Do you have to commit intellectual suicide to be religious? Although I would very much like to say you do have to hand over any license to be intelligent when you choose the path of blind faith, I just donít think itís fair to say that. My objective side tells me that truth is power, and because truth is power, Iíve chosen not to be a theist. To claim that religious people are committing intellectual suicide just on ďgut-feelingĒ would put me into the same pool as those who practice blind faith. Can you be a theist and also have a great progressive mind? I think it certainly is possible, but I do feel that having the burden of being a theist does create unnecessary barriers. This is a shame because what if these barriers hinder a great mind from changing the course of history. Imagine how many great ideas and inventions we might have missed out on.
We do need to be very careful when mixing blind faith and intellect. When we throw blind faith and evidence into the same pot, we are creating a mess. Mixing the two together gives faith credibility it doesnít deserve. Iíve heard some argue that being intolerant of religion is just as dogmatic as religious folk. I used to agree with this sentiment, but now I think there is a rebuttal to be made. I watched Sam Harris give a speech at TED that really opened up a new perspective for me. I thought being completely tolerant and open minded was a great thing, but Sam Harris suggested that being too open minded and too liberal is actually harmful. Instead of trying to sum up Harrisí great speech, Iíll just provide the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww. For me to even attempt summarizing his insights would be shameful. The part that stood out to me was when he talked about Saudi Arabia and continued to explain that when we know something is just plain wrong, it isnít intolerance to be firmly suggest a correction.