[asa] Look Who's Irrational Now

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Tue Sep 23 2008 - 21:50:19 EDT

Baylor has just released an extensive survey that I need to get hold of. For it tends to validate something that I have long suspected because of anecdote and a few other isolated surveys:

 

"From Hollywood to the academy, nonbelievers are convinced that a decline in traditional religious belief would lead to a smarter, more scientifically literate and even more civilized populace.

 

The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.

 

"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians."

 

From:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html

 

Also, this is good:

 

"On Oct. 3, Mr. Maher debuts "Religulous," his documentary that attacks religious belief. He talks to Hasidic scholars, Jews for Jesus, Muslims, polygamists, Satanists, creationists, and even Rael -- prophet of the Raelians -- before telling viewers: "The plain fact is religion must die for man to live."

 

But it turns out that the late-night comic is no icon of rationality himself. In fact, he is a fervent advocate of pseudoscience. The night before his performance on Conan O'Brien, Mr. Maher told David Letterman -- a quintuple bypass survivor -- to stop taking the pills that his doctor had prescribed for him. He proudly stated that he didn't accept Western medicine. On his HBO show in 2005, Mr. Maher said: "I don't believe in vaccination. . . . Another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur [germ] theory." He has told CNN's Larry King that he won't take aspirin because he believes it is lethal and that he doesn't even believe the Salk vaccine eradicated polio.

 

Anti-religionists such as Mr. Maher bring to mind the assertion of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown character that all atheists, secularists, humanists and rationalists are susceptible to superstition: "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are.""

 

 

I especially like this one because it reminds me of a leading New Atheist who also flirts with reincarnation and is a mystic - Sam Harris.

- Mike Gene

 

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Received on Tue Sep 23 21:50:45 2008

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