Fundamentalist Religion: A Simpsons view
The Simpsons: “Religion must stay five hundred yards from science at all times.”
It should be noted that the focus is on Religious Fundamentalists. Not all who subscribe to religion are conservatives. And not all conservatives are fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are defined as people who seek to impose their brand of restrictive interpretation of religion on the entire society. This should be distinguished from conservatives who personally subscribe to a particular view point but have no desire of imposing it on others.
Religion v Education:
Superintendent Chalmers: “Thank the Lord”? That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don’t have a place within an organized religion.
One school board in rural Pennsylvania mandates the teaching of creationism.
Religious Group placing of stickers in textbook calling evolution “a theory, not a fact.”
If they can get to place a sticker calling evolution “a theory, not a fact.” Then can we at least get to place a sticker calling:
1) Intelligent Design is “a story, not a theory.” I like this the best. Perhaps if you can design (get it?) a ‘sticker’ or something that appears whenever someone types in Intelligent Design on to this website or do that “?” and underline thing with a little textbox that appears.
2) Intelligent Design is “silly, not a theory.”
3) Intelligent Design is “ignorance, not intelligence.”
4) Intelligent Design is “neither intelligent, nor educational.” Sorry no Rhyme for this one.
5) Intelligent Design is “a story, not even a theory and definitely not a fact” If you prefer a long version without rhyme. One could sell some T-shirts with these slogans. And if one wants to capture both markets should sell both the evolution version and the intelligent design version. And should sell one where the front has the evolution warning and the back the intelligent design warning so the wearer can switch according to whom he is talking to.
Whether one calls it intelligent design or creationism the end result is still the same, the imposing of religion in school. The first question is why do they call it intelligent design. Is it to mask the distinctive lack of intelligence in the design of the concept?
The main thrust of this ‘intelligent design’ argument is that life is so complex it cannot just appear by itself and that there must be some guiding force. But then the question is, if life which is so complicated needs a guiding force (God), who created that guiding force?
Who created God?
If the answer is God is always there, then if one can accept that God which is presumably more complicated than mortal life can always be there and God was not created by some guiding force, then what is so difficult about accepting that life arises without such guiding force.
‘Perfection’ by Definition
Reverand Lovejoy: “Science has faltered once again in the face of overwhelming religious evidence.”
A failure to provide full explanation for everything is an invitation for improvement of the explanation. It is not however an invitation for one to introduce a whole range of explanations that are factually less logical and only works if one redefines the situation. For example, someone is told to paint a Green room Red. If the painter were to go to the house owner and tell them I define Green to be the same as Red, therefore the room is now painted Red, so pay me. You would just fire the painter.
‘Intelligent Design’ similarly does not provide for a better factual explanation it merely redefines the situation without actually explaining anything.
Religion v “Important Things”/Progress
Ned Flanders: Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don’t want to know. Important things.
US pushes global ban on stem cell cloning
Religion is sometimes describes as a search for the ultimate truth. What then happens when the facts start becoming problematic for one’s definition of religion?
If we turn back several hundred years ago to the Dark Ages where the Arab-Muslim world was the beacon of science and Europe-Christian world was well as described in the Dark Ages. When people start deciding that a holy book written a long time ago contains instructions for every single aspect of life, and progress in society starts to slow to a crawl or even turn backyards, problem arises. Look at China several hundred years ago after it kicked out the Mongols, it started turning inwards and while not rejecting science merely turn its back to it and treat it more as an interesting hobby of a person. focusing instead on rules and culture by looking to the past to determine how society should behave.
Now, just like any conventions, any ban is only operative if the country actually signs on and ratifies the treaty. And since the US itself have not banned stem cell research, one is wondering what is the true purpose of this global ban. On a simple level, this is merely Bush playing to his evangelical supporters. Even if the convention is created the chances of US actually ratifying it would be quite low but Bush would have served his supporters. On a deeper level, one could see this as an attempt to ensure that US would not be overthrown in the bio-science research fields. One less foreign nation doing any research one less competitor. But that it seems is not real likely since nations that support the research will simply not sign on to the treaty.
Religion v Society
Reverend Lovejoy: This so-called new religion is nothing but a pack of weird rituals and chants, designed to take away the money of fools. Now let’s say the Lord’s Prayer 40 times, but first, let’s pass the collection plate
‘Miracle baby’ a victim
If religion is about the good one does then what happens when someone interprets the religion to support something bad such as slavery, discrimination, etc. So is religion used to justify prejudices that cannot stand along or did religion actually call for adopting such a position. Just as one can find a person using the bible to attack homosexuality another person can use the same bible to protect homosexuality.
Also an interesting thing which I just discovered as a result of Target preventing the Salvation Army from soliciting on its property. Apparently the Salvation Army adopts an anti-gay position and in 2001 tried to exempt itself from laws barring discrimination. So if you are about to donate to the Salvation Army, and you believe in non-discrimination, I suggest you donate the money to another organisation or send the money to a local shelter directly.
Reverand Lovejoy: Ned, have you considered any of the other major religions? They’re all pretty much the same.
Protest over Alfred Kinsey movie
One that that I notice of conservative relgious fundamentalists across the world. It seems that once they remove specific religious references, their position is quite similar.
For example let us look at the following statements:
[Insert Name of Religion Here] Fundamentalist claims that man and woman serve different functions in society, with man working and woman staying at home.
[Insert Name of Religion Here] Fundamentalist claims that society is morally decadent and decaying.
[Insert Name of Religion Here] Fundamentalist claims that only man can lead the religion.
[Insert Name of Religion Here] Fundamentalist claims that woman is the reason for downfall of society.
[Insert Name of Religion Here] Fundamentalist warns of the corrupting danger of sexuality.
We must guard against the view that religion offers an all encompassing solution and if one actually looks to religion it will be a panacea for everything then perhaps one would be blinded by reality. One would seek to bend studies and facts to suit one’s particular viewpoint rather than looking at unbiased studies and facts to lead one to the viewpoint.