Religious round up
Salon has an amusing juxtaposition of articles this week: A story on Steven Baldwin, who has morphed from C-list actor into A-list evangelist; and a lengthy interview with uber-atheist and top evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Now if we could just get the two to take part in a cage match...
On the right we have the faithful:
"Baldwin preaches that free will is a lie of Satan -- we must shut off our brains, he says, and be led by what God tells our hearts. Furthermore, he writes, efforts to end global poverty and violence are just the sort of "stupid arrogance" that incur God's wrath, which we'll be feeling any day now in the coming apocalypse. I suppose when the star of "Bio-Dome" is advising the president and converting kids by the thousands to his gnarly brand of faith, the end is, indeed, nigh. "
While on the left we have the rational:
"What is so bad about religion?
Well, it encourages you to believe falsehoods, to be satisfied with inadequate explanations which really aren't explanations at all. And this is particularly bad because the real explanations, the scientific explanations, are so beautiful and so elegant. Plenty of people never get exposed to the beauties of the scientific explanation for the world and for life. And that's very sad. But it's even sadder if they are actively discouraged from understanding by a systematic attempt in the opposite direction, which is what many religions actually are. But that's only the first
of my many reasons for being hostile to religion. "
In Baldwin's defense, he does consider Bono a tool of Satan - and Dawkins can be a bit of a pushy prick, but still and all, what this boils down to is a dumbass encouraging other people to be dumbasses and a smart, educated guy encouraging people to be smart and educated. Which do you think is likely to make the world a better place?