Creationist Wisdom #486: Religion Offers More

Today’s letter-to-the-editor won’t rank among the great ones in our collection. In fact, it’s rather modest. But it’s good in its own way, and we haven’t found anything better this weekend.

The letter appears in the Daily Record of Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey. It’s titled Religion offers us more than science. We don’t see any comments section at the end.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t use his full name. Well, he’s an officer of his local Republican club, but that’s not a big deal. His first name is Ron, and that’s what we’ll call him. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

There seems to be a deep, abiding fear that religion will take over and make us all mind-numbed robots. Some say it’s better to trust in science.

Is that an unrealistic fear? There once was a time — appropriately called the Dark Ages — when it was so. Many preachers long for a return of those days, when men like them wielded power over their communities. There are parts of the world even today where holy men rule, and hunger to expand their domains. On the other hand, we haven’t seen any sign that science is trying to take over and “make us all mind-numbed robots.” But we sense that Ron doesn’t trust science any more than we trust theocracy. He tells us:

Religion and science are mutually exclusive. One cannot contradict the other. Let’s look at the difference.

Ah, Ron is going to enlighten us. Let’s read on:

Science deals with the here and now. It can be explored, analyzed, documented and explained. It is human-based and subject to human interpretation. It is not constant — what we believe to be true today can change tomorrow. It provides no basis for living a moral life because there are no scientific guidelines for a moral life.

Egad — what a turbulent and immoral thing science is! Ron continues:

Religion, on the other hand, is a belief system. It provides a moral basis for how we are to live our lives.

Oh, how wonderful! Here’s more:

We humans cannot determine what is right or wrong ourselves. What we feel is right today, we may feel is wrong tomorrow. We need a firm foundation which is constant.

Ron is right! How do mere humans know what’s right or wrong? We need help. Ron says:

Religion of any kind provides that consistency. Religion provides a set of moral laws which are not open to interpretation but as human beings we each interpret these moral laws in our own way. Just as with science, these interpretations yield different results but the basics still remain constant and unchanged.

Religion is constant and unchanging. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? This is the rest of Ron’s brief letter:

Science can explain but cannot give you faith, hope and love, but religion can.

Science is bad! It can’t give you faith, hope and love. Hey — neither can indoor plumbing, but we wouldn’t want to be without it.

Addendum: This is quite off-topic, but we can’t add pics to the comments, and this is a photo taken by retiredsciguy, which he calls “Eclipse with sunspots.”

Photo by retiredsciguy

Photo by retiredsciguy

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29 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #486: Religion Offers More

  1. Without having checked the original article, my guess here is that Ron is in fact Ronald McDonald, the noted purveyor of Happy Meals…

  2. Ron doubtless typed his letter on and sent it from his computer, the building of which was doubtless constructed according to the directions contained in Digitonomy 1:45-53 from his Wholly Babble. Ain’t religun good? Them texts is just chock-full of good stuff for living in a scientifical world.

  3. [Science] provides no basis for living a moral life because there are no scientific guidelines for a moral life.

    So what? That’s what religion is for–not for passing incompetent judgments on the age of the universe or the emergence and development of life on Earth. Too many religious, however, want to do both, and have science just say, “Yassuh, massa” to religion when it dictates something about the natural world.

  4. Ron: “Religion and science are mutually exclusive. One cannot contradict the other.”

    ??? It seems that Ron does not understand English all that well. Nor science, for that matter.

    (About the photo — it was taken from Northfield, Minn., about 35 miles south of the Twin Cities. I simply used an 80mm — 300mm zoom lens at 300mm on a Canon Rebel XTi DSLR while holding a large solar filter made for a telescope in front of the camera. The sunspot group is the largest I’ve ever seen; easily visible without magnification. It should still be around for a few days. Tip — the aluminized wrapper on Pop-Tarts works as a safe-enough solar filter for naked-eye viewing [don’t try using it with binocs, though]. Thanks for posting, SC.)

  5. Indoor plumbing and the associated improvement in body care and hygiene may not give us faith, but it does give us greater hope for a long healthy life and help us maintain mutual love.

  6. “Religion and science are mutually exclusive. One cannot contradict the other. Let’s look at the difference.” Then why the controversy?

    “We humans cannot determine what is right or wrong ourselves. What we feel is right today, we may feel is wrong tomorrow. ……. Science can explain but cannot give you faith, hope and love, but religion can.”

    I’m 66 yrs old now and I think I know right from wrong with no help from a church that is the source of so much blood and carnage, and the source of so little hope and love thru out human history.

  7. It [science] provides no basis for living a moral life because there are no scientific guidelines for a moral life.

    Has it ever tried to? No. But I guess if you fervently believe E = mc^3 you’re likely a very evil person. And of course it’s common to expect those who lie, cheat, kill, etc. are all atheistic scientists who’ve been incarcerated in our prison systems.

    Religion, on the other hand, is a belief system. It provides a moral basis for how we are to live our lives.

    Honk! Honk! So that’s what religion is, a moral system? Funny, but if you dump the first 3 commandmants (assuming Ron’s talking about christianity), you have a moral system that has been passed down through the ages including before adam & eve. Of course the first 3 is the deity’s demands that you kowtow to said deity. But wait, so does Islam, and Judaism, and other deity based religions. My head is swirling, I don’t know which one I should choose, which is the true moral system?

  8. This dude has no clue what anything is about.
    ….It is not constant — what we believe to be true today can change tomorrow……
    Exactly WRONG!!! What science has found yesterday, is still mostly true today. He is thinking about the use of science by quacks to enable their BS to con people. We changed the dinos to feathered warm blooded animals, that does not change the fact they were dinos!!! We don’t measure intelligence by head bumps, that was not accepted when it was proposed!!! as it was BS then.
    …..It provides no basis for living a moral life because there are no scientific guidelines for a moral life….. ANd there is in the buyBull??? show me where exactly, and it has to be original with the buyBull, anything they stole from the others like ‘don’t kill’ does not count.

  9. Pete Moulton

    I’ve never understood the claim that religion provides a moral framework for living. If you only do the right thing out of hope for some reward (heaven), or the fear of some punishment (the Lake of Fire), then you aren’t moral at all. You’re a slave. Like Pavlov’s dog.

  10. Religion is a basis for morality as in saying “thou shalt not kill” and then telling us to “kill.” Or murder, if that’s your preferred word.

  11. @DavidK
    Don’t forget the 10th commandment about coveting one’s neighbor’s possessions: cattle, slaves, and wives.
    I was told that that was used in early 19th century America against the abolitionists.

  12. retiredsciguy, thanks for the great eclipse photo, and thanks to SC for posting it!

  13. That is a great photo, but it is actually of Satan’s smile. Satan would apparently have carious front teeth. That is doubtless what makes him so bad-tempered.

    Who knew?

  14. All though not on topic, to see an satellite image of that huge sunspot, go to spaceweather.com. They also have pages of images from many individuals.

  15. What Ron fails to understand is that if you don’t know right from wrong, you don’t lack religion — you lack empathy.

  16. Wonderful photo, Pope Retiredsciguy! Many thanks!

  17. It does strike me as appropriate for Halloween.

  18. Does this guy know anything about science?

    Religion gave him prayer; science gave him penicillin. Which do you think he will ask for the next time he gets an infection?

    And science and religion are not mutually exclusive. And you can indeed prove a negative. And there is a scientific basis for morality. And … argh, do these people keep recycling the same nonsense?

  19. I love how in Minnesota the eclipsed sun set horns up. I took some unique ones as well, the sun was setting through thin clouds.

  20. Nice shots, Troy. Where were you, and what method did you use to post them on SC’s blog?

  21. Hey, yeah! How did you do that?

    Ah, I see what happened. They were uploaded to photobucket.com, and then he linked to them at that website.

  22. I was in southeastern Michigan. The clouds eventually won, but even so sun would never have set horns up.

  23. @Troy: The photo with the “horns up” position was taken about 20 minutes before sunset, but I was a few hundred miles west of you, so the eclipse was further along. By sunset, the moon was past the “horns up” position, as it had moved further to the east (or up and left in the photo).

  24. Ah! It worked! On the photobucket website, there’s a list of ways to share the photo to the right of the photo. Copy the “Direct” link, and paste it into the comment box.

    This was my view of the Oct. 23rd eclipse at sunset from Northfield, Minn. That’s the tree line at the horizon along the bottom of the photo.

  25. RSG I simulated the eclipse from both Minnesota and Michigan, the horns up appearance would not have appeared even when the sun is below the horizon. (Assuming the earth was transparent you could continue to see the eclipse…I think!) (Stellarium is a good freebee by a group of people who really want to create the feel of the real night sky. If you haven’t heard of it)
    You figured it out. I’ve been away most of the day. Yes direct link. Other links allow people to sniff around in your photobucket which I don’t necessarily want.
    I compiled my images into a video. I hesitate to post it here as it is quite a herky jerky mess, but some of the cloud sequences are pretty nice.

  26. Science deals with the here and now.

    I’m not interested in reading the whole article or all 32 comments, so this may have been brought up already. But it looks like Ron is about to pull he “operational science vs. historical science nonsense” that is a key tactic of pseudoscience peddlers. If so, than a safe bet is that Ron’s main religion is pseudoscience, and that the one he claims, be it Christianity, Judaism, etc., is secondary.

    Ironically I agree with his main point, that religion offers more. Specifically it offers what science never claimed to offer, and he even appears aware of that before repeating the common falsehood that some people treat science as their religion.

    Too bad there’s no comments section, because Ron would be interested to know that, for me, no established religion offered what I wanted needed either, so I founded my own in the 90s. Most religions do accept Gould’s NOMA principle, and embrace science accordingly. But they are not active enough in combating pseudoscience, particularly the “central pseudoscience” of ID (accommodates everything from geocentric YEC to panspermia). And most insist on anthropomorphizing God to the point that, to me they’re no better than atheism. As for moral codes, they all offer unacceptable loopholes (“get out of hell cards,” making excuses for people who fly planes into buildings, etc). As you might expect, membership in my religion remains at one.

  27. Troy — the eclipse appeared in the sky as it appears in the photos. The camera on a tripod was within a couple of degrees of horizontal, and the photos were not rotated. The moon was moving from right to left more or less across the upper portion of the sun, and it just worked out that the moon was centered when above the sunspot group. Probably some kind of omen. We’ll have to consult WND to find out what it means.