Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Don't Think I'm That Bad. I Mean, I Respect The Rights of Everybody Else to Be Completely and Stupidly Wrong.


You are an atheist, a rationalist, a believer in the triumph of science and of reason over libido. You can't stand mumbo jumbo, ritual, spiritual nonsense of any kind, and you refuse to allow for these longings in others.

Astrologers, Scientologists and new-age crytal ball creeps are no different in your view from priests, rabbis and imams. They're all just weak-minded pilgrims on the road to easy answers. Nature as revealed by science is awesome enough for you, but it's a nature that needs curbing and taming by us on our evolutionary journey to perfection.

Your heros are Einstein, Darwin, Marx and -- these days -- Gould, Blakemore, Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin. Could you be hiding a little behind those absolutist views, worried that, if you let in a few doubts and contradictory ideas, the whole edifice might crumble? Loosen up a bit and try to enjoy the amazing variety of human belief systems. Don't worry -- it's unlikely you'll end up chanting your days away in some distant mountain cult.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

I mean, OK, I agree with that whole first paragraph, sure (except for the "refuse to allow for" part, because you've got to allow for things that exist, don't you?). And I suppose I'd even agree with most of the second, although a) I wouldn't put it that bluntly, and b) I'm extremely leery of phrases like "evolutionary journey to perfection." I'll go with Einstein and Darwin as heroes, absolutely, but Marx? Um, no. And, hey, where's Dawkins on that list o' scientists? And I really don't know where they're getting that "hiding behind absolutist views" thing. I said I'd sew my kid's nativity play costume, doggone it! Despite the fact that I don't have a kid and can't sew. (Actually, they didn't have an option for what I actually would have done in that situation, which is to see it as an opportunity to talk to the kid about religious beliefs, religion's place in society, what it's like to participate in a religious activity for a belief system you don't share, and how to respect other people's beliefs and culture without giving in to pressures to conform to them. So there.)

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