Monday, September 22, 2008

Who are you calling irrational?

Damien Thompson is a conservative Catholic and a big fan of Pope Benedict XVI. He is also the author of Counterknowledge, a book that brutally debunks faith healing, pseudo-history and creationism. Thompson is a standing indictment of those who think being a committed Christian is the same thing as being gullible and irrational.

It gets worse for the Dawkinistas. Researchers at Baylor University, including Rodney Stark, have found that conservative Christians are less likely to be superstitious than non-believers.
The Baylor Survey found that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases
credulity, as measured by beliefs in such things as dreams, Bigfoot, UFOs,
haunted houses, communicating with the dead and astrology. Still, it
remains widely believed that religious people are especially credulous,
particularly those who identify themselves as Evangelicals, born again, Bible
believers and fundamentalists. However, the ISR researchers found that
conservative religious Americans are far less likely to believe in the occult
and paranormal than are other Americans, with self-identified theological
liberals and the irreligious far more likely than other Americans to

So, it is conservative believers who are the least credulous while liberal Christians are as bad as non-believers. The rest of the report summary is pretty interesting too.

The Wall Street Journal gives us a practical example of this. Atheist comedian Bill Maher’s film Religulous is the latest ill-informed polemic against religion. Sadly, Maher himself is a fully paid up wing nut who rejects the germ theory of disease and vaccination. If he had had his way, polio would still be killing and disabling millions.

None of us are as rational as we like to believe. But it seems that atheists are even further from their self image than the rest of us.

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