Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just say no to political correctness

'Something strange has happened in America in the nine months since Barack Obama was elected. It has best been summarised by the comedian Bill Maher: "The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital."'

We liberals brought this upon ourselves. We should stop acting like the idiots' point of view is entitled to respect and equal treatment in the media. It's not. The cooks, the crooks, and the cons - including the neocons - need to be called for what they are, loud and clear.

In particular, we should stop trying to prove that science and religion are somehow compatible. They are not.

Science requires preponderance of evidence. For science, if something is unobservable in principle, it does not exist.

Religion requires faith in tales written thousands of years ago by semi-literate shepherds, claiming the miracles that have never been observed in practice.

Most Americans are big boys and girls - it's OK to have them face the hard choice.

Either you believe in science and enjoy the fruits of labor of these godless scientists ( - including antibiotics, computers, jet travel, and sanitation. Or choose supernatural and go back to the middle ages and 40 years average life span.

Trying to have it both ways is like trying to lose weight without a diet. It simply does not work.


Илья Казначеев said...

I've lost weight without a diet: I've just ceased eating.

BadTux said...

I would say that religion and science aren't incompatible, in principle. The Catholic Church, for example, when asked to comment on anything science finds, such as the age of the Earth or evolution, says basically "no comment -- that's science, and we don't do science" (apparently they learned from the whole Galileo fiasco). But then, the Catholic Church has no trouble believing multiple incompatible things at the same time, just as physicists have no trouble believing light is both a particle and a wave at the same time :). As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, what they're about is things that science can't address, such as questions of fundamental morality and ethics. (I argue that they're wrong, that you can in fact measure the outcomes of various moral and ethical systems and decide scientifically which ones "work" better for some definition of "work" that incorporate social well-being and societal survival, but that's another issue).

What *IS* true is that rabid fundamentalism -- the notion that illiterate shepherds thousands of years ago somehow managed to remember and transcribe some holy scripture handed to them by some deity and thus said scripture is the 100% accurate word of said deity which must never be questioned when it talks of things scientific -- is utterly incompatible with science. And unfortunately, it is this streak of rabid fundamentalism which has become a primary trait of Wahabi Islam and American Christianity (or "The American Taliban", as I like to call them). Not only do they reject science, but they reject reason as a whole as incompatible with their rabid fundamentalism. Thus when Bernie Sanders said to a woman, "Ma'am, trying to have a discussion with you would be like trying to have a discussion with a kitchen table, I have no intention of making that attempt", he was being kind. How do you discuss something with a person who not only rejects science, but rejects reason too? It can't be done.