Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blinded by Faith

This, believe it or not, (I assume that the Star newspaper hasn't made the story up) is the true story of several people who by staring into the sun have seriously affected their eyesight. Duh!

The reason that they were staring at the sun is that a local teenager has been making claims of seeing the virgin mary by looking directly into the sun. Quite how she knows it is the virgin mary baffles me but then who am I to tell her that it isn't the virgin mary - I having never actually met the virgin mary.

My problem is this, the church is big on the faith thing. Healing, moving mountains, walking on water etc, etc all of which strain the bounds of credulity. Knowing this, the church simply takes the line that if you don't accept it you just don't have enough faith, you sinner. Well now we have a really good example of people putting their faith where their mouth is - and now they're almost blind.

I challenged a friend of mine to explain why he, as the church representative in our discussion, could possibly think that teaching people to suspend one's natural scepticism of extraordinary events could not eventually lead to situations as above. His reply was that the church teaches that one should 'test everything' which is a fine argument but I suspect that if people actually practiced that, there wouldn't be anywhere near the number of religious people in this world.

If one had to 'test everything' it would lead to the church/mosque/etc having to produce actual evidence of all sorts of things, like does god actually exist, let alone minor issues like water mysteriously turning into wine.

Another soapbox rant, I'll have to go and get my camelhair underwear out and indulge in a little self flaggelation. :-)

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