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    The Will to Create

    Entries in irrationality (2)


    Getting real about religious irrationality

    I wrote about this recently as it related to the hokey threat from an ignorant Florida preacher that he was going to burn Korans, but the more we hear about the reactions from Muslims and read reports like the one linked above, we have to ask why so many American intellectuals aren't condemning the religious irratonality coming from a large portion of the Islamic faithful around the world.

    For decades, American intellectuals have rightly called many fundamentalist Christians like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson on their irrationality, bigoted comments and beliefs, and just plain ignorance, but intellectuals in America, especially on the left, are going in the other direction with Islam -- they selectively choose moderate Islamists who appear rational when quoted, but ignore the overwhelming evidence that much of Islam is stuck in an ignorant mindset which is harmful to women, gays, anyone who doesn't believe as they believe and freedom in general.

    This reluctance of American intellectuals to call the Islamist faith on its worst practices and beliefs is intellectually dishonest and cowardly. Just about all the news reports on the 9/11 remembrance is couched in dire warnings about Islamophobia -- but hardly anything is written about why the ideas held by many, many Muslims around the word should be feared, condemned and rejected. In the above article, if this gay individual was being threatened with reprisals for being gay and having a Jewish fiend by the officials of an American state, there would be such an uproar and righteous indignation that  Federal investigators and the media would be falling over one another to get to the state bigots involved.


    Religion and irrationality

    Perhaps we've lost sight of the damage which can be caused by irrationality. So many crazy, nonsensical ideas have been entertained in our culture, I suppose rationality and reason are no longer valued as highly as they once were, but surely we still understand that truth, facts, logic, reason, science and logic are important to our survival.

    Religion has been criticized for its irrational aspects, such as burning "witches" and stoning women for committing adultery. Christianity was forced by the Enlightenment to reconsider its irrational aspects and adjust to new information as superstition and madness were swept away by irrefutable findings and conclusions reached by logic and reason -- by freely exercising the human mind to sift through flaws in thinking which had held back progress and kept people in the bondage of ignorance.

    Islam is still going through that process, but it appears there's a long way to go, especially among fundamentalist Islamist. If the believers of this religion can't separate the dangerously irrational from the rational, can't separate their religion from government, and can't take any criticism or ignore their zaniest detractors, then there's a big problem. The current worldwide hoopla and grave warnings of reprisals against innocent people regarding a deranged preacher and his ignorant 50 followers in Florida reveals something very irrational and troubling. We don't need to burn the Koran, but if believers of Islam can't make more progress than this in the 21st century, maybe they need to burn it.