Blair, religion and superstition

by David on December 28, 2006

When Blair was challenged about the faith school in the North-East of England, Emmanuel College, which happily supported fundamentalist evangelicals and young-earth creationists, he said that diversity was necessary in education. That’s such a dumbfounding response that it’s difficult to understand that Blair really did seem to be supporting the teaching of nonsense (that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old) as if stupidity and sense needed equal curriculum time.

He’s now said, The Koran is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. Blair himself is an Anglo-Catholic and is married to a Catholic. So here’s my question, to Muslims or Christians: how is your faith not superstition?

Hume argued that superstition and fanaticism are the sources, or causes, of religion. Time for a definition.

Superstition:
a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
a system or collection of such beliefs.
a custom or act based on such a belief.
irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, esp. in connection with religion.
any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Surely, religion is superstition, especially to someone who’s not of a particular religion. As Blair isn’t a Muslim, how can he say Islam abhors superstition? According to the dictionary definition, for a Christian any other faith is just superstition.

9 comments

Him?

As in, your god has X Him?

As in, your god has X and Y chromosomes and sports a penis? No?

Metaphorically ‘him’ then. What part of your claims aren’t metaphor or fantasy?

by David on February 7, 2007 at 2:33 am. #

Hi David,
You write: “They Hi David,
You write: “They don’t exist and nor does your miserable, repellent Christian god.”
Try asking him.

by Victor on February 7, 2007 at 2:27 am. #

Look,

Even Dawkins at his Look,

Even Dawkins at his most vehement will say that technically he’s an agnostic because he can’t prove the absence of a God. I differ from his use of language, that’s all.

I’m not an agnostic about a teapot orbting Sirius, I’m not agnostic about the propositions that ants spend their time underground knitting, or that toothbrushes can speak Mandarin.

I’m not agnostic about the existence of Thor, or Zeus, or Osiris, or Ganesha. I’m not agnostic about Anubis, Hathor, Imhotep, Set, Thoth, Bagadjimbiri, Bunbulama, Julunggul, Ulanji, Awonawilona, Buku, Daramulun, Ereshkigal, Freyja, Hecate, Huitzilopochtli, Kibuka, Loki, Lug, Mulungu, O-Kuni-Nushi, Ptah, Shakura, Tekkeitserktock, Ti-Tsang Wang, Tsui’ Goab or Xiuhtecuhtli. And neither are you.

It’s an abuse of language and thought to insist that technically we have to remain agnostic about these fictions. They don’t exist and nor does your miserable, repellent Christian god.

by David on February 7, 2007 at 2:17 am. #

Hi David,
OK, so you have a Hi David,
OK, so you have a negative belief (i.e. you believe that I am wrong). But I find it hard to believe that you go through life just saying “No” to other people’s opinions.
You seem to believe (!) that you have some criteria for believing that I am wrong. Some way of deciding what is possible and what can be true. Some system of belief. Some standard by which you judge things.
What is that standard? Reason? Logic? Gut feeling? Tangible sensory experience? Or a mixture of all of these?

by Victor on February 7, 2007 at 1:16 am. #

Hi David,
As a non-collector Hi David,
As a non-collector of stamps, I have no feelings either way on whether others collect stamps or not.
Are you saying that you don’t BELIEVE anything?

by Victor on February 7, 2007 at 12:36 am. #

You’re missing the point. You’re missing the point. You could assert here that you believe in an unlimited number of things: that your cat is made of uranium, your brother is Napolean, that there’s a chocolate teapot orbiting Sirius, that cows are secretly intelligent monkeys dressing up in cow suits and so on and so on.

It would then be invalid of you to say that my scepticisms about your claims amount to beliefs, of the same order as your beliefs.Geddit?

As Dawkins points out, you’re an atheist about innumerable gods too. And although you seem to be trying to put words into my mouth, no, I’m not saying I don’t believe anything. For example, I believe you’re deluded and cling to your culturally dependent religious beliefs through an unwholesome combination of arrogance, timidity and self-deception.

by David on February 7, 2007 at 12:47 am. #

If atheism is a belief then If atheism is a belief then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

by David on February 6, 2007 at 10:17 pm. #

Just for the record, atheism Just for the record, atheism is itself a belief system.
Atheists believe in human rationality as the highest authority. It is the standard by which they judge everything else.
When they justify this procedure, guess what they use as their proof method? Bingo! Stands to reason (ahem), doesn’t it? Round and round we go.

For the record, I’m a believer (in Jesus).
But at least I’m honest about it.

by Victor on February 6, 2007 at 9:33 pm. #

[…] I'm an atheist (though Pastafarionism sounds tempting) so don't bother trying to convert me to whatever mind-altering religious mass-cult or whatever the other sheep are following this season. "If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby…" # […]

by somefoolwitha.com on November 30, 2010 at 10:36 am. #

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