Measured Against Reality

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Idiotic quote of the week

In a week filled with idiotic quotes I'm going to have to say this takes the cake, from the Economist, an article called, Is there a God?:

What is missing from the book is much sense of what a world without religion, or one that had not had religion in it, might look like. Lots of the principles that Mr Hitchens holds dear, like tolerance and justice, are secularised versions of religious ideas. Religious folk often do the right thing for what Mr Hitchens would call the wrong reasons. Taking faith away would in many cases take away the will to do them. That cost is worth considering.

There is so much flagrant stupidity in that paragraph that I can't even begin to dissect it. But it should be totally and completely obvious that tolerance and justice don't come from religion (the Economist itself reported about the man from Malaysia forced to convert to Islam, and what about all the women who are raped and then stoned to death for infidelity? And that's only two examples from one religion, not even starting on the others). And there is absolutely no indication that taking religious faith away would make people stop doing good things, they'd probably just start doing them for good reasons.

I really wish I knew what author wrote that, so I could give him the verbal lashing he deserves for that pile of dreck.



  • I'm seeing quotes like this more often in the media. They're ridiculous on two levels. First, the assumption that human beings will not 'play nicely' without religion is not supported by evidence. Second, it ignores one of the basic premises of the argument to abolish religion, which is that humans created it. If humans created religion and its morals, then humans deserve credit for any secularized derivations of its values. Arguing that all morals are rooted in religion and would disappear in its absence is nonsensical if you’re arguing against the position that we created religion and its values to begin with.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM, June 06, 2007  

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