In a recent forum exchange, I started discussing rationality and how we ought to teach children, from a young age, how to think, how to reason and how to make rational decisions by examining evidence and using critical thinking skills. A theist popped up and started laughing, he couldn’t imagine anyone ever being rational and called the whole idea of anyone being a critical thinker irrational on it’s face. No wonder these people are so screwed up.
Unfortunately, I suspect that isn’t such an unusual view from the highly religious, who really don’t want a world where people can think and reason and be responsible for themselves, it does an unbelievable amount of damage to their religious worldview where they want to be totally reliant on an imaginary friend in the sky. The existence of a growing rational population is terrifying to the fundamentalist because it signals an end to their time at the head of the pack.
The Bible even says so, just look at the picture to the left.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
However, whether they like it or not, their time is coming to an end. We live in an increasingly technically-oriented and well-educated society (if you avoid Texas, that is) and as people become more educated, the studies clearly show, they tend to become less religious. As people are able to look at the world around them and make determinations based on the evidence, they have less of a need to rely on religious dictates and books of mythology for their answers.
It won’t be too many more generations that the religious will have the ability to negatively impact the intellectual lives of those around them. Maybe it’s irrational to think that the religious can be rational-minded with regard to their religions, but it certainly isn’t irrational to think that we can, and should, educate our children in all public schools to think critically and intellectually about the world around them and that should hasten the demise of religion, especially fundamentalist religion, around the world.
I can’t wait. Can you?