Salon, Jeffrey Tayler: Religious delusions are destroying us: “Nothing more than man-made contrivances of domination and submission”. Subtitle: “We managed a year of Charlie Hebdo, Franklin Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Duggar and more creationism. To sanity in 2016”
An unfortunately familiar review of 2015. I found this paragraph echoing one of my little essays here:
We need to stress the indignity of religion. Superstitions ordaining us to submit to God are the enemies of human dignity. That God is wholly imaginary only compounds this indignity. Coddling the religiously deluded by showing “respect” for the undignified shams to which they are attached (denouncers of “Islamophobia” take note!) drags out the misery they impose on themselves and on the rest of us. In contrast to religious folk, we nonbelievers know how to live free and should never hesitate to point this out. Religion and freedom are incompatible. In fact, religion and true adulthood can’t coexist. One who shies away from bleak facts surrounding our time on Earth is really a child, no matter his or her age.
I might be inclined to revise my version, given an increased appreciation for the way human beings do, in fact, live and thrive despite having delusional ideas about the nature of reality; to a large extent, the nature of reality is irrelevant to human prosperity. Clearly, most people do become functional adults, whatever their religious or supernatural beliefs. My point is that there is a greater, dare I say higher, state of awareness that is possible, a potential that the majority of people never realize or even aspire to: the awareness of the actual nature of reality, that is of humanity’s tiny place within it, and an attendant awareness of how human nature works without presuming that the rest of the entire universe operates on the same principles. That’s what I mean by “active consciousness”, though it might as well be called “meta-awareness” or somesuch, and it is a state currently appreciated mostly by, I would think, scientists, and perhaps by a fair number of science fiction authors and readers.
Note, in Tayler’s essay, that he mentions several significant books of the past year, including Jerry Coyne’s brilliant Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible (which I took extensive notes on, but never did summarize on this blog), and David Silverman’s (to me problematic) Fighting God, which I just reviewed.