Thursday, April 08, 2010

The brain gap

Preceeding this year's Mid-American Regional Astrophyisics Conference, I decided to take a trip down to Springfield, MO to visit a few friends I have down there I haven't seen in 5 years. I forgot to put my CDs in the car this time so, for almost the entire drive, I was forced to listen to country radio stations. Within one hour, I found at least segments of programming that highlight some of my main issues with religion.

The first was a program for “Christian women” which was essentially a segment on anti-feminism; Be subservient to your husband kinda things. That alone is enough to irk me pretty well, but heaped on top of that, the host (a woman herself) then made comments about how, unless you followed Biblical rules and were such a woman, you weren't a “real” woman or a good woman. She claimed that, unless a woman did this, she could never be fulfilled and every endeavor of hers would be subject to failure.

Many people claim that religion is not falsifiable, but comments like this are easily testable. I think I know a few good women who are not “with Christ” that are fulfilled in ways the host will never be.

Another program was on a spiritual method of investigating how “God is acting in your life.” The way it works is a person will keep a journal, noting the high points and low points of their day. Then, after some time, they should look back over it and try to discover how God was helping them in their life.

Holy confirmation bias, Batman!

This is just the sort of sloppy thinking that pisses me off. Any other practice that would suggest throwing basic logic out the window and encouraged this sort of retroactive interpretation based on... oh, no evidence would just be laughed at outright. But in religion, it's considered deep and intelligent.

The last topic was on more of a conservative talk news. The big topic right now is Obama not unilaterally supporting Israel in their desire to do new building in contested territory.

I'm not going to pretend for an instant I'm knowledgeable enough to weigh in on the base situation. But for the way the argument was made on this program, I really don't need to, to realize there was something seriously insane about the approach the commentators were taking. The entire argument was that Israel is our ally, thus we must support them no.matter.what.


I don't know what's going on with the situation and openly admit that it needs a careful look to really decide whether it should be supported or not, but the point is, it needs a look. We don't blindly charge in with support without checking to make sure our allies are still acting in good faith and in manners of deserving to be our allies.

Instead of daring to question and actually analyze, the commentators simply said that “we should follow Israel no matter what because the Bible says so and any nation that's gone against them historically, hasn't fared too well.”

Really? We shouldn't choose our allies based on actual thinking and the good of international peace, but instead because God commands it.... when we're a secular nation?

Again, religious non-thinking is leaking into places that take religion out of the realm of being just silly and closer to being dangerous on an international level.


Wayne said...

"I think I know a few good women who are not “with Christ” that are fulfilled in ways the host will never be."

I'm sorry, but how is it that you know how fulfilled the host is? I understand that you disagree with the host, but your argument is pretty weak, and I hope you're not saying that those people shouldn't be able to say whatever they want short of inciting violence etc.

Jon Voisey said...

The position of the host explicitly prevents her from being fulfilled in certain regards. For example: By being a subservient woman, it prevents a woman from being self empowered. Thus, by her very position, she could never be fulfilled in that regard. As such, my statement that I know women who would be fulfilled in ways that the host cannot be (thanks her her position) is accurate.

I've never said that people shouldn't be allowed to say whatever they want. In fact, I think they should be allowed to. The more they open their mouths, the dumber they make themselves look.

The issue I have with her speech is that the host placed subjective judgments of how good a woman is by ridiculous standards. When she preaches this to others, it creates institutionalized self-superiority for no sane reason. This is a problem and she should be called on it.

Chet Twarog said...

Hey, now, anyways, if they want to go by biblical "laws" why not just live biblically like the culture did two thousand years ago; like the Amish do? Why not scrape all modern technologies?
Anyways, reality check, all those so-called sayings of "JC" in the Gospels were not spoken by "JC" but are writings of those unknown gentile-christian evangelicals who wrote them. There was no "JC".
So that woman with "Christ" is actually herself with oxycotin brain surges--there's only you in your own mind.