The truth hurts: Religion is harmful

I read an unfavorable review of The God Delusion. The link I clicked to get there suggested it was written by a “rational atheist”. (Like there is any other kind.) If the reviewer is an atheist, they are the world’s most religiously sympathetic atheist I’ve ever seen. I don’t care if they are an atheist or not and I don’t really care that they don’t like the book. What bothers me is the review is full of nonsense. For example:

This leads to a form of confirmation bias on the part of atheists. They look into the distant past, see some actions we disapprove of in the modern world, notice that the people who chose the actions had a religious world view, and conclude that the religious world view caused the problem.

Fuck the past. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades, the two examples the reviewer defends. Religion is a detrimental force in the world today in very tangible ways. Let’s run a few of them down.

1. Abstinence-only sex education programs. The “pro life” crowd has caused more unwanted babies in the world than everyone else combined. Teenagers do have sex and the result of the ignorance campaign perpetrated by the religious right has caused the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancies. It hasn’t stopped people from having sex.

2. Undermining science education. People are proud activists on a crusade to force science education to take their religious views into account. That is absurd. Science literacy is bad enough in this world without having these zealots try to cram their idealogical agenda into it. Send your kids to a religious school if you want them to learn how the earth is 6,000 years old and God zapped Adam and Eve fully into existence in an instant. Leave your religion out of our public education system.

3. Politics. Religious litmus tests are one of the downfalls of our democracy here in the USA. Politicians must pander to the religious. You’ll recall pastors kicking people out of their congregation for supporting the wrong candidate. How about the Republican debate where only one or two hands went up in support of evolution? Religious people are insuring that we can only choose from superstitious retards theists for public office.

4. War. Sad but true, the religious right are the same people who want America to dominate the world through military power. I don’t know why this correlation is true, but it is. They want us to crush the Palestinians, bomb Iran, invade Iraq and go to war with North Korea. What is it about “thou shalt not kill” that is unclear? What about the compassion and gentleness of Jesus Christ leads you to believe he would support modern warfare? When you mention this they always bring up some old testament crap. And this is without mentioning the explicit religious conflicts like Iraq, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and many others. Religion causes war today.

They go on:

Dawkins spends a great deal of time damning religion, but spends very little time highlighting the real-world positive effects of an atheistic world view. That is because, beyond the sciences, atheists really don’t have anything to crow about.

The sciences are unarguably the most important thing, period, in terms of human progress ever. Science has tangibly improved lives, saved lives, raised standards of living and helped us to unlock tremendous power. Science is successful because it is naturalistic, a dirty word to theists. So the writer should have said “beyond the most important thing to humanity ever…”. Yes, idiot, its science that we’re concerned about. Atheism is largely a political movement to protect science and rational thinking. Invoking ancient scripture or mythical beings is the antithesis of scientific thinking. I don’t care if y’all do it at home, just leave it out of our schools and our politics.

“The God Delusion” is a trite, shallow unimaginative book.

I’ve just started reading The God Delusion and I think it is brilliant, concise, fair and well written. The reviewer is obviously offended by the rough handling of religion in the book. As Truman said, “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” The truth hurts when Dawkins is telling it.

The truth hurts: Religion is harmful

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