Monday, October 03, 2005

The Dangers of Going with God

And I mean dangers. The LA Times reports on a "study" that 'looks at the correlation between levels of "popular religiosity" and various "quantifiable societal health" indicators in 18 prosperous democracies'. And it entitles it, "The dark side of faith." The problem it seems, though, is faith itself.
He found that the most religious democracies exhibited substantially higher degrees of social dysfunction than societies with larger percentages of atheists and agnostics.

Indeed. Go read the whole thing to get the full vomitous effect. But here's what the editor's (not the study's, the newspaper's) conclusion comes down to:
My prediction is that right-wing evangelicals will do their best to discredit Paul's substantive findings. But when they fail, they'll just shrug: So what if highly religious societies have more murders and disease than less religious societies? Remember the trials of Job? God likes to test the faithful.
To the truly nonrational, even evidence that on its face undermines your beliefs can be twisted to support them. Absolutism means never having to say you're sorry.

Red-stater Christians love to murder and spread disease. Got it.

Luckily for my sanity, today I also ran across this story about a man who might have earned the title "great".
Rutherford Aris is a scientist of dazzling brilliance -- a chemical engineer whose mathematical models revolutionized his field -- and a deeply devout Christian.

..."He prayed with me, opened his home to me and showed me the compatibility of faith and reason," Lauffenburger said. Aris' ideal was the servant leader of 1 Corinthians 9:19: "So though I am not the slave of any man, I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could."

..."He left his mark on us and cast his shadow on us in an almost haunting way."

Go read the whole thing to get the full restored-faith-in-humanity effect.

No comments: