Friday, March 6, 2009

James Randi and Anti-Religion

Recently James Randi posted a video questioning the validity of some archaeological research currently going on in Nazareth with regards to sites mentioned in the bible. Randi uses this as a platform to call the whole bible into question. While I agree with him that a lot of this "archeology" into biblical sites is questionable, I can't agree with making the jump from that to a general dismissal of religion.

In the video, Randi demonstrates a pretty developed knowledge of the bible, a knowledge greater than what you see in most Christians, yet he strongly maintains he doesn't believe any of it, so much so, that the wants you not to believe it either.

What would motivate someone to learn so much about something they don't believe in? James Randi professes he has no religion, but I would suggest his religion is anti-religion. He is both priest and evangelist for anti-religion and that's what motivates him to learn so much about the bible.

People have such a strong desire for religion that they maintain it, even if their religion is anti-religion and whatever human trait motivates Christians to try and gain converts also motivates Randi to seek converts to his belief system.

This desire to convert people to our own point of view isn't limited to religion. You see it in sports, politics, art and pretty much every other aspect of human activity. It is ubiquitous. We say it doesn't matter if other people think the way we think, but clearly it does, even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Historically, a great deal of suffering has gone into this idea of making people believe what we believe. We'll fight wars to push our beliefs and gladly torture those who disagree with us. Atheists like Randi claim to be enlightened and advanced, but really they're doing exactly the same thing they criticize believers for.

I worry that atheists like Randi are motivated by the belief that we know everything and what we don't know isn't worth believing in. The fallacy of that philosophy is actually much more evident than the fallacies they want to point out about religion, but they'll never see it.

If we can't trust the religious not to make unfounded archeological claims to support their beliefs, can we really be all that sure to trust the anti-religious won't do the same? If so, who can we trust for a genuinely objective opinion on these matters?

1 comment:

garth said...

RANDI IS CORRECT,ALL RELIGION IS MADE UP B.S.IT IS AMAZING IN 2011 THAT WE STILL GIVE ANY CREDIT TO THEISM WHATSOEVER.CONTRARY TO THIS ARTICLE, SCIENCE NEVER CLAIMS TO KNOW EVERYTHING, HOW ABOUT RELIGION? RELIGION IS FAITH AND SCIENCE IS REASON WHICH IS BASED ON EVIDENCE. HOW ABOUT THE HUNDREDS OF BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS? HOW ABOUT EDUCATED PEOPLE? WERE NOW LOOKED AT IN AMERICA AS STUPID ,RELIGIOUS AND ARROGANT PEOPLE,YET WE FEED MORE OF THE WORLD THAN ANYONE ELSE. :DESTROY RELIGION BEFORE IT DESTROYS US"