Thursday, April 26, 2007

More on the danger of God

No funny photos today, sorry, just something I was thinking about this morning.

I have avoided reading pretty much anything about baby Emilio because the debate is reignites just bores me to tears. But I read something in today's CNN story that really bothered me:

The hospital contends that keeping Emilio alive on a ventilator is painful for the toddler and useless against his illness -- Leigh's disease, a rare degenerative disorder that has no cure.

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Emilio's mother, Catarina Gonzales, on the other hand, is fighting to keep her son on the ventilator, allowing him to die "naturally, the way God intended."


When I first read that last sentence, before I got to the end, I thought, "oh, this isn't a religious matter, this is about a woman who can't let go of her son". If that were it, it would be sad, but terribly irresponsible. One person's dedication to another does not justify the prolonging of pain.

However, when I got to the end, it bothered me even more.

When guys like Dawkins go out into the world and try to explain why religion is dangerous, they have a hard time explaining the reasons why to a group of people who truly think that without religion the world would devolve into a chaotic mess of mass killings, rapes and other assorted heinous crimes. The reason, according to them, is that without religion, there is no morality.

That belief is hilarious, of course, to atheists, the vast majority of which know that killing, raping, et al, is wrong. It's doubly funny to me, since I love when people bite themselves in the ass unwittingly. For a religious man to claim that religion is the only source of morality is to state plainly that without religion, he would be without morals. To apply that to the entire population is comedy, to realize that the man telling you this is, deep down inside, a vicious murderer-rapist who is only restrained by a fear of a God who would punish him for acting out his vile desires is downright frightening.

For what it means is that if religion is revealed to be false, in a most convincing and inarguable way, these men will rape you, kill you, and steal everything you own. And why not? Their moral foundation will have been toppled. Only the atheists who didn't commit acts of atrocity, for the simple fact that they are morally wrong, will be safe to associate with.

Back to baby Emilio: what we have is a woman who is allowing her child to suffer because of an irrational belief in something for which she has no proof. Let's consider the definition of delusion: an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary. Here, a belief that God has an intended way for her son to die, and moreover, she somehow knows what this intended way is.

By what evidence does she conclude that God's intended way for her son to die is not by pulling the plug? The baby is on life support, indeed if any argument could be made about God's intent, it would be for the doctors to cease intervention, and let "nature" take its course. Instead, this woman evokes the invisible man in the sky to justify the prolonged suffering of a baby with a disease for which there is no cure.

That is why religion is dangerous.

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