I cannot understand why so many people, especially in the U.S., insist that religion has to take on the role of explaining the physical world and its workings. We have a much better, very successful methodology for this: it’s called science. It’s self-correcting and it provides verifiable results that have measurably improved our quality of life.
Even though I don’t necessarily agree with the results for certain creeds, I can well understand religion as a means of establishing a moral code, a set of precepts and values to live by, and a metaphysical explanation for our purpose that takes us beyond the confines of our basic survival, wants, and needs. In fact, I think it’s good for everyone to reflect on these matters. Why not stick to what religion can do and leave it out of what it’s not good at?
Because religion is not, in fact, good at explaining the material world. There isn’t a single disease we have eradicated religions’ explanations for the material world, not a single labour-saving device we invented, nary a space mission we have launched.
People who take religion to arenas where it’s not successful are forced to become anti-science, anti-rationalist, and ultimately anti-reality in order to contort their minds to a bizarre shape. They do the greater public a grave disservice and set their children, their communities, and their country back far more than they are able to comprehend thanks to their willful ignorance.