I was struck with how stupid some articles of "faith" appear.
A sterling example is this little box of info. This is a triumph of faith-based belief over science. Every time I come across these extraordinary numbers of people who believe the Bible as history and science, I wonder whether there is really much difference between humans and apes. In some ways, apes are smarter than humans: they are at least relatively reality based.
No wonder Bush thinks Intelligent Design should be taught side by side with evolution. This is science by popularity rather than scientific method. This is attempting to rearrange reality to suit belief. I'm reminded of legislation often introduced to make the value of Pi equal 3 or just 3.14 because all those extra digits are just too difficult to remember, particularly for children learning mathematics.
If you believe that life on earth has existed in its present form since the beginning of time, there are a cascading series of beliefs affected by that assumption. Uh, I can't seem to think what they are though. My mind just boggles at it.