I was watching a debate today between Daniel Dennett and Dinesh D'Souza...
If you are interested:
From the debate I have somewhat better opinion, not GREAT but better, of D'Souza. I still think he is way off on many matters but I don't hate him as I used to.
During the the question and answer session a question was asked about Scandinavia and how they can be a majority atheist population and yet have societies that seem so much more civilized and enlightened. The evidence presented was:
- They give more to charity.
- They have lower crime rates.
- Their schools out perform most other countries including the United States.
Dennett told a story about how he was planting a hay field, and a neighbor made a suggestion. The suggestion was that he plant oats as a nurse crop along with his hay seed. Mr. Dennett asked his neighbor what a nurse crop was. A nurse crop comes up first and protects the slower growing hay.
As Dennett explained Christianity was the scaffolding that our more modern and enlightened morals are based on
I'd never heard it quite put this way but I was intrigued by the concept.
Perhaps we atheists should give the good aspects of Christianity their due. The morals of early Christianity were an improvement over the previous morals.
But I don't think they are the end. If they were women would still be considered property.
Scandinavia was ostensibly Christian at an earlier point, now they are irreligious or atheistic, and they excel in societal matters more than the God-fearing United States...
So what accounts for this?
Monday, December 3, 2007
So the mob in Sudan called for the execution of a teacher whose class had the temerity of a naming a teddy bear "Mohamed".
This would be funny if it weren't so freakin' sad!
This is the state of thought in the street of the Muslim world.
We in the West, look at this and shake our collective heads.
I wonder though...
If my country, the United States, didn't have the safe guards in place that it does: the rule of law and a separation of church and state.
Could I be who I am and think as I do?
Would a Christian Fundamentalist Nation suffer an atheist to live?
Maybe it wouldn't be that bad, but would I not be a second-class citizen?
Are the rabidly fundamentalist types in our culture only held in check by a secular government?
Something to ponder!