Monday, May 9, 2011

More Truth

A couple of days ago I posted a short piece on the importance of truth and how valuing truth defines most atheists--and how rejection of it defines most religious people.  Today I want to add a bit more on that topic.  Specifically, I would like to refer anyone who reads this to an excellent blog post by P.Z. Myers on the subject.  Here is a quotation from his post that sums up the feelings of many atheists on this point:

"I do not lie to myself, and other people lying to me under the delusion that it will make me happier I find unconscionable.
Seriously, it's worse than that. I despise people who try to swaddle truth with lies in the name of consolation. It kills ambition, the striving to make the world better in the future, and it can allow evil to lurk unchecked. Those child-raping priests persisted because people lied to themselves, telling themselves that no man of god could do something so heinous…and even when finally exposed and removed, they continued to live in denial, reassuring each other that the institution that protected those vipers really was a force for good, overall."

Greta Christina has also written a wonderful post on this topic in which she focuses on believers who admit that they don't care if their beliefs are true or not.  In my experience, such people are rare.  Usually believers will claim to care and insist that their beliefs are true.  They reveal their true (ha!) feelings, however, by the way in which they defend the "truth" of their beliefs.  They lie and deceive, they apply obviously biased standards, and they bully.

This is one point that believers simply can't seem to get their heads around:  For atheists, the issue isn't what we want to believe in order to feel better about something; the issue is the honest search for objective truth.

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