Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One-third of Americans Believe the Bible is Literally True

Here’s an encouraging* bit of information: A recent Gallup Poll has found that one-third of Americans believe the Bible is literally true.  They also found that the less educated a person is, the more likely they will believe this.

I’m shocked!

Now one can interpret this in a kindly manner or not.

Here’s the generous interpretation which is probably most likely to be true: Ignorance (as opposed to raw stupidity) makes a person more likely to be credulous.  The more a person knows and the more a person has been exposed to critical thinking, the less likely that person will believe in ancient myths created by primitive humans.

There are exceptions, of course; President Bush went to Yale.

This obvious kind of variation and exception can be explained in many ways, but I suspect that the greatest determinant of whether a person is skeptical or not is some natural curiosity that either exists in a particular individual or does not.  A person either wants to know the truth, or instead wants to think that they already know the truth.

Since the vast majority of humanity thinks they already know the truth, despite the fact that no one variety of religious group-think is in the majority in the world, it is safe to say that the trait of erroneously thinking that one has a handle on the Truth is a majority trait.

Now here is another item to throw into the stew: Most people who think that the Bible is literally true have little idea of what is in the Bible.  Of course, these are among those who are most certain of their facts.

And of course, only such a person can be elected to public office.


*Sarcasm alert

Paris Hilton Finds God

Thanks to Barbara Walters for breaking this important story: "Paris Hilton finds God!

It’s a great relief, as an atheist, to find out that Ms. Hilton is a theist after all!  It’s bad enough that people think Hitler was an atheist (he was a Roman Catholic) without getting lumped with Paris Hilton as well.

Prison seems to have this affect on many persons.  Jeffrey Dahmer, raised by his fundamentalist father to believe that if evolution is true, then we are all animals and the law of the jungle rules, reverted back to fundamentalism in prison.  According to Dahmer’s pastor, good ol’ Jeffrey was “saved” despite his serial killing.

How nice!  How merciful!

How little, then, does it matter what you do in this life if all can be forgiven just by asking for forgiveness to some invisible, undetectable being (who, if you haven't noticed, doesn't seem to answer prayers?)

At the same time, of course, if one of  Dahmer's victims was not a born-again Christian, they went to hell; but Jeffrey Dahmer?  No sir, he’s in heaven.

I’m so glad Paris, and before her, Jeffrey Dahmer found God.  Everything is forgiven, even if nothing is done to correct past wrongs.  Aren’t we all so glad for this?  Isn’t this a belief system that will make things better for the rest of us, in this life, on this earth?

Uh, no…