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People Still Take Superstition Seriously


Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

People Still Take Superstition Seriously

Catherine Thurtle : C.L.Thurtle@exeter.ac.uk : 2000-12-20

What a great site! I’m studying Philosophy and Politics and Exeter Uni in England and find it so refreshing to find someone of the same thinking. It’s amusing to think that even after thousands of years of evolution, people still take superstition seriously and live inauthentically through blind faith without any sort of rational thought. I understand completely why you are so anti religious, I hate seeing the ignorance and prejudice of people’s moral judgements when they are based on the irrational beliefs of an objective religion.

It depends what you were taught when you were two years old. It is very hard to accept any new information that conflicts with that baseline set of beliefs. I am atheist primarily because I was raised atheist. I find very little conflict with my beliefs and what I learn in science. I wonder how people who were raised as Biblical inerrantists deal mentally with this overwhelming amount of scientific observation that flatly contradicts their fundamental assumptions. They must have to assume all scientists are liars. They would have to distrust their own eyes when scientists show them how to perform simple experiments for themselves.

You may find David Hume, Enquiries concerning Human Understanding or John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, very interesting if you haven’t done so before. However I feel we must always keep an open mind and constantly be willing to debate and discuss, as: A man that knows little of his opponent’s argument knows little of his own. (or something like that). But I think you have been extremely good at tackling your critics fairly. I hope I haven’t sounded pretentious :(

Mill was very influential in my early gay lib years. I think he gave me the moral backbone to stand up against the Christians. I have not yet explored Hume. I have a more open mind than you might first guess by reading just my Combating Kristianity essay. Have a look at my essays on my many worlds philosophy, the real god, is there a god and CCism.

Just an added point you may find interesting: just because something is natural doesn’t make it right. There are many things that are natural in this world that are wrong, such as that it is natural for a 9 year old girl to have a baby, or violence and rape. When someone talks of something being natural they assume a moral implication when there are none, it is a simple statement. I’d say morality is about harm and welfare. I’d apply this to homosexuals, I don’t think it is necessary to argue if it is natural or not, but whether it is harming anyone? No, it is causing happiness for the two people involved (assuming that they are consenting adults).

Fundamentalists thunder against my right to pick the gender of my lover saying choosing a male is unnatural, meaning it does not occur in nature. I like to point out how that notion is incorrect both for humans and other species. It is quite common. Granted, both eating and rape are also common in the animal kingdom, which has little bearing on whether they are morally acceptable for humans. Caring for the sick and laying land mines are activities rarely engaged in by other species. Again this has little bearing on how morally acceptable they are for humans. I agree, the fundamentalist assertion about homosexuality is both erroneous and irrelevant. There is a temptation to leave it at erroneous, hoping that the fundamentalist will be improperly persuaded by the refutation of his own fallacious assertion. On the other hand, any behaviour common in the animal kingdom is unlikely to be highly detrimental to the species.


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