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Punungwe
 
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Science is wholly questionable, religion is not

08 January 2013, 13:06
There is one thing about us atheists. Whether one was brought up beating drums, dancing around fires all night round calling upon ancestors for blessings, in an African village like I was.

Whether one was brought religiously trooping to a building every Sunday (or Saturday). Whether one was brought up hiking to the mosque every Friday. Whether one was brought up believing that a cow is a god. Whether one was brought up in China, India, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Canada, France or England. The arguments that we atheists rely upon are based on one common body of knowledge, science.

May I remind those of you who get frothy lipped arguing that a god created the world in 7 days that there are only 2 billion of you in the world. A substantial portion of the other 5 billion would stone you or behead you as an apostate, if they were not restrained by the civilised norms of today.

May I remind you that the primary reason for your beliefs as where you were born and what the parents you were born to believed in. Very few of you ever go against the traditions of your family. In short what you call 'logic' is not logic at all but a strong regurgitation of cultural traditions. To be crude I would say what you believe depends on how you were brainwashed since the day you were born.

May I also point out that many of you so called believers, are trained not to question what you are told. You are regularly told to have faith, and to believe what your leaders tell you even if you don't understand it.

Those of you who have books you claim were written for the whole world stoically ignore that all these books are clearly set in specific cultural and geographic settings. This clearly suggests that whoever wrote the books did not know about the entire world, its cultures and geography as we do today. Clearly the author could not have been an all-knowing being.

In contrast science does not require anyone to have faith. Science does not claim to be unquestionable contrary to what some seem to believe. The whole foundation of science is based upon being inquisitive and questioning both what one knows and what one doesn't know.

Science is based upon a record of repeated observations that anyone who cares to spare the time and effort is encouraged to methodically retest and confirm for themselves or disprove in the eyes of everyone. Science is based upon time tested methodologies that anyone who cares can get trained in. Science is based upon a peer review system that encourages people to public present their research findings for further scrutiny.

Religious people often misinterpret science as something requiring faith. That is usually because they will be coming from a situation where blind unquestioning faith is demanded. Science is based upon very stringent peer review systems such that it is virtually impossible to make a spurious claim that will stand over a long time.

Science does not demand that everyone accepts conclusions made under it. The usually problem is that those who want to question science for religious purposes would not have done the required work to have their knowledge admitted into the body of scientific knowledge.

Religion in the other hand is often based upon claims made by a few people, the so called prophets. Everyone else is told that those claims are not questionable.

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