The problem I have with (some)religion is that it is supposedly the word of a god instructing people on how to live their life. The problem with these instructions coming from a "god" is that it makes it that much harder for people to reason against or change.
If my friend Joe tells me that eating cupcakes will turn me into a unicorn, I'll think he is crazy. However if Joe tells me that some god, whom I base my life around, said that eating cupcakes will turn me into a unicorn I'll be more likely to accept it. I'll begin to rationalize how this could be even though my common sense tells me that there is no truth to it. Maybe I haven't eaten enough cupcakes? Maybe they weren't the right kind? Wrong type of icing? Maybe there are bad and good kinds of cupcakes? Obviously something must be different about these cupcakes because I haven't turned into a unicorn yet.
The above example is extreme, yes, but less extreme examples happen all the time. Take the quote Angela provided earlier:
Rev. Gabriel Burdett explains Intelligent Falling. |
"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.
Or take a look at this: YouTube - The atheist's nightmare: the banana
Perfect examples of people forcing the world to conform to their view so that their religion carries more weight.
Of course science is also subject to the same weakness. When new evidence is found, immediately scientists try to rationalize it with the old beliefs. The beauty of science though is that it is the evolution of human understanding and thus it is a work in progress. Scientists rationalize with the old beliefs only until enough new evidence piles up to where they just have to admit that the old beliefs are flawed. It is much harder, if not impossible, for practitioners of religions to do the same.
The same can be seen in populations and societies. As history shows, it is possible for massive portions of the population to fall under control of an individual or government of influential people. However, when those in power do not claim to act under the authority of a god or religion, the length of their influence is shortened considerably. When it is just a man (or group) in charge, powerful and charismatic as they may be, future generations become less and less likely to follow their rule. People crave power of their own and are less likely to give their power away unless there is good reason. For many, a god and religion is good reason to give their power away. God is eternal and greater than his followers because he created them, thus people are less reluctant to give away their power and more prone to outright worship. If future generations can be made to believe in the god or religion then they are much more likely to give their power away to those who act under authority of said god or religion.
So given the choice of the evils of science vs. religion, I'll happily choose science because its "reign of terror" is likely to be shorter lived. This is why I ultimately agree with what Richard Dawkins and others are doing even though I may not agree with their methods. They have an agenda and that agenda is to take away power from religion... which I agree with. I have no problem with people practicing personal spirituality (which is a form of PD) but when people base their life off of what some god said then we have a problem because if allowed to gain considerable power, its "reign of terror" will be much longer lived.