A common enemy

“Faith-based belief is the root problem our species must reject if we are to survive. We have run out of time to afford this idiocy to continue to motivate and justify the kind of reality-denying thinking you endorse in the name of love. It’s high time each of us stopped this childish way of insisting our wishful thinking was equivalent to good thinking, responsible thinking, intelligent thinking, that our wishful thinking should not be adjudicated by reality but held exempt because of pious considerations. That’s beyond idiocy now; it’s delusional and it threatens all of us. And it’s time more people were confronted by this brute and harsh reality that our collective actions really do have knowable negative and pernicious consequences even we try to call it love. It’s not love. It’s not about love. It’s about growing up and leaving our imaginary garden behind, saying goodbye to Daddy, and learning how to take responsibility if we want to be a part of the solution to global problems rather than a central pillar of causing the problems. Faith-based belief and the thinking it involves is a luxury we cannot afford to keep. It threatens all of us.”

Tildeb, the author of the comment above, has some very strong examples of why “faith based belief … threatens us all”.  And much of what he writes I agree with.  Those who see global warming stats as a conspiracy theory are a real and present threat.  As are  those who insist historical and cyclical global change is relevant – we are not in the past we are in the present.  But I see “faith based belief” not as “religion”, and not the “only belief” I live by.

I see instead “those who need to be right” arguing with “those who need to be right”.

So if I live by “fact based reality” then “faith based belief” is wrong and I am right.  And if I live by “faith based belief” then “fact based reality” is wrong and I am right.  Which makes life very simple and very confrontational – and is a real threat to change.

Why?

Tildeb is worried – and he is right to be worried.  Global warming and the consequences of a tipping point – whose aftermath will certainly exclude “us” – is a reality.  Yet to blame (and alienate) the millions of “faith based belief” human beings is also a threat.  Faith based belief did not bring about global warming.  The consequences of global warming are not biblical or God dictated. They are you and me dictated.

How?

I have a family.  We use a lot of stuff.  There are consequences to all that stuff being used.  And unless we, as a family, can sustain that usage there is a “tipping point” and consequences.  And the consequences are all around us – the homeless, the angry, the desperate, the poor, the hopeless, the despair, the darkness.  So when “we” have been stripping the earth of all it has AND chucking the toxic faeces back without a thought – then global warming is not a possibility – it is a certainty.

Tildeb makes a strong case for me being the problem.  He describes working on ice-core samples and what they showed. And then this about a “faith based belief” colleague: “To keep his religious beliefs intact, he denied the yearly process perfectly understood and claimed divine intervention altered the ice to make it appear to be older than it was, that a divine agency inserted modern pollen into it and somehow physically altered the specimens to look ancient.”

And this: “This was not the first time I encountered such intellectual intransigence based on a faith it must be so. The first time was in South Africa when I encountered what Apartheid looked like in action, and the second was when I visited Auschwitz: this is what faith-based belief looks like in action. It produces this bizarre notion that pretending reality is other than what it actually is means doing things contrary to and incompatible with it. It showed me that the beliefs about some faith-based ideology will be treated by people as more important than the welfare of real people in real life. “

I agree with everything he writes: global warming is a reality right now … an academic who rejects evidence in his hands because the bible is “inerrant and infallible” is a liability to me and my family … and apartheid (as with the “colour issue” still today) the same … and as for “the Jewish Solution” we have learned little – we still think we have a right to dehumanise those we label (as they did in the bible AND science): unclean and unworthy.

I agree with tildeb on so much. Yet for this: my faith based belief (which tildeb requires to be his definition of “faith based belief”) is not the problem.  Love is not the problem.  God is not the problem.  Science is not the problem.  Evolution is not the problem.  Global warming is not the problem.

We are the problem.

We live here.  We eat and drink here.  We sleep here.  We wash here.  We defecate here.   We reproduce here.  We demand our rights.  We expect our rights to be delivered.  We take up arms to defend those rights.  We go to war to keep you from having our stuff.  We NEED a common enemy to unite against.  We NEED a reason to stop bickering amongst ourselves.  We NEED a reason to be “the bigger (wo)man”.

I am on the same side as tildeb.

I want us to stop the bickering and do the fixing.  And I can unite with tildeb even though he sees me as the enemy.  Because he is right: we have a common enemy of mutually assured (self) destruction.  He sees it as faith based belief and I don’t.   I see it as greed and complacency and fear.  And if love unites where “faith/fact based belief” divides – then I am for love.

Because this planet is heating-up.  And I have children.  And I am hard-wired to love them and protect them.  And if you love your lifestyle, your fear of change, your God, or your science – whatever you need to hold onto at the expense of my children and yours – then you have woken something deep and primal in me.  You are the problem.  No matter your “god” no matter your “qualification” no matter your “position of power”.

Tildeb’s view of me:  “Yet here you are tossing into this ‘conversation’ an idea of doubt, that this knowledge is really just a vague kind of arbitrary belief that might turn out to be the case. But, hey, maybe not and really, who cares if it’s somewhere in the future. We can’t know exacting details for certain, so let’s pretend we don’t really know anything at all.”

Here’s where the rubber meets the road:

What I believe tildeb believes of me is irrelevant (as I hope to convince tildeb) because there are no sides in this.  There is only a tipping point fast approaching.  And if we unite globally – and very soon – against a common global enemy called “The Tipping Point” – then just maybe …

BUT we each have to allow.

(because “What About Me” is why we are where we are – no matter our “beliefs”)

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