Religious Myths Gotta Go
Time to say it in polite company.
Harris’s explosive book, as more than one reviewer has noted, articulates fiercely and fearlessly what more and more people are thinking but few are willing to say in polite company: religious faith is not only blind, but deaf, mute, absurd, irrational, and threatens our very existence…He calls his book “an argument for intellectual honesty. It’s only on matters of religion that we allow people to pretend to be certain of things they are not certain about.”
That’s just it – it’s this special dispensation thing. On everything else people over the age of about four are expected to justify their assertions, especially if they’re a tad far-fetched – but ‘devout’ people can talk about what God wants, and very few people will be heartless enough to ask how they know. It’s a double standard, but one that never really gets explained or justified – it’s just there.
Religious moderation, Harris argues, betrays both faith and reason equally. Moderates are, in large part, responsible for religious strife “because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed” — all thanks to the sacredness in which we hold tolerance.
Exactly – ‘the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.’ And if you try, even atheists flock to chastise you. I do find that strange, and disheartening.