Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Of obsession with fiction and the reason behind it
I have been musing, as I often do, on the topic of people's obsession with religious fiction. Whenever you ask a feligious fanatic/fundamentalist and even more moderate believers to prove some part of their faith, the answer is often the same: "Because the bible/Al-Qur’ān/talmud says so and it is the inerrant word of allah/jehovah/god/etc". They take their preferred bit of fiction as fact whithout a moment of doubt in its veracity. Now consider for a moment how these people would react to someone publishing a book with the premise of the world being created by the Q continuum. I'm sure they would see it as pure fiction and nothing more. Why is it then that they don't see their respective holy books as the fiction they are? The reason that comes more easily to mind is indoctrination. I have mentioned before that I find the idea of religious "education" of children as a truly contemptible one, as it is forcing one's beliefs over someone else, worse even, someone else incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction and taking the dogma he or she is being fed, as truth. Furthermore, in the case of the bible (and I'm almost sure it applies to other holy books as well), the belief of its inerrancy is so deeply ingrained that those indoctrinated doublethink their way out of its obvious contradictions. The fact that dogma can supress reason in such a manner is utterly apalling. Not to mention the sheer power of indoctrination (Take a look at Richard Dawkins' Root of all Evil p.2 for a wider view on that one). The point here being the disservice religious education does to humanity in general, converting people into absolute irrationality. That's why I think that religious education should be illegal, just like drinking or smoking, for minors.