Media, Politics

Faith-based Segregation

04.20.08 | 2 Comments

The new segregation based upon fact-based vs. faith-based belief

Let’s start this entry by stating clearly and bluntly that I am biased. I view all faith-based belief systems as dangerous delusional control methods often used to the detriment of mankind. People are free to believe whatever they want, but faith-based belief is best kept to non-essential areas and generally, I believe we would all be better served if we used our own minds and judgment a little more and our faith a little less.

It seems every time I read the news there is a new article on how godless heathens are threatening the very fabric of our civilization by advancing these fantastical theories “based on science” instead of dogmatically accepting a series of myths compiled by our ancestors 1,700 years ago. Yes, that’s the right timeline, because it’s when the the Roman rulers embraced Christianity and determined which myths were to be included in the bible and which were not worthy (the Council of Nicea in 325 CE.) This effectively created the root of the modern day Christian bible and beliefs (Nicean Creed) making religion a more consistent tool for governance of the populace.

Yesterday, I read a truly awful series of reviews on the current mockumentary (ala Michael Moore) called Expelled. Former game show host Ben Stein is advancing the notion that Creationists advancing the Intelligent Design argument in academia are being excluded from consideration and discriminated against by their peers and their institutions for their beliefs. While the movie is, without a doubt, a gigantic load of biased horse hockey; but Stein has a point, those so called scientists are rightly being laughed out of positions of power and influence.

Why? Because they are advancing a fiction that is neither structured as a theory nor advancing any alternative that can be tested by established methods. When people in positions of power and influence make it known that they are advancing faith-based beliefs rather than fact-based, testable theories, it demonstrates a lack of judgment and understanding of the core principals of science. This results in credibility defecit and ultimately, their exclusion from the process.

Think of it this way, you’re sick. Say you have syphilis. The first stages are nasty (lesions and such) and then it “goes away” – but it doesn’t really, it’s still in your body invisibly attacking your internal organs and will eventually kill you unless diagnosed and treated. And if detected late in the process, the disease can be wiped out, but the damage done to that point is permanent. It was common practice in the not so distant past to be able to go “men’s doctors” who would provide some useless home remedy to “cure” syphilis. Due to the behavior of the disease, carriers would believe that the disease was cured when the early symptoms disappeared and would carry on infecting others and ultimately becoming fatal victims of an undiagnosed and untreated case of syphilis.

Syphilis is a disease that can be cured completely when diagnosed early and addressed with antibiotics as any first year medical student knows. Should then, the “men’s doctors” who were treating this disease be admitted into the medical fraternity because they claim treatment and cure of the disease? If you were infected and then given a choice, which medical care would you opt to receive?

Fact-based belief systems are pretty useful, have saved many lives, and have resulted in the Earth being able to support 6+ billion human beings. Such rational approaches to everyday problems yield results no matter what one’s religious affiliation may be. Faith-based belief systems are best employed in areas where they can do no harm, and arguably, sticking to creation stories isn’t a bad application of the system because no one knows for sure how the universe began, it doesn’t matter if the event was 6,000 years ago as advanced by creationists or 14 billion years ago if you subscribe to the big bang theory. Regardless of what’s “correct”, little harm can result from the debate, unlike the treatment of diseases and debate over who’s worthy to govern by making them the most faithful to an outdated and ancient series of myths.

I know and respect many people who have deeply held faith and convictions who are intelligent and rational people. They’ve found a way to reconcile their faith-based belief systems with the world around them. They are not all ignorant, Confederate flag flying, Nascar fans who are missing teeth and vote Republican because of god and guns. They are complex people, by and large, who often subscribe to the hopeful part of the messages of faith and religion and behave in very civilized, kind, caring, and consistent ways. But, even with their deeply held faith, because they are rational people, they do tend to reap the benefits of fact-based belief systems in the professional and personal lives and again, ultimately find a way to reconcile the contradictions that arise from their faith.

People like Brent Bozell are really part of the problem, they simplify this debate as liberal vs. conservative and faithful vs. heathens using propaganda as a means to “win” the great debate and prove that their position is “right.” Good luck with that. The thing that is most galling is to see characters like Stein advance ideas like Darwinism (natural selection in particular) is responsible for the Holocaust, as is depicted in the movie Expelled.

If Stein had done one bit of homework on the subject, he would have known that Hitler was a Catholic (cited by John Toland, Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p. 507 ISBN 0-385-42053-6.) who used religion as a tool in the persecution of Jews among others going even so far as to put the phrase “God With Us” as a basic part of the SS uniform. That’s right, while it’s often advanced that Hitler was atheist, he was, in fact, a Catholic. Admittedly, the kind of Catholic that makes anyone weep and certainly not the kind of person you would want associated with your clique or belief system.

Evil is one of those things that will use any tool (religion, scientific theory, etc.) as a means to accomplish its goal. Too bad we’re allowing the present day evils to hijack faith-based belief systems as their tool of preference, again, to advance their agenda of hate and division. Regardless of one’s religious position, fact-based belief systems are pretty handy tools to be able to separate the facts from the myths and make decisions about how to proceed. We might find that we advance a bit in humanity if we use our heads a little more and our faith a little less. If we keep to our present path we may find ourselves in a society where there is an enforced faith-based segregation.

Meanwhile, shame on you Ben Stein, and shame on you Brent Bozell, you’re both carriers of a disease that seems to have no cure.