Irrational and proud of it

10 05 2008

Ben Stein on science:

Anyway, I couldn’t give a [profanity] whether a person calls himself a scientist. It doesn’t earn any extra respect from me, because it’s not as if science has covered itself with glory, morally, in my time. Scientists were the people in Germany telling Hitler that it was a good idea to kill all the Jews. Scientists were telling Stalin it was a good idea to wipe out the middle-class peasants. Scientists were telling Mao Tse-Tung it was fine to kill 50 million people in order to further the revolution. [Via Memeplex]

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor on reason:

if you go just by reason, I think, without faith, without belief in God, you can imagine, for instance in the last century, some of the faith(less), or supposedly faithless societies – people, whether it’s like Hitler or Stalin, bringing up – having a country in which, if you like, a God free zone, a dictatorship ruled by reason, and where does it lead? To terror and oppression [Richard Dawkins.net]

Regarding the second quote, Richard Dawkins remarked that while the use of the reductio ad Hitlerum against science is commonplace, “this is the first time I have heard any reputable spokesman (a) say that Hitler and Stalin’s dictatorships were ruled by reason, and (b) say that reason leads to terror and oppression.”

Further reading: Memeplex and Terry Sanderson at <i>The Guardian</i>.

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Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XI

14 04 2008

The week in fundie . . .

  1. A Turkish barber in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to death for blasphemy. (Today’s Zaman)
  2. If you attack Ben Stein over his role in Expelled, it must be because he’s Jewish. (Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
  3. A Pentecostal bishop in the UK, who headed an organisation known as the “Christian Congress for Traditional Values” and who describes gays as “filthy perverts” and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists as “foul heathens,” has resigned after admitting to an extra-marital affair. (Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
  4. Catch the Fire Ministries is still shilling for the Liberal Party (and is not above Aborigine-bashing as well).
  5. Catholitopia: update on the construction of Ave Maria, Florida. (Telegraph)
  6. From one fundie utopia to another: the raid on the west Texas ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sparked by a phone call for help by a 16-year old girl who had been beaten and raped by her 50-year old husband. (via Pharyngula)