Here’s an interesting email from reader Kristen:
I was reading for a class on politics in the German Democratic Republic, and i found an interesting quote, which (roughly translated) means “one can have honesty, party loyalty, or intelligence, but only two of the three.”
Kristen wonders if that also applies to religion.
Would the following statement make sense?
One can be honest, support religious dogma, or be intelligent. But at most, two of the three.
Obviously, there are intelligent people who are religious. They have doctorate degrees and work in tough jobs. But these people also believe things like the idea that Jesus Christ inhabits consecrated communion wafers and that we get reincarnated when we die. That’s not being honest with reality. (When I say they’re not “honest,” I’m not calling them liars. Just pointing out that their beliefs don’t jibe with the real world.)
There are religious people who are honest. Just think of the people who genuinely believe what their holy books tell them and live by those tenets as best they can. The fundamentalists in various faiths are good examples of this. But it’s not hard to question their intelligence and ability to think critically.
There are honest and intelligent people out there. Not a lot. And I’m not claiming all non-religious people qualify. Most of us don’t.
Hell, maybe we don’t even need all three items on that list.
I would think most atheists would agree that you can’t be both honest and religious. One or the other, yes, but not both.
What do you think?