A Single Standard Is All We Need

You know, I really get sick and tired of accomodationists and their ilk acting like theism ought to get an exception to the standards we all live our lives by.  We have a single general standard by which science gets done and by which every single one of us survives every day.  Stated simplistically, that standard is “do not accept that for which there is no evidence”.  If we did not accept that standard, we couldn’t get through the day.  Try crossing the street and not knowing if there are invisible phantom cars just waiting to run you over.  You couldn’t do it.  Of course, there’s no evidence for these phantom cars, therefore we don’t believe in them, therefore they don’t affect our ability to do the things we need to do.

By the same token, we don’t try to make Thor happy so he doesn’t send storms to ruin our day, we don’t believe in unicorns or fairies or invisible, intangible gnomes that live on our shoulders.  Those that do believe these things are seen as delusional and need professional help.  There isn’t a single case of any possible belief I can think of where we shrug our shoulders and pretend we ought to let the delusional embrace their delusion.

Except religion.

And the accomodationists are very, very adamant about it too!  They claim that because we cannot prove that gods don’t exist with any degree of absolute certainty, that any belief goes, no matter how absurd.

But you know something?  I can’t prove that the guy on the street corner with his hand in his jacket, claiming to be Napoleon is wrong either, at least not to any degree of absolute certainty.  I’m sure, in his mind at least, he’s got a whole line of tortured logic that explains how he can be who he says he is and I’m sure, to him at least, it all makes perfect sense.  Yet we don’t give him a pass and tell everyone to leave him alone.  We gather these people up and put them in asylums and treat them psychologically because we know, based on the lack of evidence and the unreasonable nature of their claims, that they’re delusional.

It wouldn’t matter if 80% of the world’s population thought they were Napoleon, they’d still be wrong.  It also doesn’t matter how many of them derive some sort of comfort from their belief, it continues to be factually incorrect.  This is something I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet arguing against.

Yet they do with religion.

But wait, they argue, these people have “evidence” for these things.  Not objective evidence, certainly, but their own internal brand of woo that they’ve wrapped around their god-shaped mold to justify their accepting something that they cannot otherwise demonstrate.  Again, however, the guy who thinks he’s Napoleon probably has good justification, at least internally, for his beliefs.  Single standards people, that’s all we need.

We have a standard.  It’s a good standard.  It’s a tested standard.  It leads to a better understanding of the universe around us and our place within it.  It works across the board.  It’s a standard that every one of us, without exception, uses.  Because it works so well, why should we make exceptions to the standard just because some people get uncomfortable with it?

Where this really starts to get absurd is when you realize that, for all of the unreasonable, irrational things you’ve ever heard of that you can’t prove with absolute certainty aren’t true, what about all the things you’ve never heard of that you might not be able to prove aren’t true?  There’s a potentially infinite number of things that could be true, in the extreme realm of possibilities, that you’ve never even entertained.  Invisible brain-sucking flies!  Camouflaged sinkholes that open up under our feet at random!  You might as well just stay in bed, except for the fact that your bed might, in reality, be the mouth for an extra-dimensional aardvark that could decide to eat you for lunch.

The latest ridiculous idea is that nobody is actually required to accept any standards, they can all make their own standards for whatever they want and damn it, everyone better accept it.  After all, they never agreed to the standards in the first place, who says they have to be logical or rational?  Why can’t they pick and choose what standards they apply to what parts of their lives?

Sorry, the second someone tries that, I give up.  Some people are just too stupid to live and those people are, almost without exception, accomodationists.

1 thought on “A Single Standard Is All We Need

  1. Finally someone that gets this! I can't tell you how much it annoys me when people identify themselves as agnostic and definitely NOT atheist (even though they hold no theist beliefs). And it's all because they say they can't know one way or another. Give me a break.

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