Dan Dennett talks about how religions in many cases offer a “gold-plated excuse to stop thinking” and that people have got to stop playing the “faith card” in debates.
From The Times
Rosemary Bennett and Ruth Gledhill
Harriet Harman has backed away from a confrontation with religious leaders over who they can employ, making clear that she will not force contentious amendments to the Equality Bill through Parliament.
Ministers were astonished on Monday when the Pope said that the Bill violated “natural justice” and urged bishops to fight it. But that attack, along with the strength of opposition in the Lords and the limited time left to get Bills passed before the election, has sapped the Government’s enthusiasm to continue the fight.
Ms Harman, the Equalities Minister, has been engaged in a long dispute with churches and religious organisations over their exemption from anti-discrimination employment law, and how it affects “non-religious” posts. Read the rest of the article »
In our confused and degraded world, where religion has lost its way (if it ever had it), there are many negative reactions to the words “religion” and “church” – understandably so. Most of the objections to organized religion can be made against science as well. Mainstream organized science is structurally just as corrupted and co-opted as mainstream organized religions. In each case there is a long, concerted effort to coerce members of their community into dogmatic attitudes. Those who do not accept the official dogma at face value, and raise uncomfortable questions are dealt with in a similar manner: attacked, ridiculed, ostracized and rendered powerless.
But, as is usually the case, we are faced with the situation of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just because science has been perverted, controlled, and manipulated to only serve the very narrow interests of a self serving elite, namely for applications as weapons against the rest of humanity, does not make science “bad” or unacceptable as a means to a better understanding of ourselves and our world that can be applied for completely different purposes. Read the rest of the article »