Sunday, October 28, 2007
Religion is boring
(Cross posted at God is for Suckers!)
I've gotten used to the idea that every day when I wake up, there will be a few new posts criticizing Christianity, theism, or religion in general at Debunking Christianity. And every two weeks, there's another Carnival of the Godless, with more posts along those lines than I can find time to read. At one point in my blogging career, such things seemed natural. However, I've come to wonder how people can do it. The thing is, just as I once threw up my hands and said how boring pseudoscience is, I have come to the conclusion that religion, too, is profoundly boring.
I cannot bring myself to care much about the blatherings of Dinesh D'Souza (so ably dissected at Pharyngula and God is for Suckers!). Idiocy and ignorance aren't news, folks. It's a snooze fest.
Or, consider this recent piece by Chuck Colson. This piece is a bit special for me, because I found it linked by Vic Reppert when I decided to pick up reading his blog again. I did so having vague memories that Reppert was worth reading, because he had a Ph.D. in philosophy and was sensitive to some of the weaknesses in his religious position. Colson, himself, is a big-shot Evangelical, politically influential and the author of a book on Christian apologetics. Yet what do I find? Basically, Colson's argument is that two atheists had an exchange where they took atheism for granted, and therefore atheism is a faith position. Even without having read the articles Colson is referring to, it's easy to see where he's going wrong: winning people to atheism wasn't their purpose, their purpose was to have an intramurral discussion of an issue that arises if you're an atheist. In this case, it isn't even that Colson needs to have someone who understands the issues to show him how ridiculous his beliefs are. It isn't even that he needs some basic training in critical thinking or science or history. It's more like Colson needs remedial reading comprehension classes. Did this guy go to college? If so, how on earth did he get an admittable score on his verbal SAT?
Faced with such formidable intellectual opposition to Colson, I must struggle with all my might to avoid falling asleep. This doesn't mean I'm giving up writing about religion. I do, for example, regard it as my duty to fight against the waves of misinformation that orthodox believers have been vigorously churning out to keep their flock (their word, not mine) deceived. But it is duty only--born of desire to do some good in the world and realization that this is an area where my skills are most suited to helping out. The excitement, however, is gone.