Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Religions are committing suicide

A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.
- Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer (1917- )

The proper response to such a strong opinion is that truth is nothing more than someone's opinion dressed in formal robes.

However, Clark's point is that when a religion retreats into a position of denial as it is faced with newly revealed facts, it damages its own reputation, likely beyond repair.

When we think of the word "dogma" we associate it with firmly held, maybe irrefutable, religious teaching. Most religions, other than modern humanist varieties, were founded in ancient times, based on many sources, over a long period of time and given the limitations of the respective authors of their holy books.

For a religion to claim that its holy books are the words of God, despite modern revelations that some of the facts within them are inaccurate or just plain personal opinion, makes at least some people doubt the value of the religion.

Faith is a marvellous and powerful thing. But when a religion claims that its followers must have faith in "the word of God" when evidence points to something different, it's time for the religion to change or for a reformed religion to arise.

We humans are still dreadfully ignorant about the world around us, even about ourselves. When we claim to be knowledgeable because our opinions come directly from God, we poison the drinking water, spoiling the way in which every one of us understands life.

Religion must accommodate provable facts or it is nothing better than the wishful thinking of those who would hold power over us.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to have religion prove it has a place in our lives by embracing truth.
Learn more at http://billallin.com/cgi/index.pl

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