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INTOLERANCE: Pitts got it right

Letter by Norm Eklund, Bonney Lake on March 4, 2011 at 8:53 am with 11 Comments »
March 4, 2011 9:35 am

Re: ‘Atheists and fundamentalists can be equally intolerant (Leonard Pitts Jr. column, 3-3).

To further Pitts’ point, consider the statement by Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg: “Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may be our greatest contribution to civilization.”

Fellow atheist Sam Harris comments: “We can no longer afford the luxury of political correctness.”

These assertions indicate the atheists are upping the ante in the war of words with fundamentalists. Where might it end? With both sides ratcheting up the rhetoric to the point of mutually assured destruction? One can only hope.

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  1. There is none so zealous as the petty bureaucrat.

  2. Except for the reformed sinner or born-again Christian.

  3. Pecksbadboy says:

    Or John Boehner looking for right wing votes

  4. Their “greatest contribution” in this instance refers to the scientists’ belief that if they can steer people towards rational thought…then we would have more intelligent people making decisions based upon reason and facts of the world we live in. They suppose that we would, intern, make preferably agreeable decisions.
    Church folk believe that individuals who walked the earth thousands of years ago were somehow more enlightened and wiser than we are. In reality, those old-timers thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth, a few examples of their comparatively infantile state of being. We have since used science to our benefit in proving otherwise.
    Those ancient earth-roamers did, however, correctly understand that life on this planet is allowed by the light of our sun. They then constructed fables and allegories to tell the story of what happens to the son in relation to the earth and how it affects us. These fables, overtime, evolved and contorted into what we see today in modern faith-based belief systems.
    I won’t bother rattling off any of the specific tenets of the innumerable religions we have constructed. While many of them are similar, obviously, they all have their own individual accentuation. Many of these are patently implausible in any reality other than quantum…this all takes far too long to lay out.
    Whatever….you already believe what you will.
    These scientists believe that the decision makers ought not be people who actually look forward to “the end of times”…to when they die and move on “to a better place”. What motivation is that for making sound decisions?
    In my opinion, the scientists believe that if they can help us create an environment of careful consideration on a rational and thoughtful level, that the world would be an immeasurably better place.

  5. spungamy says:

    Jellee: “Church folk believe that individuals who walked the earth thousands of years ago were somehow more enlightened and wiser than we are. In reality, those old-timers thought the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth, a few examples of their comparatively infantile state of being. We have since used science to our benefit in proving otherwise.”

    I don’t see how believing that the earth is flat or the sun revolves around the earth indicates an “infantile state of being”. For those who spend most of their life in a small geographic area, without global contact, this is a reasonable assumption. Furthermore, unlike the sciences of, say, agriculture, engineering, botany, and so on, the flatness or spherical nature of the earth is mostly irrelevant to daily life as lived out by most people. (Furthermore, according to this article that I found – http://www.universetoday.com/48753/flat-earth-theory/ – people were theorizing about whether the earth was a sphere as early as the 4th century BC). My dictionary defines “infantile” as, among other things, “childish, immature, babyish”. Most traits that one would consider mature involve self-discipline and self-control, treating others with respect and dignity, acting in the best interest of all involved even if this involves an element of self-sacrifice, and so on. None of these have any connection to the shape of the earth (or which heavenly body is rotating around what), no matter what sneering moderns like to say when they condescend to those of past generations.

    “I won’t bother rattling off any of the specific tenets of the innumerable religions we have constructed. While many of them are similar, obviously, they all have their own individual accentuation. Many of these are patently implausible in any reality other than quantum…this all takes far too long to lay out.”

    And yet people have found wisdom in these tenets for centuries, learning truths that they can apply to their lives and foundations on which to build lives of character. I do not agree with all religions, but airily dismissing them because they were begun hundreds or thousands of years ago is an arrogant assumption that this century has discovered the only real truths to exist in all of human history.

    “These scientists believe that the decision makers ought not be people who actually look forward to “the end of times”…to when they die and move on “to a better place”. What motivation is that for making sound decisions?”

    You have not provided any support for your statement that a belief in an afterlife causes people to make poor decisions for this current reality. Certainly some people choose to make poor decisions based on this motivation, just as many people clinging to certain faiths act in horrid ways toward their fellow human beings. On the other hand, others use their faith as a springboard toward caring for the world around them, and trying to feed the hungry, love the unloved, show compassion and mercy, all to bring about some of the vision that they have for the next life to the life here on earth.

  6. “Church folk believe that individuals who walked the earth thousands of years ago were somehow more enlightened and wiser than we are.”

    This is an ignorant statement jellee. Sorry to be so blunt, but it negates anything further you have to say about “church folk.”

    Were you to actually read the narratives of Christian scripture, you would see people behaving just like they do today. Prophets attempted to direct them back to God then, just as some attempt to do today.

    Please, until you actually study up on what Christians believe (and there’s quite a range of diversity among them btw) withhold your analysis OF them.

  7. You will not find “flat earth” nor the concept of geo-centricity in the Bible, jellee.
    I would have you notice that even your so-called “scientific” humanism is nothing more than ego-centricity. You cannot even utilize the methods of your choosing to validate your conjectures due to your inability to utilize the basic “scientific” tenet of repeatability. You cling to your hyper-philosophically driven, censorship addicted, pre-conceived outcome based results and isolate and insulate yourselves in the foggy world of ever-changing and quickly abandoned facts in search of a predefined interpretation.

    “Science folks” indeed…still denying thermaldynamic laws,
    while clinging to uniformitarianism….
    You were lied to at your “looney-versity” for political motivations, science folk.

  8. Larsman
    Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 “. . . the four corners of the earth”

    Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19, Daniel 4:11 “ . . .the ends of the earth”

    Matthew 4:8 “ .. the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world. . “

    all would be impossible unless world was thought to be flat.

    Need I go on?

  9. Please, stop.

    Good Grief, xring. Did no one ever teach you how to read literature? Reallly. Drop this subject before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.

  10. Five years at a Christian college taught me how to read and understand the Bible.

    It also taught me how to use the Bible against those who misuse it..

  11. By the way Lars, I do believe sozo just called the Bible literature which implies it was written by man and not divinely inspired.

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