It Away, PZ!
late and there's nothing in particular
gnawing at my raging spleen so I
thought I'd leave you with the words of a much
wiser man than I.
The following is the first 50% of
an article by PZ Myers, a man of rigorous science
and of Pharyngula fame.
As, as of September 17, he's been honored
as one of the nation's most influential college
by Playboy Magazine. Congrats, PZ!
The balance of the story can be found at the
Sunday Sacrilege: A funeral for folly
I will not respect a book of lies. I will not
Lately, there has been considerable angst and
fury over a bad book, the Koran. Terry Jones,
a fundamentalist lackwit, gets called out by
the American president, not for being a professional
fool taking advantage of our lax laws that encourage
the promulgation of religious inanity, but for
being insufficiently sensitive and deferential
to another gang of fools promoting a different
brand of religious idiocy. Then six British racists
got arrested, not for real crimes against their
neighbors of a different ethnicity, but, again,
for the sin of disrespect for a holy book. In
both of these acts, the culprits are people for
whom I have no respect, who I would not normally
support, but they are guilty of 'crimes' that
are not crimes. What we are witnessing are efforts
by authorities to confer special secular and
legal privilege on the intangible aura of sacredness — a
figment of the imagination of deluded believers,
which they insist all we non-believers must honor.
The insistence by the faithful that we all must
treat their precioussses as magical and inviolable
has convinced me to re-evaluate the books on
my shelves, and I've decided that no, they aren't
worth keeping. These holy books have been influential,
that's for sure, but it's been a pernicious kind
of importance — that we hold these awful,
terrible, ridiculous books aloft as the guiding
ancient wisdom of our civilization doesn't so
much exalt the books as it demeans our culture.
It is an unfortunate fact of human nature that
if our forefathers had used a badly written fantasy
novel like The Eye of Argon or The Book of Mormon
to justify the existence of our tribe, people
would be battling to silence the obvious and
deserved criticisms of the sacred writ, instead
of looking at them objectively and noticing that
they are inexcusable bunkum. And then, of course,
we secular, rational people would defend keeping
them on our shelves because they were precious
to others, because they shaped our history, because
they are part of our culture.
(Story continues here.)