23 March 2014

Religion stifles curiosity

Ed Brayton wrote a nice short post about the execrable Jim Inhofe, an American Republicant Senator.  There's a key point that I think is worth focusing on in that post: that religion stifles curiosity.

Here's the key passage.  Brayton writes:
You see the problem. Inhofe is advocating a policy of recklessly and presumptuously endangering, not just his own personal life, but the entire frickin planet—at least as a human-habitable zone. Sure, he can quote a promise in Genesis that offers some kind of implicit guarantee that God will supernaturally prevent us from any negative consequences of our irresponsible behavior. When those consequences arrive anyway, however, the very well-established precedent is that God is off the hook. If there are catastrophic climate changes, if countless numbers are uprooted and their property and livelihoods destroyed, that doesn’t mean the Genesis promise failed (at least, not to Christian thinking). It just serves us right for putting God to the test by demanding that He supernaturally protect us from the clear and inevitable consequences of our own misdeeds.
It is bad, in the view of the religulous, to question God.  But God doesn't speak to everyone, so it is also bad to question those who claim insight into God.  This includes religious leaders, obviously; but also those politicians who have ingratiated themselves to (read: bent over for) the religulously inclined.  Basically, Inhofe is claiming that since he has God on his side, he doesn't really need to justify himself and it's unacceptable to question him.

We all know that politics is a reflection (albeit not a particularly good one) of the society in which said politics happens.  The reflection forms a feedback loop between government and the citizenry. One can and should expect, in Inhofe's case, that the unquestioning subjugation of human curiosity to God's will, will spread from politics into other aspects of everyday life.

And that would be very, very bad.

The worst thing about it, I think, is that the religious moderates seem to continue to remain silent on this matter.  And silence gives consent.

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