Despite my regular trashing of religion in general (and fundamentalism in particular) on these pages, I’ve long held that things are getting better in this regard, at large. And to contrast that with the advance of collectivism, there is at least some cause for celebration of the fact that strong religious belief is on the wane for most people. While some might argue that the advance of statism is related to such a decline in fervent or dogmatic religious belief, I would counter that you don’t ultimately do good by promoting (convenient) falsehoods. And besides, giving up God in favor of "The Great Society" should probably be seen as a natural progression. It is the exchange of one false authority for another, but there’s a bright side. At least the State is real, and as such, cannot issue divine revelation to high priests, while at the same time, is not generally impervious to rational argument (though it might often seem so).
Some weeks back, I got an email from several sources touting the number of Jewish Nobel Prize laureates vs. those awarded to Muslims. It should be noted that of the nine "Muslims" (as compared to 178 Jews), one of the Muslims is Arafat, and three are actually Christians and not Muslim. It’s quite an interesting list, side-by-side like that, and, to me at least, raises quite a stir of implications. I recall that as early as 1991, I came to the conclusion that the Jewish religion is generally the most rational. For whatever reason, I observed, it does not seem to promote anti-intellectualism among its adherents to the extent that other religions seem to. I’m still not sure why.
What I also realised when I received that list is that I didn’t get a list — nor was I likely — comparing Born-Again Christian laureates to anyone else. You’re welcome to try, but I Googled all around and can’t find a single reference to a professed Born-Again Christian ever being awarded the prize in any category. Even if there are, it certainly can’t be a very large list, and I’d be surprised if it even topped the nine that the Muslims claim.
Implications…implications. Well, I didn’t create reality. I just observe it and report on it. I’ll tell you what, though: for a group that claims millions upon millions of adherents worldwide, yet no significant scientific contributions to humanity, I’d certainly think twice about ever allowing myself to be so labeled. And I hasten to point out that the guy sitting in the White house, possessing at least some ability to start a nuclear war, claims to be a "born-again" and believes that Jesus is Coming Again, Praise God. Sorry, but I find it impossible to not ridicule the ridiculous. If not moronic, then tell me; how does one go about describing such people who believe such lunacies?
There’s more. I’d heard about the recent Harris survey on the news, but hadn’t had a chance to look into it. Really; you ought to go through that survey. I’m also gratified that they have separated out Born-Again Christians from the other religions, because at this point, it really doesn’t go with anything else. It is, at best, a protestant sect. Moreover, it serves to really illustrate the moronic lunacy that I’ve been talking about, and am so often criticized for. You look at that survey and you tell me that, relatively speaking, we’re not dealing with a growing body of lunatics, and potentially dangerous ones at that. Just tell me we’re not, that’s there’s nothing to be concerned about. The others? I don’t care about them. They’re silly, misguided perhaps, but not dangerous to me or anyone.