Tue | Feb 7, 2023

Ignoring reality, upholding fiction

Published:Monday | May 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM


How refreshing it was to read, in The Sunday Gleaner of May 6, 2012, Dr Ethon Lowe's intelligent and commonsensical appraisal of the so-called 'debate', apparently opposing secular humanism and theology, but which, in fact, is opposing critical thinking and blind faith.

The problem is that many in the religious camp want to have it both ways: they want the freedom to be guided by their 'faith', which requires no evidence, no science, no thinking at all. Yet, they want this 'faith' to be granted the same status and to be taken as seriously as scientific investigation and evidence-based findings.

Religious fundamentalists are also opposed to what I would call intelligent believers, whose faith I certainly do not subscribe to, but who, at least, have the humility to acknowledge that their faith is a personal matter; and they are content to acknowledge that their 'truth' is subjective.

Betty Ann's nonsense

In the category of religious fundamentalist, there is a certain Ms Betty Ann Blaine, who has claimed that "Jamaicans are Christians ... . As a Christian society, it is God's Word that is paramount, and not the dictates of any group, internal or external."

This is obvious nonsense: I am Jamaican, and I am not Christian, I am an atheist. There are other Jamaicans who are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, agnostics, or atheists like myself. Mrs Blaine is, therefore, arrogating to herself the right to say who is Jamaican and who is not, and to deprive of their rights as Jamaicans anyone who, unlike herself, is not Christian.

Religious fundamentalists are STILL trying to claim that humanity is the centre of their god's creation, continuing the proud tradition of ignoring reality and upholding fiction.

People were burned at the stake for daring to contradict the article of faith according to which the Earth must be the centre of the universe and the sun must revolve around it. The Church has finally had to give in on that one, but the modern-day equivalent of mediaeval minds are still trying to sell their simplistic certainties to the masses.