Its no secret, and I would like to think most of you are aware, ladies and gentlemen, that the tools of logic and reason are contradictory to any sort of religious faith whatsoever. In fact I am often surprised by the sheer number of believers that try to cling onto the idea that science, reason and logic are in anyway compatible with the first century thought.
Take this stupid postulation that reasoned thinking can be found in the preposterous testimony of ascension, coming from oppressed hysterical women who were subjected to barbaric roman justice meted out in a public display on a Jewish insurgent. To me it is as absurd as the puerile and idiotic idea that a Arabian merchant-come-prophet jumped onto a beast one day with a angels head, horses body and peacocks tail and flew off to heaven to chat with Abraham, Moses and Jesus for a bit, lovingly referred to as the night journey.
These are the exact kind of things that you MUST believe, if you want to call yourself a Christian. Or a Muslim.
And yet, for some of you, this is a totally acceptable order of events. It requires not even a moments glance to check if there is any validity whatsoever in these childish fancies. Now I don’t actually know if any of you really believe these kind of claims, or if you just claim to believe them since you dare not think for yourself, but either way, drop the charade. Stop with the pretending at least. I mean we all see through it, so why the act? You know as well as I do that to believe these things, you need to leave behind reason, evidence and critical thinking. One cannot possibly demand that we provide the mountains of evidence that there is – say - for evolution, or abiogenesis, at the drop of a hat – under threats and duress that we are liars, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that somebody who happened to write down he saw miracle 2000 years ago is nowhere close enough to demonstrating that a miracle actually occurred. And even more so when the accounts are third person. There is certainly some dishonesty here, but it’s not from the science camp.
Let’s just confirm it with your own holy books. It tells you that critical thought is not wanted in your own book you claim to follow. The bible tells us gleefully in 2 Corinthians 10 “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” – God doesn’t want you to think for yourself. Proverbs 3 tells us explicitly “Trust in the Lord … lean not on your own understanding.” - What a gift! You can have the chance to live in a world of idiotic bliss!
The Qur’an fares no better – in chapter 5 we are commanded “Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble… people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers.” No surprise there, and of course the unforgettable “I heard the Prophet saying, "Allah has hated for you three things:” in the Sahih al-Bukhari – the third being “And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters)”.
And yet each passing day, millions of people claim that their God created Logic, reason, morality and anything else you dare think of. They already claim it all, and anything in the future also. I personally wonder if any theist really thinks what it would mean to be an omniscient being for example. We all know already that a God which is omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient is a logical contradiction, but just focusing on the all-knowing part for a moment. If your God is all knowing, then he must know what it means to enjoy paedophilia for example. If he did not know what it would be like to enjoy raping a child – and the desire to repeat it – then he is clearly not omniscient. An omniscient God MUST know this, and want it, or he is not omniscient by default. Yet clearly this goes against the very idea of what a God actually is.
This is why I question the idea fundamentalists really believe what they say they do. Prayer for example. What fundamentalist really believes that it works? If he did, he would be at the hospitals every day, praying for each patient as they got up and walked out fully healed. He would be praised and thanked – and bring thousands of followers his God. Yet they restrict themselves to a few hours on Sunday talking about how great prayer is in little groups. To speak about how great God is to have healed the cancer of one privately insured middle-class housewife, while ignoring the millions of dying African children with Aids is cognitive dissidence at its height. I guess God really is a racist.
Or these extremists who claim that unbelievers will get their come-uppance when Allah wreaks vengeance of them, but spend their every waking moment trying to plan how to fly planes into buildings, or strap bombs to themselves. I guess Allah needs help after all. And so, I put it to you that the only reason we see these absurd demonstrations is that no fundamentalist can, or does, believe what they claim to. How can they? We are rationalising beings after all.
So I conclude - there has to come a time when we take stock and realise that faith, religion and a belief in God is on one side of the scale – while science, reason and evidence it on the opposite. You don’t get to pick both sides, and it’s clear to anyone who is prepared to be intellectually honest about that. Faith is the opposite of evidence. Faith is what you claim when you don’t have any evidence. Religion is dogmatic and unchanging – science is dynamic and always changing its mind. Belief in God is the abandonment of reason and logic, it embraces the supernatural and impossible. The world of contradictory thought is made holy by these self-appointed prophets. The truth, made clear by its rejection. The Muslims are more moderate than we want to accept, the Christians less faithful than we care to imagine and God is less plausible than any claim we have ever postulated.
And you all know this too,
If you want to engage more with me please feel free to jump onto Facebook chat, demand I attend your church or mosque, make me have coffee with you or if you also have questions just join the South African Skeptics group which I am a part of and values evidence and critical thinking over bias or preconception.
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