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Stupidity regarded as wisdom March 13, 2012

Posted by Ezra Resnick in Belief, Reason, Religion.
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was a keynote speaker at the “Living the Catholic Faith Conference” in Denver last week, where he argued that his Christian faith is not irrational:

… Scalia today told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 Catholics to have “the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity” by society’s sophisticates…

The 75-year-old Scalia said that today one can believe in a creator and the teachings of Jesus without being the brunt of too much ridicule, but that to hold traditional Christian beliefs that Jesus is God and He physically rose from the grave is to be derided as simple-minded by those considered leading intellectuals.

Traditional Catholics, Scalia said, are seen as peasant-like in their saying the Rosary, kneeling before the Holy Eucharist and indiscriminately following the teachings of the pope.

“(Yet) the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight,” Scalia said, quoting the Bible…

In Washington, Scalia said, the pundits and media couldn’t believe in a miracle performed under their noses.

“My point is not that reason and intellect need to be laid aside,” Scalia said. “A faith without a rational basis should be laid aside as false. … What is irrational is to reject a priori the possibility of miracles in general and the resurrection of Jesus Christ in particular.”

Nice try, but Scalia demonstrates exactly why his beliefs do deserve to be “derided as simple-minded.” Non-Christian “intellectuals” don’t reject the possibility of Jesus Christ’s resurrection a priori: they reject it due to lack of sufficient evidence — just like Scalia rejects the miraculous claims of Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Stories of miracles occurring “under people’s noses” are a dime a dozen; one would expect a judge to know that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Of course, even if there were good evidence that Jesus is God and that he physically rose from the grave, it would not follow that we ought to kneel before him and follow his teachings indiscriminately. That’s not wisdom — it’s servility. Indeed, we all pay the price for Scalia’s reverential adherence to stupid Iron Age teachings which he believes to be the will of God.

So it’s good that the irrational beliefs of Scalia and his church are coming under pressure. Instead of hunkering down and insisting that folly is wisdom, I hope the faithful will have the courage to examine their beliefs critically, so that one day our public policy will not be constrained by ancient miracle stories. As a wise man once said: “A faith without a rational basis should be laid aside as false.”

(via Thoughts from Kansas)

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Comments»

1. jhm - March 13, 2012

“Of course, even if there were good evidence that Jesus is God and that he physically rose from the grave, it would not follow that we ought to kneel before him and follow his teachings indiscriminately.”

This is genius. It ought to be engraved on a public monument somewhere.

Ezra Resnick - March 13, 2012

Thanks, jhm!

2. jamie - March 25, 2012

As my bf says, Christians embrace this lack of evidence AS evidence of true Christianity. Growing up he said the favorite song of his brethren was “God’s own fool” which not only acknowledges the lack of sense in the belief of Christianity, but applauds it as proof of true faith. After all, faith is the belief in things not proven. Therefore the more far fetched, the more faithful you are.


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