Cause Versus Religion: A REAL Wellness Dilemma Guided by REAL Wellness


“The principle conclusion arrived at on this work, specifically, that man is descended from some lowly-organized kind will, I remorse to suppose, be extremely distasteful to many individuals. ”

Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1851


When Darwin penned this quote in his second ebook on evolution (following the 1859 magnum opus, On the Origin of Species), he evidently held a extra favorable view of homo sapients than might need been warranted. He knew in regards to the depredations of the Spartans, the Maoris, the Vikings, the Comanches, the Roman Empire and the Mongols. Nevertheless, he didn’t count on such lowly-organized kinds as would come up in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, North Korea and different settings in occasions to return. Modern barbarians, often animated by non secular fervor equivalent to Islamic State, Al-qaed, Taliban, Boko Haram, al-Musra Entrance and the US Christian Proper, render the unique barbarians abnormal mischief makers.

So we should acknowledge that aberrant actors – barbarians, if you happen to like, should not distant descendants. We’ve some evolving to do earlier than barbarians are related solely with historical occasions or extinct predators. Plotinus mentioned, “mankind is poised halfway between the gods and the beasts.” Plotinus was an optimist – half-way sees too type.


Please ask your self a pair questions:

Am I largely guided by cause, or am I extra inclined towards a faith-based perception system?

Do I look to science and cause for solutions, or do I’ve better confidence in trials or different non secular trusted sources for steerage about what’s greatest, proper, reality and ethical?

Your solutions sign so much about your worldview, and the way you handle your life.

A associated query in regards to the cause / religion dichotomy is that this:

Are you snug considering and thrilling views on such questions?

What do you suppose – snug or not? If snug, it is best to get pleasure from the remainder of this piece.

For some of us, elevating such issues appears too private, off limits or over the road. To a religious individual, a dichotomy between science / cause and religion / superstition in all probability appears unfair, unwarranted, presumptuous, sacrilegious, invasive or worse. However, it might lead others, such as you, regardless of, to exclaim, Gee whiz, I want Don would write a questionnaire to assist me discover issues of cause and religion, and join all of it to REAL wellness. ”

What a coincidence that will be – as a result of that's precisely what I bear in mind.


I'm happy to introduce my non-scientific, untested, subjective however probably helpful evaluation for assessing your leanings in some way on a cause / religion continuum. Place a test within the house after every sentence if the assertion represents your place. If it doesn’t, go away it clean. When carried out, depend and make be aware of the whole checkmarks – then learn the interpretation offered.

At that time, you’ll be able to resolve if the evaluation seems to be to characterize your orientation in direction of a cause or a faith-based orientation.

Prepared? Please start.

I favor or am predisposed to a perception that:

1. Cause and science are the one methods to precisely understanding the universe and one of the best guides for the answer of human issues. _____

2. It's greatest to get pleasure from life right here and now, on this world, whereas nurturing growing my skills. _____

3. Morality consistors of respecting widespread ethical decencies, optimistic optimistic guides of desired human qualities equivalent to altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness and accountability – much more so than any unfavorable admonitions of issues to not do present in historical instructions or different guidelines attributed to revelations. _____

4. There may be nice worth within the preservation of an open and pluralistic society whereby the expression of viewpoints, nonetheless unpopular, are protected. _____

5. Democracy is one of the best assure of human rights towards authoritarian elites and repressive majorities. _____

6. Negotiation and compromise are most popular means for resolving variations and reaching mutual understanding. _____

7. We should always make each effort to transcend divisive parochial loyalties primarily based on race, faith, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual
orientation or ethnicity. _____

8. Freedom requires absolutely the separation of church and state at each degree. _____

9. It is crucial that we’ve environmental protections and insurance policies that forestall animal abuse, and that main reforms are wanted on this regard within the cattle, dairy and different meals industries. _____

10. Resisting all makes an attempt to denigrate human intelligence, to clarify the world in magical, evidence-free phrases that successfully look exterior ourselves or nature for salvation or higher circumstances. _____

11. Safeguarding our rights to privateness. _____

12. Defending mature adults of their train of reproductive freedoms, open and unfettered entry to complete well being care, expression of
their selection of sexual preferences and proper to die peacefully at any time when they so select. _____

13. Scientific discoveries and expertise are the likeliest paths to the betterment of human life. _____

14. Ethics, ethical rules and normative requirements to dwell by are most probably to be found collectively, examined by their penalties. _____

15. Ethical schooling of kids is greatest nourished by cause and compassion, optimistic reinforcement in an environment of acceptance free of concern, degradation, punishment or revenge. _____

16. We’re all residents of the universe and that new discoveries in regards to the cosmos are thrilling and value pursuing. _____

17. Skepticism towards untested claims to information with an openness towards novel concepts and new methods of considering will information sensible decision-making. _____

18. A disdain for philosophies / theologies of despair and ideologies of violence is valued and extremely fascinating. _____

19. A choice for optimism over pessimism, hope over despair, studying as a substitute of dogma, pleasure quite than guilt or sin, tolerance in
place of concern, love as a substitute of hatred, compassion over selfishness and cause over blind religion. _____

20. The fullest realization attainable of my greatest and noblest capacities as a human being is a fascinating purpose in life for everybody. _____


In case you registered 15 or extra checks on the twenty query evaluation, you might be on the far aspect of an orientation in direction of cause, science and important considering. Chances are you’ll think about your self a humanist, freethinker, agnostic or hell-bound infidel. In any occasion, you might be positively not given to disclosed truths, dogmas or historical holy books as moderately sources for steerage on modern ethical, public coverage or different issues of consequence. In case you entered 5 or fewer checks, you is likely to be the Pope, or at the least a real believer deeply dedicated to a faith-based mind-set. In case your test mark complete places you someplace between these extremes (ie, fourteen to 6 checks), I do not know what you would possibly name your self. Republican, maybe.

However, regardless of – the purpose of the evaluation is to counsel the overall nature of a purely secular, good with out God strategy to an ethical life. My very own (apparent) bias is in direction of a reason-based mind-set, however I acknowledge that there are different paths to REAL wellness values ​​and selections that help distinctive high quality of life.

A number of statements on this evaluation are impressed by however not precisely the identical because the qualities expressed in The Affirmations of Humanism: A Assertion of Rules set forth by the Middle for Inquiry.


What could REAL wellness fanatics do to advance human evolution in optimistic methods which are adaptive, sensible and sort? What’s the function for many who consider bettering high quality of individuals is a part of boosting high quality of life?

Our society is awash in superstitions and dangerous misconceptions. Take one instance – the well being disaster in some states attributable to mother and father who won’t permit their kids to be vaccinated. Right here we’ve prosperous, properly educated individuals who reject the overwhelming scientific consensus of no hyperlink in any way between vaccinations and autism. When folks don’t respect science, society is endangered, as it’s by massive cash pursuits and a dominant Proper Wing Christian political social gathering, amongst others dysfunctions.

Now could be the time for all REAL wellness seekers to return to the aide of their nation – help cause and science. You personally would possibly need to do all you can to advance impartial thought, skepticism and scientific literacy.

One component of REAL wellness, I consider, is a scientific worldview. One other is the free commerce in concepts. Once more borrowing on the requirements put ahead by the Middle for Free Inquiry, think about the next potentialities of REAL wellness qualities which are clearly worthy of your help.

1. Together with within the wellness instructional agenda cause, happiness and private freedoms – as major standards when proposing, delivering and assessing packages, insurance policies and initiatives.

2. Encouraging attitudes of kindness, compassion, tolerance and generosity in all human relationships and within the ways in which different animals and types of life are valued.

3. Instructing, popularizing and advocating cause and important considering expertise in an effort to empower folks to problem prejudice, superstition and irrationality in each space of ​​life.

4. Exalting the inventive and imaginative in diversified expressions (eg, music, literature, artwork, dance), celebrating these kinds because the essence of what it means to be human.

5. Exploring the bases for ethics and morality, throughout the context of happiness and human rights for all.

Dr. Victor J. Stenger was a professor of philosophy on the College of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics on the College of Hawaii. He authored a dozen broadly acclaimed books on the interface between philosophy and physics, in addition to faith and pseudoscience. His 2007 ebook “God: The Failed Speculation – How Science Exhibits That God Does Not Exist” was a New York Instances bestseller. Within the concluding remarks in his article entitled The Folly of Religion (in John W. Loftus' “Christianity Is Not Nice), Dr. Stenger addressed the dichotomy between religion and cause:

I’ve an pressing plea to scientists and all considering folks. We nee to focus our consideration on one purpose, which won’t be reached within the lifetime of the youngest amongst us however needs to be realized sometime if humanity is to outlive. That purpose is the substitute of silly religion and its vanities with one thing extra elegant – information and understanding that’s strictly primarily based on observable actuality.

Finest needs, be properly, suppose clearly and at all times look on the brilliant aspect of life.

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