Superstition that takes your breath away

July 12, 2011

This is the astonishing sort of statement that makes P. Z. Myers in his crabbiest modes of atheism look completely calm and cool in his rationalism.

Our old authoritarian, anti-discussion friend Neil Simpson said:

As a Christian, I scoff at superstitions.  I leave those to non-believers.

Yeah, the same Neil Simpson who holds superstitious convictions that evolution is wrong, warming doesn’t occur and CO2 can’t be a greenhouse gas, etc., etc.  Check out his blog — is there any statement he makes that is not based in superstition?

He’ll probably argue that he has proof of Jesus, so what Jesus would have called faith, Simpson will call evidence-based views.

How can someone practice the faith when they deny it’s faith?  Aye, there’s a huge problem for Christianity these days.



superstition   [soo-per-stish-uhn] – noun
1.  a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2.  a system or collection of such beliefs.
3.  a custom or act based on such a belief.


relgion  [ri-lij-uhn] – noun
1.  a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.  a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.  the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.


Update:  At Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton finds the statement laughable, too.  As always, more comments at the more-trafficked sites.

Edisonian lightism, or the Bible: Teach the controversy!

August 30, 2010

Sensuous Curmudgeon sets the agenda for the Utah and Louisiana legislatures with the discovery that Edison’s “theory of lightism” threatens religious instruction.

Lightism is just a theory — an atheistic belief based on arbitrary presuppositions. No one has ever seen a so-called “electron,” and no one really knows what causes light bulbs to function as they do.

In an incredible, Sisyphean effort, he pushes it uphill from there.  Seriously.  Go read.

Partisan says get a grip, stop religious violence; Rod Dreher disagrees (?!)

August 3, 2008

Context means a lot.

At a religious service on a state college campus, a congregant violated etiquette at communion. Some reports noted that sect members bullied the congregant on the spot. The congregant fled the service, according to some reports. An advocacy group for the religious sect demanded apologies, legal action, and ostracism for the congregant. Threats of violence against the congregant started rolling in. The congregent was told he will be murdered.

A professor at a good, small midwestern state college used his pen to urge calm among the sect’s members. Threats of violence are foolish, he says. Calm down, he said.

The professor tried to put things in perspective: Threatening murder for a violation of communion etiquette is beyond the pale, one of the dangers of violent religious sects. Such actions are the opposite of American tradition.

But then the prof took a step farther: This religious sect is functioning on superstition, he said. He said the superstition can be exposed, and he would use his skeptical powers to expose the superstition, to show everyone that threats of death on such issues are unwise, unnecessary, and to be avoided.

Rod Dreher, who last week complained in his column about the lasting damage that bullies can do to kids in schools, weighed in on the communion/death threats matter with a column this week in the Dallas Morning News.

How did Dreher weigh in?

A. He calls for an end to bullying, and urges calm.
B. He says religious wars started this way, and he urges calm.
C. He calls for an end to bullying, but urges the professor to lay off debunking the religion.
D. He calls the professor hateful, and supports the side that issued the death threats.

See below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

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