24 January 2012

Atheist Blindness

Robin Hanson observes:

Alas science fiction authors are reluctant to blame over-regulators as their anti-tech villain. Religion makes a safer target – most sf readers like regulation, but few are religious. Also, we tend to overestimate the importance of doctrine and dogma, relative to habits of behavior. Most religious dogma is silly and doesn’t meet our usual intellectual standards. But it also doesn’t much influence behavior. In fact, religious folks tend to have exemplary behavior overall. They work hard, are married and healthy, avoid crime, deal fair, help associates, etc. While it may seem plausible that people with crazy beliefs would do crazy harmful things, the opposite seems to apply in this case.

Despite the fact that religion is more conducive to science than the state, atheists still persist in demonizing Christians as anti-science.  They do this solely because they would rather cling to their faith in the state than face the reality that Christianity has done much good for science while the state often opposes it or subverts it (think of the FDA, e.g.).


  1. Of course, they always have to bring up the Galileo affair, which, when analyzed honestly, shows that the Church was not opposed to science. Yet, the myth prevails.

  2. @Carnivore- I think the key words there are "analyzed honestly." Very few atheists seemed inclined to do this, which simply means that they are just as reliant on blind faith, if not more so, than Christians.

  3. It is worth pointing out that some of the really great Sci-Fi writers have put a great deal of effort into religion in their books. It plays a central role multiple times in Frank Herbert's Dune books as well as the spinoffs.
    Just as it is paradoxically possible for a book that forbids the worship of idols to become a worshiped idol, it is possible for the people who blindly practice the extinction of religion to create a religious fervor and practice.