Thursday, April 30, 2009

Defending the undefendable

I always wonder how people would defend their positions on issues in which science conflicts with religion, if they were to admit that they were wrong. For example, if some god appears to me tomorrow and tells me that it made everything and that I should stop believing in what science says, then after I change my beliefs, I would have no problem defending my previous position like this:

"Well, the evidence pointed in that direction, and the best I could do was to use my reasoning ability to make sense of what facts I saw around me. I was wrong, and my reasoning failed me."

But what defence could the religious fundamentalists offer for their beliefs if they were forced to concede to scientific knowledge? How could they defend their position, which was to ignore all the facts around us, to ignore the opinions of the most brilliant minds in the world who study these issues, to ignore what all experiments tell us to be true, and to put their faith (in the Bible's case) in an absurdly-vague book written by ignorant barbarians, thousands of years ago, and who were no better than the Taliban are today? How could they possibly defend that level of insane stupidity and willful ignorance, except to come out and say:

"I was an insanely stupid and willfully ignorant person."

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