Adventures in commentary

After watching The Atheist Experience #745 I had cause to leave this at their blog during a Big Bang discussion:

If the Big Bang Theory was ever discovered to be wrong or false and/or was superseded by evidence for an intelligent creator, that would still be a very long way from hard proof for some sect’s particular version of their god, or even for a supernatural creator at all.

Indeed, if evidence for a creator was ever discovered but didn’t quite spell out who or what the creator was, we on Earth would most probably have to suffer another two thousand years of fucking theists duking it out via jihad, inquisition and crusade over whose petty little god had actually done the creating and about what opinions it holds on anal sex, all the while dragging the rest of us hapless bastards along with them.

Hell, considering how much havoc they’ve managed to wreak since the Iron Age based on no evidence at all, just think how much carnage they’d be able to cause based on the tiniest little sniff of proof (as they’d interpret it) for their god-who-hates-as-they-do. Factor in modern weaponry and we might not have to wait 5 billion years for the sun to go nova and carbonise the Earth.

A scary prospect indeed. Theists managed to do quite enough damage with just swords and fire when they controlled the world; I shudder at the prospect of a 21st century fundie Crusader with nukes and hard-on for Armageddon. North Korea is scary enough and religion there is more or less confined to worshipping dead heads of state.

Of course I realise conquest and ultra-violence isn’t confined to religious crusaders; merciless yurt-dwelling lord of Asia Genghis Khan hardly has a reputation as a god-warrior and the formation and expansion of the British Empire was more or less ruthless and opportunistic exploitation of less technologically-advanced societies (though the side-effects of British missionary work – especially on children – are well-known enough not to require further discussion). But I’m sure you’d agree that if you were to magically remove the specifically religiously-justified instances of violence and repression from the history of the world, our world would be vastly different place. There are the obvious examples like the Islamic invasions of Europe and subsequent revenge Crusades and the Inquisitions and witch-hunts. Consider, though, the assaults on scientific inquiry and technology as exemplified by the Dark Ages (a more appropriate term for a religiously-dominated epoch I’ve never heard) and which continued until the Renaissance and the Enlightenment dragged humanity back towards looking at things and understanding them as they are, as best we can and not through God-goggles. Though not as obviously brutal and destructive to life and property as all-out war, the stifling of innocent inquiry has very probably had immeasurable negative effects on science and technology; on knowledge in general. The record of the Vatican alone in oppressing scientific inquiry is shameful and inexhaustible; we all know it took them them 400 years to apologise to Galileo, who committed the heinous sin of being right.

We’re still dealing with the same attitudes today, with fundamentalists across the globe railing against scientific facts as hard as they can, seemingly terrified that if children learn how things actually are, they’ll leave the faith of their parents in droves (which they already are, but not just because of science – lies, shame, bigotry and hatred also have the odd effect of turning people off your message). Thankfully they don’t have nearly as much power as they used to (not in the West anyway – unfortunately Islamic theocracies are all-too-common elsewhere and Christian brutality hasn’t been extinguished wholesale either); here’s hoping they never will and their influence, both on governments and children alike, continues to fade into insignificance. Where it belongs.

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