Monday, May 22, 2006

...And That's All I've Got To Say About That.

Well, I re-read yesterday’s post, and there are a couple of things I’d like to clear up.

Believe it or not, I’m not actually anti-religion or anti-christian. I was raised Catholic, and although I decided Catholicism wasn’t for me, I don’t see any reason why people shouldn’t believe what they want to believe.

I’m not anti-religion, I’m anti-idiot.

I believe in freedom of choice. Anyone has the right to believe anything they want. If you want to believe that the Earth was created in 6 days by (a) God, that’s up to you. I’m not going to hold you up to ridicule because of your beliefs.

Now, anyone who read yesterdays post might find that statement a little hard to believe, so let me explain.

What I resent, and what will fight against tooth and nail is the people who ridicule me or others for what I, or they, believe. I don’t storm into a church or go on TV and shout “You’re all idiots! God doesn’t exist!”

All I ask is for the same consideration.

So when I see a guy on TV, calling the Banana the ‘Atheists Nightmare’, or people demanding that religious teachings about ‘intelligent design’ get taught in Science class, it makes my blood boil.

Ok, you don’t believe in Evolution, that’s just great. That’s your choice, you can even teach your own kids that if you like, I won’t attempt to stop you…so don’t you go on TV and say, essentially, “I’m right, you’re wrong, and you’re an idiot if you don’t believe what I believe.”

Something I talked about yesterday, that I want to expand on a little, is the point I made about arguing from ignorance.

There are plenty of holes in the theory of evolution, I’ll admit that, there’s the whole thing about the ‘missing link’ between monkeys and humans.

However, I judge things the same way the legal system does. I look at the evidence and come to a conclusion. Once I’ve made that conclusion, I’m still willing to take new evidence into account.

In other words, if the theory of evolution is ever disproved, I won’t feel defeated, I’ll just be glad I know something today that I didn’t know yesterday. In other words, I argue from knowledge. I put my evidence on the table, and state what I believe depending on what I know at the time. If someone can prove me wrong, great! That’s all part of how science works.

In simplest terms, I look for the truth. I don’t form my theory and then hold up the slightest bit of evidence that backs me up as ultimate proof, or completely ignore evidence to the contrary.

What I know isn’t set in stone. I change what I believe depending on what I learn.

The religious groups, however, argue from ignorance. They think a lack of proof for the opposing argument makes them right. Their argument is essentially “You can’t prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Evolution is the correct point of view. Because you can’t state categorically that you’re right, that makes me right.”

The example I used yesterday was the two people who see a bright light flying over their head. One is a believer in aliens, the other is a skeptic. So the believer turns to the skeptic and says: “Can you explain that?” The skeptic says no, so the believer says “Hah! You can’t explain it, so it must be aliens!”

Evidence that supports your theory proves you right, not a lack of evidence to the contrary.

There’s volumes of evidence that supports the Evolution Theory, a hell of a lot more evidence than there is for intelligent design. Now that doesn’t mean evolution is correct and intelligent design is wrong, it just means that right now, the Theory of Evolution is the more reasonable explanation for the way things are.

The biggest problem with this argument is that the Christians believe they have all the proof they need, the Bible.

Now, I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t labor the argument, but my main point is this:

The Bible is a book. It has more versions that I can count. There are also numerous other Holy Books in the world, ones that are far older than the Bible. Also, the Bible is open to interpretation, how else do you explain the sheer number of churches? Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Church of England, Presbyterian, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Church of God.

Christians can’t agree with each other on what the Bible actually means. Is the Old Testament metaphor or fact? Is God a trinity? It leads to extremely different points of view within the same religion. For example, Jehova’s Witnesses believe that God is not a trinity, and that because of some obscure paragraph in the Bible, that blood transfusions are wrong.

Now, I’m not attempting to disprove the Bible or topple Christianity. My point is simply this: The Bible is open to interpretation and has many different versions, meaning it can’t be called evidence in a scientific argument.

My standard response to someone who says: “It’s in the Bible!” With the manner of someone laying down an ace, is to ask “Which one? The New International Version? The Contemporary English Version? King James Version? The New King James Version? Which?”

Put it this way, there are so many different version of The Bible that people can’t actually agree on how many different versions there are! How can anything like that be called ‘The Truth’?

Of course, religion comes down to faith, and what you as an individual believes. Your average orthodox Christian would be absolutely outraged if I held their beliefs up to ridicule, and told them they where wrong…which apparently seems to be one of the main defining features of Christianity: Believe what I believe or I will ridicule and hurt you.

My whole argument can be summed up in a single sentence:

Believe what you want to believe, don’t try and force your beliefs on me, and if you feel you must force what you believe onto me, you’d better have the evidence to back it up.

1 comment:

mistyforeverlost said...

Great post and way better then I would be able to state it.