Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Immorality of Religious Certainty

I found this quote in Sam Harris' phenomenal treatise on the riches of reason and the poverty of religious faith, The End of Faith. It gets to heart of what I've been trying to argue through my posts on the religious right and their intellectual association to their vile Islamic counterparts.
"Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous."
This is from the philosopher Will Durant's The Age of Faith. Durant understood, as we all should, that the ability to claim supernatural knowledge of the divine without evidence leads people to separate themselves as superior from whomever they regard as inferior. When people become less than human, the leap from mere intolerance to the Towers, the inquisitor's chair, or the gas chambers isn't the chasm we believe it to be.

P.S. To see just how sensitive some Christians are, check out this website maligning Will Durant as a "Christianity trasher." For some Christians, as long as their are those that are unconvertable and disagree with them and demand evidence for their beliefs, Christianity will always be under attack. Scary.