This article is about the excessive arguments between believers of science and believers of religion, so feel free to skip it, if it’s too much of a controversy for you. I totally understand! I hesitated to add my two cents to this issue, because it seems to start flame wars very quickly on every place of the interwebs. However, I’ve sat on my hands for way too long, I think.
Side note, this is just MY honest opinion of the matter and not necessarily the opinions of all. It’s okay if you think that I’m inherently wrong in my views. I mean no ill will towards anyone, because I actually believe in the idea of “there is no ‘them’, there’s only us.”.If you are offended, I am sorry. And I hope it gets better for you. Hugs! Now, on with the show… ^_^
It’s impossible for me to NOT notice that there is a raging battle between the non-religious versus the religious. The relentless “debates” are happening on every comment section of every article, video, and podcast posted on every site imaginable. It happens on articles that have nothing to do with neither atheism or religion, whatsoever. If it’s an article about a child gaining his first bike, it is now not surprising to see a LONG comment thread about how atheism is more enlighten than the religious, or how the bike was a gift from a god thus proving science wrong. Really, you guys? o_O
I’m going to put the word “debate” in quotes, because honestly these are not real debates at all, it’s a whole brouhaha of mud slinging and one upping. It’s disheartening to see the term “sky fairies” and “book of fairy-tales”, referring to religious texts, that people hold dear to their hearts. Hey, you wouldn’t like it if someone referred to the books of Charles Darwin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Stephen Hawking as “fairy-tales”, would you?
And some atheist comment that those who are religious are “delusional”, “simple mined” and so on, in typical Ad Hominem fashion. That’s just rude! >_<
And yes, this fallacy is used by the religious side, as well. Some religious people use the terms “sinner”, “heathen”, and insisting that people are hell-bound for not sharing their beliefs. You wouldn’t like it if someone called you names and insisted that you were going to a place of torture and damnation, just because you didn’t agree with everything in science. Right? RIGHT??? o_O
I feel embarrassed for both sides, because attacking each other’s personalities or personal beliefs does not make one’s ideas more valid. It’s just really mean! u_u
I honestly don’t like to witness people being mean and unfair to each other. I’m very open minded and even if I don’t always agree with a particular view, I like to be aware of other ideologies besides my own. I don’t believe it’s necessary to personally attack someone because their view is different or doesn’t confirm my own. Even if I vehemently turn away from an idea, I tend to move on with my life and carry on. Attacking an idea, I feel, would mean that I am threaten of that idea in the most extreme way. Not to say that I am perfect (bwahahahaha!), I do feel threaten by some ideas because I am human, but I tend to pick and choose my battles.
I really don’t have a dog in this religious versus non-religious fight, as I consider myself “Pagan”. I am neither atheist or monotheist. Although, I hate to see a good argument or idea get trampled under foot by the use of logic fallacies, on either side of this “debate”. I’m the type that would like to learn the views of both sides of the religious and atheists, then formulate my own with said information.
From my observations (I could be mistaken, please correct me if I am), the argument within these comments are that the more educated in science a person becomes, the less likely that person is to follow some religious idea or to keep faith in something not yet proven by science. The religious seem to have the counter argument that science is an evil weapon to turn people away from their god.
Some atheist seem to wave this fear against the religious, “Yes, those who let go of these silly fairy-tales and become more science literate are more enlighten to truth, like us!” However, both sides of this arguing fence are suffering with the Black and White fallacy.
It’s not necessarily true that in order to be science educated, one must not be religious, or vice versa. It’s possible to be both things, as long as you’re not extreme with one or the other. There is a term for those who believe in science and religion, it’s called Deism. Yes, contrary to popular belief, there are many different types of theism out there, besides strict or extreme versions of Monotheism which seem to be the more noted one.
To insist that becoming more religious or adding more science to one’s diet, means to that there is less of the other is fallacious at best and it’s not a good foundation to build a valid argument on for either side. Whenever someone comments that they are religious AND science educated as well, the atheists and religious of these “debate” seem to deny that commenter in a No True Scotsman fallacy.
It quickly becomes a “debate” that such a person who claims to be religious and science literate is somehow neither truly religious nor truly science literate. It’s a fact that half of the scientists in the US are religious and they contribute to the scientific community, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson (skip to 4:10 for that soundbite, if you wish to). And Pope Francis has declared that evolution is real towards his religious followers.
As for myself, (maybe a anecdotal fallacy, but this is a very anecdotal blog in general. Ahem!) I am Pagan and I’m a science nerd. I study science all the time and love long discussions about it. So yes, people can be both things, I do exist. And mathematically speaking, it seems very unlikely that I’m the only person (or one of three people that I hang out with) on the planet that is this way.
My real gripe about this ongoing argument, is that it’s happening EVERYWHERE I log onto, so it’s hard to avoid it! I love debate and intelligent discussions, but these types of comment threads lack such active ingredients, almost all of the time. There are too many fallacies used in one place, it’s maddening! Please, can we skip this kind of “debate”? Can we rest now, Buffy? Can we rest? o_O
And before anyone cries The Fallacy Fallacy, I am in no way claiming that either side is necessarily wrong in their conclusions, only that the method used in their arguments are chock full of fallacies, which comes across as interwebs street fighting, The main conclusion of my argument is…STOP IT!!! STOP FIGHTING ACROSS MY FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND SCIENCE PODCASTS! YOU’RE RUINING THE FUN! OMG!!! STOP IT! NO! Be NICE to each other! o_o
The fallacy videos are from PBS Idea Channel and you can view Mike’s full videos about logic fallacies: here and here too. I watch them every now and again, to make sure that I avoid fallacies in my discussions, because I rather have a valid argument and not one based on shaky foundations. We should all aspire to work on our debating skills, I think.
If you spot a fallacy or two within this post, please comment and let me know! I am willing to admit when I am wrong, to learn, and grow. I will update this post, with sincere thanks! Erm… please leave the Ad Hominem at the door first. I’m pretty reasonable, so no need to insult me to make your point. ;^_^>
Thanks for reading! ^_^v