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Christianity Johnson on 28 Oct 2008 01:47 am

How Christianity encourages stupidity, and in the process hurts us all

From the beginning, Christianity encourages its believers to be anti-scientific:

- Christianity encourages a belief in the superstition of prayer.

- Christianity encourages belief in an imaginary god for whom there is zero evidence.

- Christianity encourages people to believe in a book that is patently absurd to any unbiased observer.

In the process, Christianity discourages rational and scientific thinking. To the point where Christians have a palpable disdain for science and a complete ignorance of its principles.

The perfect example of this ignorance could be seen in Sarah Palin’s anti-scientific and misinformed rant last week about fruit fly research. Dozens of people have taken her to task for the utter stupidity of her position, as demonstrated by these four examples:

- Sarah Palin’s War on Science

- Fruit Fly Research in France?! I Kid You Not!

- Sarah Palin’s latest swat at science

- Losing the sense of the argument

We also see willful Christian stupidity in their position on evolution. It has become such a problem that it now demands special training for teachers:

Emory workshop teaches teachers how to teach evolution

The article puts it this way:

Some students burst into tears when a high school biology told them they’d be studying evolution. Another teacher said some students repeatedly screamed “no” when he began talking about it.

Other teachers said students demanded to know whether they pray and questioned why the had to learn about evolution if it was just a theory.

About 60 public high school teachers from the Atlanta area were at Emory University last week, swapping stories about the challenges they face when teaching evolution.

This kind of willful stupidity is strictly a Christian phenomenon, and it is a learned behavior. Christianity teaches its followers to be stupid. And we all suffer. Christianity’s disdain for science cuts back on scientific funding and blocks scientific research (e.g. stem cell research). In the case of Sarah Palin, we find a willfully stupid politician who may one day have a direct effect on national science policy. That is dangerous.

The question is, are Sarah Palin and her friends acting so stupidly that she is starting to wake people up to the dangers of Christianity? Are people paying more attention now to the inability of Christians to think clearly? If so, it can only help the cause of rational thinking.

Imagine belonging to a religion that is being publicly ridiculed for fostering stupidity in its members. That would be a win for rationality.

18 Responses to “How Christianity encourages stupidity, and in the process hurts us all”

  1. on 28 Oct 2008 at 9:54 am 1.Red O'Brien said …

    Bravo. Good post.

  2. on 28 Oct 2008 at 10:00 am 2.Hermes said …

    Agreed Red.

    The more irrational superstitions and dogmatic beliefs that I see, the more that I think a vigorous course in logic followed by one in fallacies should be a standard part of each child’s grade school education.

  3. on 28 Oct 2008 at 11:42 am 3.Red O'Brien said …

    I’m with you on that. Below is a link to a good source of info re: fallacies—which might help various people understand why their arguments make no sense. But plenty of people don’t care if their arguments make sense. They say, “Well, it makes sense to me.” In which case you might as well end the conversation.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.logicalfallacies.info/

  4. on 28 Oct 2008 at 12:45 pm 4.SteveK said …

    Johnson should study that website. I’ve read more logical fallacies here than I can count. In fact, the reason I wrote my very first comment was to address Johnson’s sloppy thinking. Apparently it does little good to point that stuff out because he just keeps steamrolling along. *sigh*

  5. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:02 pm 5.Red O'Brien said …

    That remark itself supposes a fallacy: that Johnson is wrong because he (or she) uses fallacies. Even if Johnson said, “God doesn’t exist because it came to me in a dream,” that doesn’t mean God DOES exist.

    http://www.logicalfallacies.info/fallacistsfallacy.html

    Anyway, I’m no debate expert, and I’ve used fallacies myself. So has every person who has commented on this blog. That’s one of the main reasons we’ll never agree on anything, with the other main reason being that religion is generally based on faith. I freely admit that nobody can prove God doesn’t exist, but that, in itself, proves nothing one way or the other.

    What generally happens is that the debate moves on to other issues, such as whether the Bible holds contradictions, what specific verses mean, etc., and those topics could lead to one side “winning” a debate on the subject. But it NEVER happens. Nobody will admit defeat, ever, for any reason. How’s that for a generalization? I’m basing that comment purely on my own experience, which is a fallacy.

    Ah, good times.

  6. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:15 pm 6.SteveK said …

    The humdinger below is one example of this fallacy. Will Johnson’s irrationality never end?

    “Christianity discourages rational and scientific thinking.”

  7. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:19 pm 7.Hermes said …

    Tell that to Galileo.

    Shall I continue?

  8. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:26 pm 8.SteveK said …

    Ahhh, Galileo. The modern-day myth that the church discourages scientific inquiry.

    Yes, Hermes, please continue.

  9. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:31 pm 9.Red O'Brien said …

    Yes, Johnson, you should’ve said, “Christianity almost always discourages rational and scientific thinking.” Give yourself an out for that one Christian in untold thousands who can hold a rational discussion on religion.

  10. on 28 Oct 2008 at 1:34 pm 10.Red O'Brien said …

    Another Christian bites the dust:

    From CNN:
    Calagna told detectives months later that John Erwin Kolbeck, an alleged enforcer for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo, paused after 20 strikes to order another ministry member to pull off the 17-year-old’s pants and thermals. Kolbeck slammed the wooden board against the teen’s underwear and bare skin until the board finally broke, according to a police report.

    Get the full story here:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/25/alamo.enforcer.ap/index.html

  11. on 28 Oct 2008 at 2:20 pm 11.SteveK said …

    Yes, Johnson, you should’ve said, “Christianity almost always discourages rational and scientific thinking.”

    Yet another gaffe.

    Christianity the denomination, whether it be Baptist, Catholic, etc. doesn’t discourage rational and scientific thinking so your ‘almost always’ comment is way, way off if you look at the numbers. What you probably meant to say is “Many/Some/Several Christians discourage…”. That I can agree with.

  12. on 28 Oct 2008 at 2:26 pm 12.SteveK said …

    You gotta wonder…why is it that the ‘irrational’ Christian has to repeatedly correct ‘rationalist’ thinking here? In this one post alone I’ve had to correct the Galileo myth and one of many Johnsonisms, er, I mean logical fallacies. This is getting to be a full time job. ;)

  13. on 28 Oct 2008 at 2:32 pm 13.Red O'Brien said …

    Uh, delusions, perhaps? Just a thought.

    But I am glad you’re finally showing a sense of humor. From what I understand, God created that, too.

  14. on 28 Oct 2008 at 2:44 pm 14.SteveK said …

    Re: humor

    Serious discussion in the front, sense of humor in the back – kinda like a mullet. ;)

  15. on 28 Oct 2008 at 3:36 pm 15.SteveK said …

    While I’m in the mythbusting mood, I wonder how many ‘skeptics’ have fallen for the modern-day myth that early Christianity, generally speaking, most definitely believed in a flat earth.

    Raise your hand if you fell for this one too. Hermes?

  16. on 28 Oct 2008 at 6:45 pm 16.Hermes said …

    So, you think it’s OK that books were banned and that the Vatican didn’t execute Galileo? Oh mercy me! Thanka massa! I don’ts wants no whippens today! I can talk about the weather all I wants? Praise Jesus!

    Yep. Enlightened.

    As for the rest, that’s what the forum is for. See you there!

  17. on 28 Oct 2008 at 6:57 pm 17.SteveK said …

    And the logical fallacies continue…as if any of this has anything to do with the myth that the church discouraged scientific inquiry in the time of Galileo.

  18. on 28 Oct 2008 at 8:20 pm 18.Hermes said …

    Don’t care. Blogs get my lazy stuff. Go to the forums .. a reply awaits.

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