Re: 'a process of non-thinking called faith'

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 19:40:41 MST

On 2/13/06, Kevin Osborne <> wrote:
> my 'aggressive in opposition' approach is like 'affirmative action'
> for science; I don't believe equal rights would have gotten anywhere
> without militant feminists, and I don't believe technology enthusiasts
> will get anywhere without militant rationalists; rational (liberal)
> thought is just too wishy-washy. (to qualify the washiness moniker,
> compare the mob-chant characteristics of 'respect the cultural
> heritage of others in order to foster a mutually harmonious society'
> versus 'fuck the niggers')

While it may be easier to chant "fuck the honkies", the two don't cancel
each other out to produce a non-racist society; all you get is the
replacement of one form of racism with another, or indeed a society that
contains aspects of both forms simultaneously.

Similarly, presenting your crusade as rationality versus faith just tells
people who have faith in God or whatever that they're being irrational,
which makes them defensive and angry; and the one time people are _not_
going to be rational is when they're defensive and angry. Frankly, I don't
think people like Dawkins are doing the cause of rationality any favors at

If you want to defeat racism, you shouldn't campaign against white people,
but against racism. If you want to defeat irrationality, campaigning against
religion in general is counterproductive; it would be better to campaign
against irrationality. And I think the best way to do that is to show that
there is no conflict between having faith in metaphysical concepts like God
on the one hand, and holding rational beliefs about the world we live in on
the other.

- Russell

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