Thursday, October 1, 2015

Making history fit the Bible

Funny, isn't it? Of course, reality doesn't matter to the faith-based, even when it's this easily demonstrated.


Mary Smith said...

I think Ive reached a point where I feel it is hopeless to try and fight ignorance and a true fear of critical thinking. It is just getting worse and worse. People are less educated and don't want to be educated. They simply don't care and don't want to think for themselves. Fear that is pushed by the fundamentalists is also very pervasive. These people view education, especially in the field of science, as elitist. And their numbers are growing. I'm glad I'm old, so I don't see humanity entering into another dark age. We can only hope, enlightenment will rise again someday and this whole thing is cyclical, but I'm not so sure anymore.

WCG said...

I know it seems that way, Mary, but I think there's another way of looking at it, that the fundamentalists have become more fanatic because they know they're losing.

They feel under attack, because there are more atheists - and lots more 'Nones' - than every before, and the Internet means that people are exposed to different ways of thinking - or their kids are, at least.

These days, even conservatives accept the concept - if not always the practice - of racial equality, and it was a Republican-controlled Supreme Court which made gay marriage the law of the land.

The Christian right feels like it's under siege, and to some extent, that's true. But the crazier they get, the more they turn off young people, and young people always win that war - eventually. (Of course, there's anti-science on the left, too. It doesn't have much political power right now, but it's definitely something we need to fight against.)

It's easy to see the dangers ahead, especially as we get older. But there have always been dangers. And things aren't as bad as they might seem in an age of 24-hour news networks.

Despite ISIS, the world is a more peaceful place than it's ever been. And I was just reading that extreme poverty, worldwide, has also dropped to the lowest level in recorded history. (Global warming might change that, but... as I say, there have always been threats.)

I don't think it's coincidence that people tend to get more pessimistic as they get older. I suspect that that's always been the case. Young people just tend to be more optimistic about the future.

When we were young, the Cold War was the big threat. World War III was right around the corner, only this time it would be nuclear. The Soviet Union and Red China were bigger threats than ISIS, certainly.

Gay people stayed in the closet, and the idea of a black president was just ridiculous. And women - I remember a movie, a comedy (Doris Day?), where the entire joke was that a woman was allowed to handle money, professionally (instead of just being a secretary or receptionist). Apparently, the whole idea that a woman would have any authority at all was just hilarious.

We do progress. But when we're young, we accept the environment we were born into. When we get older, we're unhappy that we haven't seen enough change - and that there are new threats on the horizon, unexpected threats.

It's not hopeless, Mary. It's just a never-ending struggle. We do progress, but not everywhere, all the time. And not easily, never easily.