While visiting many progressive internet sites over several years I have come to the conclusion that for whatever reason ultra progressives have a greater tendency than usual to also be atheists. That’s fine; they are entitled to their beliefs just like everyone else. However, from time some of these people arrogantly insinuate that they alone have some kind of monopoly on the truth and then proceed to ridicule the religious beliefs of others. Recently I saw in one of the many Facebook “I Hate Trump” groups that someone had posted something along those lines, and someone else had replied with a quotation from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, “Religion is the opiate of the masses”. In other words if you ascribe to a religion you are just an uneducated, uninformed peon.
Now I am not particularly religious myself, but one thing that really irritates me are people who claim to be progressive who act like their worst conservative counterparts. Just what part progressive thinking condones the disparagement of the beliefs of others? After reading that obnoxious post I went on to read several posts in other groups on Facebook, but the contents of that entry continued to bother me. I finally decided that it could not go unchallenged so I sat down and typed out a reply. However, when I went back to enter that response, I could not locate the original post again. Now wanting to waste those thoughts I have included them below:
Who made you the arbiter of truth? Religions in their many forms have one thing in common, the belief in a supreme being (or beings) that created our universe. You make fun of religious beliefs, but what about your own assertion that there is no god? It is nothing more than an unsubstantiated belief in and of its self. You can no more prove that there is no god than religious people can prove that there is one. Then what then makes your belief more valid than theirs?
You seem to claim that you are a progressive. Isn’t one of the main tenants of liberal thinking that people are entitled to their own belief systems in so much as they do not involve doing harm to others or impose on their rights? Why then do you find it necessary to denigrate in general the belief systems of so many people around the world?
Now I totally understand the concerns of progressives when aggressive religious people seek to impose their belief systems on others by trying to codify into law their right to discriminate against members of the LGBT community, interfere with a woman’s right to chose, deny women contraceptives, etc. (I never understood how those last two concepts could possibly be compatible; but no one has accused them of being rational.) I am with you all the way as we fight back against that kind of stupidity, but to translate our disdain for these religious zealots to all religious people is unjust at best.
I believe in science, so let me proceed using a scientific basis. We human beings we are faced with a binary choice in this area: 1) We can either belief that matter and energy or their source existed forever or 2) that a supreme being was involved in their creation. There are no other rational choices. It is difficult, but we can envision that our universe could last forever. However, we human beings cannot seem to wrap our heads around the concept that everything we can see and experience had no beginning.
Our scientists now have ample reasons to believe that the “big bang” theory is valid. That is the two trillion galaxies of our known universe and all of dark matter in between was once was condensed into an infinitely small, infinitely dense particle which for some reason exploded about 13.7 billion years ago and that the energy and matter which emanated from that explosion continue expand outward today.
However, our scientists know nothing about how that particle or singularity originated, and very likely that they never will no matter how many centuries they study the subject. The reason being that scientists can only postulate as they do about how the universe works because they have come to understand the principles which govern energy and matter, the rules of physics, chemistry and elementary particles. However, before the big bang those rules and principles did not exist.
Now you can come up with your own explanation as to how the big bang particle came to existence or you can believe it always existed if you chose. But who are you to say that a supreme being did not create that particle and did so with a design in mind for ever fragment of his/her/its ultimate creation. Who are you to say that the Christian story of Genesis is not a description of the actual creation of the universe, the earth, and mankind “dumbed down” for a very primitive people that lived ten thousand years ago? Only the most arrogant among us would criticize the beliefs of others when they also have no way of substantiating their own beliefs to the contrary.
Now if you want to believe that there is no god, that’s cool; you are entitled to you beliefs just like everyone else. However, keep in mind that yous is a belief, not a fact. So quit treating it like it is a fact. Most of all, stow your arrogance and know-it-all attitude because you, just like everyone else, have no monopoly on the truth.
Now in the unlikely event that you have found my rant above offensive, I would suggest that you have probably found a shoe that fits you, so don’t hesitate to wear it.