And They Can Vote
Dr. Richard Dawkins1
"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the gospels in praise of intelligence.” ~ (1872-1970)
If you live in
America, the chances are good that your next door neighbors believe the
following: the Inventor of the laws of physics and programmer of the DNA code
decided to enter the uterus of a Jewish virgin, got himself born, then
deliberately had himself tortured and executed because he couldn’t think of a
better way to forgive the theft of an apple, committed at the instigation of a
talking snake. As Creator of the majestically expanding universe, he not only
understands relativistic gravity and quantum mechanics, but actually designed
them. Yet what he really cares about is “sin,” abortion, how often you go to
church, and whether gay people should marry. Statistically, the chances are
that your neighbors believe all that ̶
and they can vote.
In other parts of the world, there is a good chance that your neighbors believe you should be beheaded if you draw a cartoon of a desert warlord who copulated with a child and flew into the sky on a winged horse. In other places, there’s a good chance that your neighbors think their wishes will be granted if they pray to a human figure with an elephant’s trunk.
Even if your neighbors don’t hold any of those mutually contradictory beliefs, they probably take it for granted that we should unquestioningly respect those who do. And the huge majority of American and British newspapers and periodicals go along with this abject kow-towing to what their educated editorial staff must know, in their heart of hearts, is nonsense.
1. Dr. Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.