Evidence and Religion

Douglas Harper is definitely one of our favorite internet writers.

In his posting on Christian Fallacies, which should be mandatory reading for all religious fundamentalists of all religions, he quotes Richard Dawkins on the conflict between religions:

“The virtue of using evidence is precisely that we can come to an agreement about it. But if you listen to two people who are arguing about something, and they each of them have passionate faith that they’re right, but they believe different things — they belong to different religions, different faiths, there is nothing they can do to settle their disagreement short of shooting each other, which is what they very often actually do.”

That is certainly one aspect of the explanation for the current world conflicts involving Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Obviously, we could discuss God peacefully on the basis of what is known to be fact, e.g. modern genetics, astronomy (God’s abode), anthropology, etc.

But facts and evidence have something to do with proof.

“Belief” and “faith”, on the other hand, are the “absence” of proof,

otherwise they would be called “knowledge” and “certainty”.

As Dawkins states:

“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world… Religions do make claims about the universe–the same kinds of claims that scientists make, except they’re usually false… The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist’s sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion… Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence…. “

We agree. A modern man can believe in God, based on the modern evidence, but this God has no resemblance to the God of the religions and is surely not found in their religious works, which are nothing else but the creations and hypothecations of men who lived long ago in a world where knowledge was scarce and superstition rampant.

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