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Media Immigration Human Rights Environment Water Health Drugs Sex Corporations and Work World Politics Take Action 3 Silly Religious Beliefs Held By Non-Silly People

Saturday, October 31, 2009

By Greta Christina
AlterNet

"You can't disprove religion."

I'm seeing this trope a lot these days. "You can't disprove religion. At least -- not my religion."

"Well, of course," the trope continues, "many outdated religious beliefs -- young-earth creationism, the universe revolving around the earth, the sun being drawn across the sky by Apollo's chariot -- have been shown by science to be mistaken. But modern progressive and moderate beliefs -- these, you can't disprove with science. These are simply matters of faith: things people reasonably choose to believe, based on their personal life experience."

Then there's the corollary to this trope: "Therefore, atheism is just as much a matter of faith as religion. And atheists who think atheism is better supported by evidence are just as dogmatic and close-minded as religious believers."

The usual atheist reply to this is to cry, "That's the God of the Gaps! Whatever phenomenon isn't currently explained by science, that's where you stick your God! What kind of sense does that make? Why should any given unexplained phenomenon be best explained by religion? Has there ever been a gap in our knowledge that's eventually been shown to be filled by God?"

Which is a pretty good reply, and one I make a lot myself. But today, I want to say something else....(Remainder.)

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