Religulous Review: Part II of V

October 7, 2008 at 12:30 am (New Atheism, Religion)

The Fallacy of Rationality = Peace

Rationalists (as opposed to “religionists”) claim that if only people were rational, sensible, intelligent, and used their minds, all of the folly of religions would vanish. Furthermore, all of the violent, divisive, murderous brain-washing tendencies of religions and religionists would likewise vanish. What will remain would be a world where people were rational, sensible, intelligent, and peaceful. There would be no more religion to divide people and make them kill each other. There would also be no religion to distract people from what matters.

I find this to be quite interesting.

Throughout the history of humanity, the vast majority of philanthropic and humanitarian organizations have been religious. Monks and nuns went into the deserts and forests of the world to establish hospitals, schools, and other resources for basic facilities. Muslim Sufis and other religious figures spread far and wide to establish schools and hosipitals and other resources of relief. Even today, in some areas of the world the only healthcare is that provided by a Christian mission or nun-run institution. In reading a book about the Ebola virus, I was struck by how many nuns died and how nuns put themselves at risk to tend to the otherwise ignored African sick. Where are the rationalists doing the same?

Every year, hundreds if not thousands of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish medical experts leave the comfort of their homes to provide their services free of charge to the poor and suffering of the world. They are motivated by a religious zeal to help humanity. Indeed, to this day the most reliable and widespread ambulance service in Karachi is run by the Eidhi charitable foundation, which was founded by the Muslim values and zeal of the illiterate Memon businessman, Abdul Sattar Eidhi, to provide services, free of charge, for the uplifting of the poor and suffering. Where are the rationalists?

What is one of America’s most successful organizations that helps uplift the destitute and poor? The Salvation Army. What do the rationalists have? The Red Cross versus thousands of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations?

This ties in with the old canard that “more people have died in the name of God than for any other reason”. This is false. Indeed, anti-religious forms of rationalism have perpetuated the worst atrocities we have witnessed in modern history. Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler were all adamantly against religion. They persecuted religionists, and many others besides them. With such figures in tow, do rationalists really want to claim they’re more peaceful?

Furthermore, most people have died in the name of the People (communism, socialism) and in the name of the Nation (nationalism, imperialism, expansionism) than in the name of God. Not even Muslim terrorists can match the murderous rage of people on a crusade to serve the People or Country. Consider that even some Arab terrorist organizations (such al-Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) are entirely secular: such rational people have become terrorists!

This is not to say that religion is not the cause of violence or that rationalism yields violence and barbarism; but it cannot be denied that religion, for whatever reasons, can be and is a force of good in the world and that rationalism does not necessarily yield peace. When more people fight for Nation than God, taking God out of the equation will not change the current level of warfare. If Muslim terrorists abandoned God, they’d then fight on against imperialism or America’s disrespect for the environment, or they would fight for their country or for the Arab people or whatnot, such as secularist Arab terrorists are doing now.

Perhaps the rationalists would do well to heed the Lord’s words, whose wisdom is common-sensical rather than spiritual or religious:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

(From the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:1-5.)

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