Sunday, November 21, 2004

Self-referential "truth"

When I was in Miami, I met some fundamentalist Christians who believed in the literal truth of the bible. They tried very hard to convert me, but to no avail; I was much happier at the Book Fair the next day speaking to the South Florida Atheists.

Here's one of the things that really made my hackles stand up when I was being subjected to the high-pressure proselytising: the reason these neo-medieval literalists believe the bible to be true is because they consider it the word of God. How do they know that it really is the word of God? Because it says so: in the bible. In other words, these people know that it's true because it's true, which is, of course, no reason at all, but simply a philosophical merry-go-round with no "off" button.

Another word for this closed thinking loop is "blind faith". And another word for "blind faith", I'd say, is "shutdown of the brain". That's what's saddest about fundamentalists: they declare whole portions of their reality no-go zones that they will no longer explore with their (God-given!) intelligence and senses, but simply believe, even in the face of evidence. Hark the bible! "Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." (MT 13:16)

p.s.: By the way, this applies to all types of fundamentalists, not just the Christian ones. (I would not want to be seen playing favourites here!)

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