Michael Battalio

Friday, October 18, 2013

This I Believe (part 22):

        After about four years it is time for a revisit of my “This I Believe” series. As before, I’m still having trouble defining exactly what it is I prescribe to as a worldview. I hope to figure some of what I believe here. Now a revisit on        

Previously in this series I began with a revisit on where I am in my beliefs, and I explain that I feel more and more disdain towards believers. I understand that many might be offended by that. Let me explain why I feel that way. It certainly isn’t because I intellectually look down on believers.

        The problem with disdaining people for something that ultimately makes them happy, which faith does for a lot of people, revolves around if they infringe on others.  That is, unfortunately, one of the fundamental tenants of most religions:  proselytization.  They believe it to be their job to make everyone just like them, and if others aren't like them then they are inferior, as in damned.  If evangelical Christians would just mind their own business instead of trying to coerce the government into enforcing their arcane beliefs I would have no problem with whatever they did to increase their happiness or general psychological wellbeing.  Unfortunately they believe their morals are the only good morals.  Therefore everyone else must be immoral compared to them, so they wield the law to enforce their ethics on others for the good of others.  To get back to the original point, I don't look down on people for believing in something bigger than they are; I look down on people who force their beliefs on others.  To continue, there are certain things that are true and some that aren't.  Proven science is true; no amount of appealing to religion will change that.  Denying proven science because of religion is absolutely deluded and disdainful because the consequences of proliferating scientific ignorance absolutely infringe on society and thusly on me personally.  To clarify, I'm not trying to invent a religion around the "truth" or science, I'm just saying that willful ignorance is disdainful.  If you can't be happy at least acknowledging the truth of existence, why bother living?  If you believe something which conflicts with observable knowledge how can you still you still believe? That’s willful ignorance; that’s disdainful. I cannot respect that. I cannot come to terms with that.  Clearly though, some people can.

2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)