To All Religious Teenagers
Reblog from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RkbDUc9HBA&NR=1
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Would you believe in Giraffism if only one person believed in it? Of course not!
Superstition vs reason, which will triumph?
There are two ways of looking at the world – through faith and superstition or through the rigours of logic, observation and evidence – in other words, through reason. –Richard Dawkins
At the beginning of the 21st century we are experiencing a virtual war against reason that is happening due to at least two important reasons. Firstly, the religion virus has spread far and wide in recent decades capitalizing on doubt and confusion about modern intellectual achievements and cultural changes that have emancipated people from the grasp of religion. Secondly, science is advancing so rapidly that the common person cannot absorb all the new knowledge. Highly technical scientific reports are so numerous that even experts complain they are being swamped by information What chance do lay persons have? How many simply give up ever understanding.
To fill the void, peddlers of superstition have flooded in to offer bizarre alternatives to science that seem to make sense and don’t require rigor or careful thought. Purveyors advocate impossible untested schemes of quack medicine and psychics abound that have absolutely no logical grounding whatsoever. The most aggressive superstition peddlers attack the very notion that evidence and fact are critical in the search for truth. They cavalierly toss out epistemology backed by centuries of investigation and careful study. They claim one can “know” something through feelings, emotions, ephemeral insubstantial hunches. President George W. Bush, a proud born-again christian, claimed he went with his gut feeling to answer the most profound questions. According to him, what felt right is right. This is stupifying ignorance raised to the umpteenth power. If he used his gut to think with, one wonders if he used his brain to digest his food. The fool.
Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of science education and a tireless advocate of using reason to seek the truth, stars in a two part television program, “The Enemies of Reason“, broadcast by Britain’s Channel 4 television. Here is part one.
- This Week On God Discussion Radio: Science, Reason and Superstition with Dr. Liz Cornwell, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and other special guests – Deborah (show host) – God Disussion (richarddawkins.net)
- The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson (milkandcookies.com)
- [Update - audio added ] This Week On God Discussion Radio: Science, Reason and Superstition with Dr. Liz Cornwell, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and other special guests – Deborah (show host) – God Discussion (richarddawkins.net)
The Rise of Idiot America
The following excerpt is lifted from the first chapter of the book, “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free”, by Charles Pierce.
The rise of Idiot America, though, is essentially a war on expertise. It’s not so much antimodernism or the distrust of the intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter teased out of the national DNA, although both of those things are part of it. The rise of Idiot America today reflects—for profit, mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power—the breakdown of the consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people we should trust the least are the people who know best what they’re talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a scientist, or a preacher, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.
This is how Idiot America engages itself. It decides, en masse, with a million keystrokes and clicks of the remote control, that because there are two sides to every question, they both must be right, or at least not wrong. And the words of an obscure biologist carry no more weight on the subject of biology than do the thunderations of some turkeyneck preacher out of the Church of Christ’s Own Parking Structure in DeLand, Florida. Less weight, in fact, because our scientist is an “expert” and, therefore, an “elitist.” Nobody buys his books. Nobody puts him on cable. He’s brilliant, surely, but no different from all the rest of us, poor fool.
How does it work? This is how it works. On August 21, 2005, a newspaper account of the intelligent design movement contained this remarkable sentence:
“They have mounted a politically savvy challenge to evolution as the bedrock of modern biology, propelling a fringe academic movement onto the front pages and putting Darwin’s defenders firmly on the defensive.”
“A politically savvy challenge to evolution” makes as much sense as conducting a Gallup poll on gravity or running someone for president on the Alchemy party ticket. It doesn’t matter what percentage of people believe that they ought to be able to flap their arms and fly: none of them can. It doesn’t matter how many votes your candidate got: he’s not going to be able to turn lead into gold. The sentence is so arrantly foolish that the only
real news in it is where it appeared.
On the front page.
Of the New York Times.
Read chapter one at the following Amazon URL.
The current town hall meeting spectacles are a direct result of the rise of idiot America, as well as the phenomenon of Sarah Palin, and worst of all eight years of George Bush.
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United Nations Wants To Regulate Free Speech Of Every Nation
Never hit a child. Never humiliate a child. There are effective non violent ways to gain the willing cooperation of children. They don’t deserve to be abused. Love them and respect their dignity. Always.
UNICEF Freedom of Thought Poster
I came across this photograph of a beautiful little orphan girl taken by Noel Gomski (who granted his permission to use this shot). You can see his other photos on Flickr.
Children have the right to freedom of thought and this includes about religious matters.
The Threat of Christian Fascism is Hidden, but Very Real
For more on fascism:
American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges
Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg
Reports on the web include: