Friday, November 02, 2012

religion vs reason

Was reading a blog post decrying the failure of religious teaching to allow for adaptation to current conditions; of teachings that put adherence to arbitrary rules [covering of hair, length of beards, not mixing dairy and meat, fasting periods] over learning to truly live in harmony each other and with the world.
It's not just religion. This is my exact response to those in the USA who call themselves 'strict Constitutionalists'. A set of rules written over 200 years ago should not be deemed the be-all and end-all of how to run a nation. No more so than a set of religious stories written over 2000 years ago.
 I was  reflecting on the difference between an archaeologist  who studies and learns, and will, as needed, change his mind about how things might have happened; and someone who studies the bible, seeming more interested in studying and parsing each and every word of whatever they call their holy book, looking for the original meaning, than in trying to adapt the essence of it to current conditions.
I know there have been instances of archaeologists who tried to 'rewrite' history to fit their own theories. But the scientific community does a fair job of weeding out falsehood. Sometimes it does take a while. But in the end, facts trump fiction.
Too bad that the same isn't true in religion and politics.

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