Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Biblical Opposition to Knowledge

Here is the conclusion of an excellent and very thorough essay I ran across this morning concering biblical belief, religion and knowledge and how for the fundamentalist, knowledge is stymied and discouraged by pastors who have little or no proper education themselves (or at least not much of a well-rounded education) , credentials or legitimate qualifications in the subjects and issues they are criticizing and condemning. They lack research and evidence needed to support the outrageous supernatural claims they promote, except from which is written in an ancient book by ancient, superstitious peoples who knew very little about their world, environment and universe which lie outside the borders of their own little patch of Earth. Here is the link to the ENTIRE ESSAY.

Science has enabled humanity to make enormous improvements its technological capabilities, material prosperity, and moral philosophy. These results led Carl Sagan to say: "Science is supported because it provides spectacular benefits at all levels in the society. . . ."[97]

Bertrand Russell similarly observed: "Almost all the changes which the world has undergone since the end of the Middle Ages are due to the discovery and diffusion of new knowledge."[98]

But the Bible contains numerous teachings opposed to scientific inquiry and the increase of knowledge. The teachings are dangerous and continue to produce harm.

Former Christian fundamentalist Richard Yao maintains: "Perhaps the unpardonable sin of fundamentalism is its effort to make people suspicious and afraid of their own minds, their own logic and thinking process. . . . If we cannot depend on our minds to process reality and make choices and decisions in life, then we are more likely to depend on fundamentalist preachers. . . . How can a democracy survive if all of us renounce reason, thinking and logic?"[99]

Harold Bloom states that the problems are not confined to fundamentalism: "Fundamentalism . . . is viciously anti-intellectual, but so, alas, is most American religion, of whatever camp."[100].

Bloom's observation will be true as long as American religion looks to the Bible for guidance. No other outcome is possible when people follow a book that instructs them to distrust and reject their sensory perceptions and reasoning abilities.

The Bible's anti-intellectual teachings are a recipe for being out of touch with reality - which is a path to ignorance, misery, and disaster.

Those irrational and harmful biblical ideas need to be replaced by science - with its methods of reason, observation, experience, and compassion.


Anonymous said...

If science is applied to the Bible (or any other religious text), Stardust, it ceases to have any theological meaning which would result in a positive and seismic shift in the thinking of our world.

We wouldn't want that to happen, would we?

P.S. Have seen you at SSU for a while. Perhaps soon?

Stardust said...

daniel, for some reason my login info wont work. Do you happen to have that information?

Stardust said...

In the comment thread where I have this cross-posted at GifS, I wrote:

To question is to be human, and questioning leads to knowledge and some do not want humans to gain knowledge because knowledge leads to power and when people have knowledge and power they question their leader’s motives and actions. The whole gist of the Adam and Eve and eating of the tree of knowledge story is “Don’t rock the boat and do what Big Brother tells you.” Even our schools, though secular, teach exactly what they want children to learn and there is little time or encouragement to “look outside the box.”

It is in the best interest of leaders to promote religion and instill fear and obedience in people and keep the chains of religion going in order to maintain status quo.

Throughout history religion has always been about power and control. It’s the centerpiece of our political campaigns, it’s the reason for warring and it’s been an excuse for colonialism, it has been an excuse for wanting to wipe other nations off the map…in reality it is all about power and control.

And before fundies jump in here with their usual rebuttal to this . . . yes…there was Hitlerism, Maoism, Stalinism, etc . . .they made themselves into gods to be bowed down to and enforced their doctrines upon their people as many leaders of countries still do today. They are no different than those who use the tool of any religion to control and manipulate.