Greta Christina

November 27, 2010

… ponders

“Why Religious Believers Are So Desperate for the Atheist Seal of Approval.”

http://www.alternet.org/belief/148984/why_religious_believers_are_so_desperate_for_the_atheist_seal_of_approval/?page=entire

Greta Christina has a light, colloquial style but talks a lot of sense. Here she is again:-

http://www.alternet.org/belief/147246/do_you_care_whether_the_religious_ideas_you_believe_in_are_true_or_not/

For example, she writes:-

“We need to understand reality, so we know how to behave in it.”

Exactly, and that is one of the reasons why religions poison everything.

“And if we’re going to understand reality, we have to care whether the things we believe are true. … When faced with solid evidence strongly suggesting that our beliefs almost certainly aren’t true, we can’t tell ourselves, Well, my belief can’t be absolutely disproven with 100 percent certainty — therefore it’s reasonable to keep believing it.”

“Skepticism is a discipline. It does not come naturally to the human mind. The human mind is wired to believe what it already believes, and what it wants to believe. The habit of questioning whether the things we believe are true — and letting go of beliefs we’re attached to when the evidence contradicts them — takes practice.”

Right, and religion subverts that process.

“Caring about reality is a fundamental part of what makes us human. Human beings are explorers. We’re curious. We want to find out what’s behind that rock, that mountain, that ocean, that galaxy. We want to find out what’s inside that tree, that flower, that cell, that atom.”

“And that curiosity is one of the best things about us. That curiosity has led us to a greater understanding of the vast, ancient, wildly freaky complexity of existence than we ever thought possible. That curiosity is why we understand about galaxies, and continental drift, and matter being mostly empty space, and everything that’s alive being related, and any number of compellingly fascinating, completely counter-intuitive realities. What’s more, that curiosity has led to innumerable advances in the quality of human life. That curiosity is why we understand that diseases are caused by germs and viruses and genetics and so on, instead of evil spirits or imbalances in the bodily humors. That curiosity is why we understand that we ought not to let raw sewage run in the streets or in our drinking water.”

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2 Responses to “Greta Christina”

  1. Jay Thomas said

    I find the premise of “Why Religious Believers Are So Desperate for the Atheist Seal of Approval” a little odd. Greta writes

    “If you hang around the online atheist world long enough, you’ll notice an interesting pattern. Many religious and spiritual believers who engage with atheists seem very intent on getting atheists’ approval for their beliefs.”

    Why would it be otherwise? Religious folks hanging around the online atheist world are hardly representative. In my opinion most religious folk try really hard NOT to think about such things.

  2. ukdonjp said

    Fair point.

    And it would be fair to say the second link is a better post.

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