Monday, May 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

Well, here's an interesting one I found in a comment on Slashdot (yeah, I know, but you occasionally get intelligent people posting there...)

There is no right to be wrong, especially when you try to spread falsehood as unassailable truth (there is no such thing as an unassailable truth, truth should be attacked at every chance we have, just to make sure truth is REALLY truth, and not some pleasing falsehood that makes us happy).
The quote was specifically in reference to an argument about whether or not it's appropriate to attack religious people because they choose to believe that the earth was created just 3,000 years ago, thus the first part about spreading falsehood (specifically referring to the Intelligent Design crowd there, I think).

But the second part is, I think, an important statement. The only genuine truth is the truth that survives attack - and we're referring to 'scientific' or 'reason-based' attack, here, where we look at what makes up the truth, and what that means about the world, and how we can see whether that does in fact occur - rather than "attack" meaning "drown it out by screaming that it's wrong, wrong, WRONG, and that this other 'truth' is the only real truth".

So, if you were to ask me whether I object to people believing that $deity made the world, whole, a mere 3,000-5,000 years ago, I'd say no, I have no objection to them believing that. That's what freedom of religion is about - they have the right to believe whatever they choose to believe. Personally, I'd think they're very wrong, but if they choose to ignore the evidence out there, then there's not much I can do about it.

What I object to is them telling me that I cannot believe anything else.

It works both ways, folks. If you have freedom of religion, then so do I. So be happy in your faith. If you think someone is believing the wrong thing, then feel free to discuss it with them, and try to persuade them to your point of view. But remember - 'persuade' doesn't include telling someone that they are wrong and will burn in hell for eternity if they don't do things your way. It also doesn't extend to getting laws passed that will force them to do things your way, or to teach their kids your way. That's not conversion. That's corruption and enslavement.

Oh, and remember - science & religion don't mix. Really. They're about completely different things. It's perfectly sane to both believe in God and accept that science is helping us to figure out all sorts of fascinating things about how this wondrous universe works. They're not mutually exclusive at all, despite what some people seem to think.

1 comment:

quoteschart said...

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