Friday, September 20, 2002

Anti religious nuts

I used to give religious people a hard time, generally good-naturedly. One woman in particular described the results as "vain babblings". I can't say I was charmed at the time, but she was right.

Claudia Winkler has written an excellent Weekly Standard article here. It appears that Stephen Pinker and Simon Schama have the same problem I grew out of.

You'd think that by the time someone had achieved Pinker's stature you'd be able to draw meaningful distinctions. But he apparently thinks that because some nuts from a particularly poisonous variety of Islam carry out some outrageous atrocities, so all of religion must go.

Inevitably these people talk about reason, as if this were somehow incompatible with religion. It would help if they could do a better job of reasoning themselves. Then they'd realize that reason cannot justify itself, without the use of circular reasoning.

Therefore everything always starts from some core beliefs which must be accepted on faith. Which leaves the most militant evolution uber alles ranter standing on a platform no more solid than that of the religious people he ridicules.

Personally, I'm an agnostic. I find the atheists to be at least as clueless and asinine as they claim religious people are. As for the religious, good luck picking the right door.

But IMO most of those doors lead ultimately to the same place. I'm speaking in worldly terms - mostly it's about getting along with people. It's not asking so much to say "thou shalt not commit murder", or "thou shalt not steal", and as far as I'm aware these are fairly universal.

These ideas are awfully inconvenient for those of the religion that dares not speak its name, the secularists. They want to redistribute your property, abort your children, and euthanize your aged to make their idea of heaven on earth. And we've seen what these heavens look like repeatedly by now.

If the last Wahhabist died tomorrow I wouldn't shed a tear. But given a choice between putting up with them or those who would get rid of religion altogether, I'll take my chances with the Wahhabis.

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