Belief Without Evidence
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Religion as a whole has spread as a self-perpetuating cycle based on an irrational premise...
An Atheist's perspective on the Boston Marathon Bombing
Religion as a whole has spread as a self-perpetuating cycle based on an irrational premise, i.e. belief without evidence. The Islamic doctrine is irrational in this way, just as Christian doctrine is irrational. They are both based upon the premise that god exists, a belief that is completely unfounded. The violent and unspeakable acts carried out in the name of Islam mirror the violence of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, horrible acts carried out in the name of Christianity. In fact, you can point towards more recent Christian atrocities; for instance, the Vatican famously enacted a policy noninvolvement during the holocaust. One can quibble over which religious doctrine is more violent, but it ultimately doesn't matter. Both are based on a fallacy of great proportions. Some might argue that Christianity seems to have moved past its violent phase, while Islam is experiencing a more primitive stage in its socio-political evolution. While there might be some validity to this claim, it's ultimately a specious. One religion is not inherently better than another with respect to rationality, because they are all based on the same faulty premise. Beyond that, any distinction drawn is unnecessary as far as nonbelievers are concerned.
Logically, a religious doctrine that does not require evidence is the same as a doctrine that advocates violence and harm; the latter is an unavoidable manifestation of the former. How can this conclusion be drawn? For one, a religious belief with no sound basis is itself harmful. In the realm of ideas, prominent but fallacious doctrines like Christianity and Islam cause immeasurable harm to humanity, because they stifle our progress as a species. Secondly, when one opens the door to irrational discourse, violent actions are not far away. When it is acceptable to believe a claim without evidence, it's not a far cry to from violence becoming acceptable; this is because there is no factual basis to point towards. When no evidence is required in a doctrine, the possibility for violence dramatically increases. Ideas that do not required evidence are malleable. Peoples' emotions are easily manipulated. When you combine the two over time, violence is inevitable. Towards the betterment of mankind, religion must not be taken seriously in rational debate, because humoring these ridiculous beliefs are indeed a cause of great suffering throughout the world.
David Stockdale, : David Stockdale does not enjoy writing about himself in the third person. But he does what he must to get by. Stockdale grew up in Chicago Ridge, a small suburban town on the southwest side of Chicago. With a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he is still pretty green behind the ears. Nonetheless, he is determined to find his very own creative place in a world of users, manipulators and "phonies," (as Holden Caufield might put it), and all without... (more...)