The Nation’s bizarre pandemic of paranoid conspiracies and widespread denial of empirical reality, [markedly, on the political right] constitutes no less than an appalling and disgraceful response to the evolutionary gift to homo sapiens, of an evolved, rational mind. In earlier writings we have opined the logical existence of an apparent nexus between man’s inclination to conceive irrational conspiracy, and his ability to discern Bona Fidus in atavistic religious dogma. The intrinsic dynamics of “Faith” are derived, exclusively, by social inheritance or irrational “inspiration.” By salient contrast, our foundational [Lockean] observation, is that all man’s knowledge is acquired from his sense (empirical) experience.
Our reading on the subject, reveals that a 14th Century Jewish philosopher, Levi ben Gerson, famously stated, that the Torah [Bible] cannot prevent man from considering as true, that which his own reason urges him to believe. Accordingly, we would predict that any free-thinking individual, reading the Biblical account of Noah and the Flood, would realize that no boat could be built, sufficient to house[in pairs] every animal, which would, thereafter, migrate to its respective place of origin. Rationalists maintain that the Universe is an empirically understandable place, potentially attainable by the human mind.
The eternal debate, between factual and experienced reality, and societally inherited worship of a superhuman agency, the latter belief, randomly acquired by inheritance or alleged “inspiration,” appears to us as conclusively weighted in favor of empirical [demonstrable] factual reality.
For purposes of clarity, we would remind the reader of a caveat, sincerely expressed by us in earlier writing. “We affirmatively and earnestly encourage the perpetuation of culturally inherited traditions, and historical observances, acquired by each of us at birth”; long may they continue. We would earnestly not approbate any desire for dystopian, colorless uniformity. What we do object to, as useless and potentially harmful, is the substitution of empirical fact, by irrational or superstitious belief.
Covid-19, polio, diphtheria, yellow fever, and countless other toxic diseases were not conquered by faith. The Moon Landing, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Open Heart Surgery, Braille, Penicillin and Antibiotics, the heliocentric theory of the Solar System, the discovery of Psychiatry and Nuclear Fission, as a few random examples, were not realized by means of faith, but by diligent, rational research.
It is the absence of reason that promotes primitive and counterproductive belief in, anti-vaccine phobias, societal dread of gay marriage, fear of morphing into a Socialistic government, belief that the thrice certified, recent Presidential Election count was fraudulent, that battery operated smart phones cause brain cancer, that Global Warming is a liberal hoax, that America was established as a “Christian Country,” that Israel fires lasers from outer space, that 9/11 was an American ploy, that Donald Trump is still President, that immigrants are despoiling America, and so on, ad finitum, and, verily, ad nauseum.
Without any wish to offend, we, at plinyblog, find most deplorable, the meme that all babies are born with sin [“Original Sin”]. The accusation of such universal and eternally inherited sin, arises from the act of the first woman, “Eve,” in her enticement of the first man “Adam” to eat an apple from the “Forbidden Tree of Knowledge.” Using the mythical verbiage of the apocryphal tale, Eve’s causing Adam to eat of the Tree of Knowledge [after which, he “discovered his nakedness”] can too easily be read, in accordance with the story’s linguistic symbolism) that Adam, thereby, acquired an awareness of self, and the revelation that homo sapiens is a rational being. We would evaluate the same as awarding credit to the female of our species for the ignition of man’s evolutionary potential for rational thought and experiential advancement.
As contextual supplementation, the snake [“serpent”] coiled up in the proverbial “Tree of Knowledge,” appears to have been eternally used by early man, as a deistic symbol of fertility. What we can ultimately conceive as accurately intended to be expressed and symbolized, was the advent of mankind’s existential ability to reason. Rationality [fertility] is hardly a “sin;” unless there was, at some time in written religious literature, an atavistic motive, to keep [the common] man compliantly ignorant. Furthermore, sin is not, legally, or factually, an inheritable or transferable legacy; little babies are born with immediate, urgent needs, not derivative and attributable criminal records.
Mankind’s uniquely defining significance is indisputably found in his capacity for rational thought and personal advancement. Irrational, mythical thinking is useless and vestigial, like the persistent presence of the potentially troublesome appendix; it can serve no desirable or aspirational service.