Sunday, November 26, 2006
Brian Flemming Post
This is from Brian Flemming's blog (author of the god who wasn't there).
It burns. Proceed at your own risk.
Example (condensed from the original):
SAM HARRIS: Even if your claim about the link between faith and morality were true, it would offer no support whatsoever for your religious beliefs. Even if atheism led straight to moral chaos, this would not suggest that the doctrine of Judaism is true. Islam might be true in that case. Or all religions might function like placebos. As descriptions of the universe, they could be utterly false but extraordinarily useful.
DENNIS PRAGER: You are right that this moral clarity and courage among the predominantly religious does not prove the existence of the biblical God. Nothing can prove God’s existence. But it sure is a powerful argument. If society cannot survive without x, there is a good chance x exists.
SAM HARRIS: No, Dennis, this moral clarity is not a “powerful argument,” or even an argument at all; please keep your x’s straight. If humanity can’t survive without a belief in God, this would only mean that a belief in God exists. It wouldn’t, even remotely, suggest that God exists.
DENNIS PRAGER: It is hard for me to imagine that any fair-minded reader would reach the same conclusion. If we both acknowledge that without belief in God humanity would self-destruct, it is quite a stretch to say that this fact does not “even remotely suggest that God exists.” Can you name one thing that does not exist but is essential to human survival?
I know, I just gave your eyes third-degree burns. I warned you.
Is there a word for this phenomenon of relatively intelligent people being suddenly unable to use their brains in the face of an obviously valid point? Oh, wait, I just remembered. It's called religion.
But is there a word for the phenomenon of people in the public eye making such extraordinarily stupid statements and still keeping their audience? Oh, wait, I just remembered. It's called talk radio.