Re: Choosing one's fights, was Re: George W. Bush's Speech on September 20, 2001

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 12:25:15 MDT

From: "Pat Inniss" <>
> The President is certainly free to cite God, just as the murderers of
> 9/11 almost certainly did. I think the discussion here is whether such
> citations are proper for a leader in his position as the President of us
> all, and more generally whether the nonreligious should in any way
> dissemble their lack of faith. Had the President spoken specifically
> from the perspective of a Methodist or whatever brand of Xian he is, or
> even just as a Xian, with the assumption that everyone else saw things
> that same way, he would have been criticized as intolerant and
> exclusionary. However when atheists are not taken into account nobody
> seems to give a damn. This snubbing certainly indicates that atheists
> are less worthy, which is exactly how many persons feel. The President
> could lapse into any sort of bigoted speech, it's his right, but I don't
> cotton to him or anybody else promoting prejudice, no matter what the
> circumstance.

In further support of your excellent comments, I'd add that non-theist
scientists have no obligation to participate in, or to in any way support holy
wars. Let the homicidal religious fanatics of the world kill each other to
fulfill the Armageddon prophecies that are part of their program. When it's
over, meek scientists can inherit the Earth.

> I hardly view anything to do with religion and our society's virtually
> universal approval of this form of voluntary dementia as a side issue
> after 9/11. We now find ourselves embroiled in what is, at its essence,
> a religious war, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it as such.
> Henceforth when one catalogs the horrors of religion down through the
> ages, that date can be added to the list as a stark reminder that we're
> far from out of this age of darkness yet. In addition to inspiring those
> grim events, religious thinking deeply influences much of our nation's
> policies, for the worse, from what I can tell. In the last couple of
> weeks I have found myself becoming a lot less tolerant of other people's
> stupidity, lack of intellectual integrity, or whatever you want to call
> the particular set of superstitions we term "religion." It cannot be
> defended as just a benign psychological aberration. It kills.

Yes, that's exactly right: religion kills, and science heals (and note that
religion often kills by using tools supplied by science). As Richard Dawkins
has pointed out, one of the essential differences between science and religion
is that scientists don't settle their differences by killing each other. We
won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:55 MDT