Thursday, November 06, 2014

The most dangerous idea in the world

I didn't think it would take long and I was right. The man in the picture is Archbishop Lewis Zeigler a Catholic clergyman in Monrovia (Liberia, Africa) He's on record as saying,

"one of the major transgressions against God for which he may be punishing Liberia [with Ebola] is the act of homosexuality,",

..and so it starts.

Since this pronouncement (and other religious twaddle like it), life for gay people in that country has become more difficult; people are already reporting violence against them and community leaders in some quarters are asking for the death penalty for homosexuals.

So, is "God" the most dangerous idea in the world? I don't think so. God is just a side-effect of conciousness, he is our earliest attempt at explaining the world before we discovered science. The idea I'm talking about is a much more unfalsifiable one, it's the idea that it's possible for certain "special" members of the tribe to know the mind of this unknowable universe mechanic; the idea that certain evolved apes are privy to revealed information that the rest of us are not. Spookily this "data" is almost always supportive of the confirmation biases of the in-group to whom the "special" people belong, it's invariably parochial and has it's foundation in ignorance, it's almost like they're just making it all up!

We only need read the daily torrent of stories like this from around the world to realise that it's time to relegate superstition and religion to history. So long, adieu and thanks for all the Gothic architecture; the long suffering minorities of the world deserve better. There are plenty of more tangible reasons to hate each other and there are also better ways we can motivate charitable behaviour and good morals, in fact, when you think about it, threats of extreme violence and psychological torture (in this world or the next) are rarely a good way of inspiring anything.

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