I recently left an online political debate group, in part, because I realized that among those of opposing thought there were none who were really even interested in discussing and debating any issue or understanding an opposing viewpoint. My opponents constantly created straw-men arguments in order to avoid real issues. When I finally, fully understood that they were uninterested in discussion, arriving at consensus on any given topic or even offering a modicum of respect for a viewpoint which deviated from their own I wrote them off as a myopic waste of my time. It wasn't that I was unwilling to respect or consider their viewpoint, it was that they could hear or consider nothing which did not support their own and if they could not explain a position or answer a question honestly then the name calling commenced and the discussion, which was never a discussion in the first place...well, you get the drift. See, I left the group because I recognized it was a waste of time. I haven't spent a great deal of time looking back and trying to figure out why they are wrong and why I am right. Why, if religious fanatics are such superstitious fools, beneath respect and consideration, are scientists so obsessed with proving them wrong?
The best I can figure, one of the reasons scientists have given for wishing to abolish all religion is that religion is the cause of all war. I recently wrote a post in reply to the science blog Pharyngula (on) The unspeakable vileness of religious law, in which Professor P. Z. Myers stated:
"Religion is not a source of moral behavior. It's a source of tribalism and obedience to authority, which sometimes coincides with respectable morality, but isn't necessarily associated with it. We have to find our virtue in one true thing, our common humanity, and these ancient superstitions actually interfere with instruction in how to be good by encrusting it with nonsense."
I might agree with Professor Myers that religion isn't the only source of moral behavior or that all religions are not sources of moral behavior but for him to state, as though fact, an opinion so generically broad that "religion" period "is not A source of moral behavior," is not only blatantly false but as foolish as Professor Myers would like to convince us are those who believe in God.
But, let's go back to the argument that some make that wars are all started because of religiosity. Is there really a human being alive who believes that if we purged all religion from society, if all mankind became atheists, if no one believed in God, Gawd or little gods or either a heaven or a hell that there would no longer be any war!? Uh uh. Religion is not the basis for war, if men were not fighting over what they believed was God's edict and instruction they would be fighting over what some man claimed as edict and instruction for them. Human beings seek leaders among their world, among their nations, among their states, among their counties, among their cities, among their communities and even in their own households. Are we to believe that if we swept God out of the way that men would be open-minded, tolerant, totally agreeable, freedom loving, war-immune peaceniks?
John Lennon wrote in Imagine:
Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one...
...Yes, John, I say you are a dreamer. Do you suppose Lennon really thought if we could do away with the concepts of heaven and hell that everyone would live just for today? It's utterly ridiculous, people would still be thinking about whether they could earn enough money to survive retirement or go on vacation in two weeks. People would still wish they had the new car their neighbor had. Lennon might just as well have "imagined" there's no money, or sex, or new hair styles.
Do you suppose that if Lennon "imagined" hard enough that there were no countries and no religion that it would do away with the innate longing of human beings to have someone at the helm of their little life-ships? That people would no longer think anything was worth dying for? That everyone would live in peace? Lennon might just as well have "imagined" there's no world at all, there are no houses better than yours, no property with more fertile soil than your property, no new suit or formal dress hanging in the department store window that catches your eye.
The world will not be as one, not even if you "imagine" it without heaven, without hell, without war, without countries or without religion because man's *condition* is a selfish one. Man wants what man wants for himself.
This week another local blogger and myself have been having a written conversation and it was brought about by his posting of Professor P. Z. Myer's little exercise in stupidity. This morning he posted a little brag about the book, God: The Failed Hypothesis, written by Victor J. Stenger, he was very pleased because the author named him and he used one of his pretty little flower pictures to "demonstrate the fibonacci series."
This week The Discovery Channel will be airing "The Lost Tomb of Christ," which, according to (BP), experts say ignores biblical & scientific evidence and logic, why? Because for some reason scientists are very interested in disproving the existence of God, Gawd or little gods.
Why do they protest so much? Is it because even without religion the heart of man longs for something, something bigger than himself or herself?
Is it because of that empty space that men try to fill with a mate or a job or a hobby, with science or with GOD? I believe that is exactly what it is all about.
We are all searchers, we are all searching for answers.
Some men look to God for their answers and many of them find peace there, many of them may not understand all the details but they keep looking, they keep searching the scriptures, they keep trying to understand things which they cannot fathom, and those things which they cannot understand and which there seem to be no answers for, they entrust to God. They have faith that perhaps one day God will "clue them in" on the things they could not understand today.
Some men look to sex to fill an uneasiness they sense in their soul, some look to wealth, some to knowledge, some look, yes, to science as they seek and when they do they find answers to questions about all sorts of things, just as do those who look to God and God's Word---the Bible. Sometimes scientists can't find an answer but they have faith that they will one day, when they do enough experiments, when they ask the right question, just as those who believe in God have faith that they will one day understand things which they can't understand today.
Perhaps scientists think a faith in man or man's understanding of the world, of life, of the human condition, of his surroundings is superior to the faith that other men have in God. Perhaps by belittling religion they can make themselves believe that that uneasiness, that hole in their heart that only God is capable of filling can be filled by science if they are condescending enough, who knows? God? Science? Is there an end to the universe? Is there an end to God? Is the universe the never-ending mind of God? Can scientists prove that it isn't?
"If what we regard as real depends on our theory, how can we make reality the basis of our philosophy? ...But we cannot distinguish what is real about the universe without a theory...it makes no sense to ask if it corresponds to reality, because we do not know what reality is independent of a theory." - Stephen Hawking