Self-Correction

Doug Thomas writes an interesting article in the latest Humanist Network News. He mentions how a British philosopher, Roger Scruton, criticized Richard Dawkins and other atheists because “atheists rely on science to arrive at answers.” Why is this a problem? Scruton says “science is often wrong and to base one’s philosophy on it [is] prone to error as well.”

Thomas goes on to write why science is a positive thing. Science has the benefit of self-correction. Even if something is wrong, it gets corrected through better, more solid evidence.

He writes:

Religion, on the other hand does not tolerate these corrections to errors. We all know that both the Bible and the Quran contain language that incites violence against those who disagree with the prescriptions of truth held therein.

Modern scholars who dismiss these violent writings are in denial, Thomas goes on to say.

He’s right. Science provides us with the most accurate representation of Truth that we have. It doesn’t tell us everything, but what it does tell us is as verified as it an possibly be.

With all we know now, wouldn’t there be plenty of obvious places to update the Bible? Forget the idea that we may not be wise enough to know what everything actually means. Thomas suggests the entire book of Leviticus as one that could use correction.


[tags]Doug Thomas, Humanist Network News, Roger Scruton, Richard Dawkins, atheist, atheism, religion, Christian, Bible, Koran, Quran, science, Leviticus[/tags]

  • Karen

    With all we know now, wouldn’t there be plenty of obvious places to update the Bible? Forget the idea that we may not be wise enough to know what everything actually means. Thomas suggests the entire book of Leviticus as one that could use correction.

    I think it’s time to update the teaching on homosexuality, now that we have reached a modern understanding that it’s not a moral failing or some kind of psychological disorder. I think it’s going to take a while for that understanding to trickle down to the evangelical community, however, given a story in the NY Times yesterday (some excerpts):

    Confessions by two evangelical Christian ministers to having same-sex relationships could lead evangelicals to feel greater compassion toward gay men and lesbians, especially those in their congregations, some evangelical leaders said Tuesday.

    But none expected a broader re-examination of the belief, widely held by evangelicals, that homosexuality is sinful.

    -snip-

    “I honestly don’t think there is significant rethinking on evangelical positions on homosexuality, but I think there may be greater compassion,” said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minn.

    “Those who don’t have homosexual inclinations can be judgmental towards those that do,” Mr. Anderson said. “When you discover people you know and respect are struggling with homosexuality, suddenly you’re more compassionate because they are real people who are around you, members of your church and community, and the compassion level rises. It should.”

    The Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, an American Baptist minister and a professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in Pennsylvania, said he was opposed to what he called “same-gender eroticism.” Dr. Campolo said that many evangelicals, influenced by Christian radio, had come to believe that homosexuality was largely a choice and that homosexuals “choose to be evil.”

    Others, he said, subscribe to theories, now discredited by psychologists, that men become gay because they had a domineering mother or were victims of sexual abuse as children.

    “People on Christian radio have portrayed gays as insatiable, promiscuous people, which they are not,” Dr. Campolo said, “and they describe gay people as fungus on society that must be exterminated.”

    Given the sadness many evangelicals say they feel for the former pastors, he added, “what we’re seeing here is a growing awareness among evangelicals that they have oversimplified, made false judgments and been very, very mean to the gay and lesbian community.”

    The Rev. H. B. London Jr., vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, is part of the three-member team working with Mr. Haggard to restore the “health and wellness” of his family. Mr. London said he believed that homosexuality was a choice and that childhood trauma could make someone gay. But he urged that “we have to stop whatever gay bashing there is.”

  • txatheist

    Leviticus is bad but I’m not finding II John too good either.


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