Sunday, June 10, 2012

Flip Side

"It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities."
H. L. Mencken.
On the flip side of this, it is often argued that religion is dangerous because it makes men act in a way that would seem otherwise reprehensible. But, even if this were true, it would not be a proof that religion is false. (Furthermore, it plays into the hands of those who are inclined to argue that religiosity {typically Christianity} is mankind's natural state, and that non-religiosity is an act of rebellion or rejection rather than worldview of its own.) Which leads me to wonder why I so often hear people bringing up points of religious morality that they find distasteful, or similarly, reprehensible acts on the part of believers when they discuss why they disbelieve in religion. If the expectation is that the fact that religion can make men good does not prove the truth of religion, the fact that it can make men bad cannot then be a refutation of it.

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