Monday, May 25, 2015
Religion and Science
When I take those “What Religion Are You” tests I always end up being a Reformed Jew or Liberal Quaker (Friends). Yet, I was raised a Southern Baptist, which is down in the bottom left.
The point here is that religion is not the problem after all, since there are plenty of religious groups that support environmental regulations and believe in evolution.
What this issue is really about is conservatism versus progressivism. Now, again, there’s nothing wrong with being a conservative. Gosh knows, we need a few of them to balance out the liberal extremists. And, I’m guessing there has ALWAYS been a conservative/liberal division.
Not to offend anyone, but conservatives are the defender of the status quo and resist change. They like things the way they are, no matter how awful things are. They just rationalize it. All through history it’s the progressives that have accomplished positive change in the world.
I’m guessing there’s some correlation with education level as well. If you’re highly educated you’re more likely to be labeled a “stinkin’ liberal.”
In the United States there are lots of conservative people. No one can control the family or “tribe” they are born into, so I certainly don’t judge anyone for their conservatism. That’s just the way they are wired, programmed, created, or whatever.
Conservative control of government and our society’s power structures may very well cause the end of our species and planet. But, these folks just got it from their parents, primarily, and there is not a mechanism inside them questions. Yeah, that’s a nice way of saying, “no critical thinking skills.” Of course it’s possible to live in a fish for three days.
I used to think I was a conservative, but even as a kid I always enjoyed listening to another person’s viewpoint. I always liked questioning and learning. I became a journalist and then an editor, and was always a Curious George or Charles Dickens, walking around and exploring, and learning everything I could. This didn’t make me a good conservative, so I flipped sides in 1997. Not that I was wishy-washy. I was just a liberal locked in a conservative’s body.
Anyway, back to the point. Ahhh, what was the point? Oh, yeah. The point is that we have to get all the bubbles on the chart to the top right, or else we gotta pop them. Or, I can just join the Buddhists, New Agers, Atheists, Agnostics, Quakers, Liberals, and Reformed Jews, and push for positive change. The folks at the bottom corner are the anchor that’s dragging along the sea floor. We progressive liberals just have to row harder, despite the drag and added weight. We can do it. Why? Because that’s how we are wired. We are wired to make an actual difference in the world, instead of scaring people with ancient goat herder stories. Not that I don’t enjoy those stories, it’s just that they are not real.
Okay, now I will wander back in the desert. I’ve said enough.
Credit: Josh Rosenau/National Center for Science Education.