“An apology for the devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.” — Samuel Butler
Kids, stop reading now.
Tell me if any of this is news to
you. There is no Santa Claus. There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no god.
Why is that last statement such
an unacceptable thought to so many people?
Generally, I believe in letting people believe what they will, especially in a matter
that is so deep in our kind and so entrenched in our culture. I really don’t need to PROVE there is no god, anymore than one with faith
needs to prove there is (and yet, the evangelicals really seem to need to prove something).
I’m writing about atheism today
having read an article about Christians finding common ground in the matter of evolution. One might not think that Christians agreeing on
something is terribly news-worthy, but, of course, it really is because religion divides as much as it unites.
Now, I don’t
expect atheism to get equal time — ever, anywhere. But, I chafe a bit at a quote that:
[Ideologies ‘laid on top of
science’] have ranged from “eugenics” … to atheism….
Much as a conservative chafes at “Great leaders
from Hitler to Duhbya” or a liberal at “Notions from genocide to public transportation.”
Again, I don’t expect equal time —
ever! Especially in an article that isn’t in any way about atheism, except in so far as Religionists agree it’s bad.
Scholars Say Science, Religion Can Co-Exist By John Fleck, Journal Staff Writer
In the paper this morning, a comics character tells Santa she wishes people would recognize
our nation was founded on “Christian principles with a broad tolerance towards other faiths.” I’m touched by that right-wing politically
correct notion of “broad tolerance” — ie, mind your place and we’ll put up with you.
Where exactly in the Constitution does one
read “In Christ We Trust” or “Christ Bless America”? I am aware of the very few references to god and a creator in our founding
documents, but where is Christ mentioned?
You understand the confusion. Christians aren’t merely monotheists, they’re monopoly-
theists. They accept the notion that the only way to god is through Jesus. Frankly, I find it hard to believe the gentle Jesus was so
arrogant. Still, with Jesus as the gatekeeper, all references to god must implicitly include Jesus. So it is that a nation that makes the
blandest references to an unspecified god must really worship Jesus.
Or maybe it’s just that Christians, like the Radical Right,
associate all that is good with themselves and all that is evil with others. That is, they deny their humanity and the humanity of others
— we are all flawed in good and bad ways. But, if you only have good on your side and, we agree, the Constitution is a “good” document,
it must be a “Christian” document. Nonsense.
I’ve never understood why anyone worships the god of the Old Testement — just read
Job or Issac. The old god is one mean and demanding being. Good news, everybody, there’s a New Testement with a sweet nice guy as it’s
protagonist. You’ll go to hell if you don’t fully accept that as fact.
My Messiah would surpass the very best teachers I’ve
ever had. S/he would say, “good for you for finding your own solution.” My Buddha would say, “damn, I wish I’d thought of that as a way
to enlightenment.” My Muhommad would say to the others, “you should see this kid — no one has ever asked that question before.”
Or, more likely, “where the hell did you get the idea that it is OK to push others around and take their stuff?” mjh
Somebody light a
candle because Krauthammer and I are on the same side of an issue. Holy cow! Even as I savor this moment of worlds-colliding, I marvel
that I could argue Krauthammer is being unfair to some IDers (this is a disturbing universe, indeed). Those very few IDers who
believe they are pursuing a “science of irreducible complexity” — a bold new way of looking at things — feel tarred by the “Jesus on a
dinosaur” brush. Sorry, but there are many more who believe evolution is the devil’s tool and the world is 4000 years old than believe
there are merely points in an otherwise clockwork system where god intercedes. Not that truth is a popularity contest.
always enjoy the Clash of Conservatives. Krauthammer is one of the cardinals of the Radical Right — a ‘must read’ in the West Wing (or
have read to you). Here we see the arrogance and utterly unshakable certainty directed against — good god! — forces equally arrogant
and unshakable. ‘The Truth is Ours‘, both sides shout with equal ferocity, and ‘those who disagree are beneath contempt.’
The true gift from god here is not that the ranters can’t simply give up and shout “Commie! Hippie! Democrat!” No, no, sweeter still
is that somewhere deep inside each opponent has to realize, “damn, I just called another right-winger wrong.” The Monolith of Radical
Right Infallibility called into question by its own faithful?! Hosanna! mjh
PS: I believe Krauthammer
would join me — again! — in irritation at the Albuquerque Journal’s headline, “God and Science Made the Lemurs”. There isn’t
a person alive — whom you’d want to talk to — who would say ‘science made the lemurs’. Made? Are headline writers less
educated than real journalists or does years of straining for groan-inducing puns dull the wits as much as it seems to?
Kansas wrong to see science as an enemy of God, just ask Einstein — Quad City Times
[mjh: so much for the pursuit of brevity]
Science isn’t religion’s foe: an idea that’s still evolving — Bothell Herald
BECAUSE every few years this country, in its
infinite tolerance, insists on hearing yet another appeal of the Scopes monkey trial, I feel obliged to point out what would otherwise be
superfluous ï¿½ that the two greatest scientists in the history of our species were Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and they were both
Newton’s religiosity was traditional. He was a staunch believer in Christianity and member of the Church of England.
Einstein’s was a more diffuse belief in a deity who set the rules for everything that occurs in the universe.
Neither saw science
as an enemy of religion. On the contrary. “He believed he was doing God’s work,” wrote James Gleick in his recent biography of Newton.
Einstein saw his entire vocation ï¿½ understanding the workings of the universe ï¿½ as an attempt to understand the mind of God.
Not a crude and willful God who pushes and pulls and does things according to whim. … Newton’s God was not at all so crude. The laws
of his universe were so simple, so elegant, so economical, and therefore so beautiful that they could only be divine. …
be clear. “Intelligent design” may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud.
It is a self-enclosed, tautological
“theory” whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge ï¿½ in this case, evolution ï¿½ they are to
be filled by God. …
How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple,
more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet
interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give
us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education too.
QOTD: “How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God.” Amen.
Most mornings, I see him there, in the park. The old man drives up and walks to a bench, sunny or shady according to season. Every time, he pulls out a cigar, some slimmer, some fatter. He takes a moment to contemplate it, lights it, and settles into the bench.
I do not know his smoky musings. Done, he doesn’t linger. Back to his late-model car, back to the real world. Does he go home to his wife, or is she dead? Does he have children waiting for him? Or is it just an attendant at some senior center.
I do not know — we never speak. We know the timeline would be at risk for this Mark to speak with that Mark. Some things we must just wait for. mjh