Starting from a comment by PZ Myers on Larry Moran’s blog, Chris from Mixing Memory takes him to task, or tries to anyway. Ivy and I exchanged a couple comments on this thread on the discussion, but I’d like to put up the comment I posted on Mixing Memory as an independent post:
Even if some degree of literalism is most common among the volk, that doesn’t permit you to dismiss all religion by dismissing literalism/fundamentalism. It still leaves a large, if not majority segment of religion that you haven’t even touched.
Even if PZ is equating all religion with fundamentalism, religion is still all based on superstition and mythology, is it not? What’s wrong with calling it what it is?
If we were talking about paganism (Greek Mythology, for instance), would you still be arguing so strongly against PZ? Fundamentally, Greek and Judeo-Christian Mythologies aren’t that different, afterall. The same goes for all of the religions in the world. And in each and every culture, superstition and mythology have their places, but the learned scholars among us recognize these things for what they are – beliefs, not facts.
True, there are a great many moderate Christians out there who recognize the discrepancy between belief and fact, and that’s fine. In many ways that was my view while growing up. But I would argue that such people aren’t theists at all – they might not even be deists. They are Christians in that they “go through the motions” (the rites and rituals, etc.), but have a view of reality that is based on something other than the Book of Genesis and miracles of the Bible.