04 May 2009


I have read this article before. I have an opportunity to read the same today. After the near-dead (if not really dead) experience, Dan Dennett has not changed his public atheism. This time, I find the following paragraph special appealing to me.

Do I worship modern medicine? Is science my religion? Not at all; there is no aspect of modern medicine or science that I would exempt from the most rigorous scrutiny, and I can readily identify a host of serious problems that still need to be fixed.

Scanning through the discussion between theists and atheists in various blogs and discussion forums, one annoyance theme keep coming up. Theists consistently call atheism a religion. To many, it is like calling bald a hair color. But somehow, they just keep doing that!

Dan's quote above has strong resonance with me. Yes, I trust Science. When it is a matter of live or dead, I would put my bet on Science instead of prayers. But at the some time, I would exercise my greatest intellectual capability to scrutinize, question and doubt on any scientific claims. For basic Science, we inevitably have to believe in what our teachers tell us. After all, we trust that they are telling us the current accepted scientific principles and theory. Yes, I cannot test and verify every claims ever made - my life is just too short for that. But that trust is NOT based on faith. That trust is based on a number of factors. When in doubt, I WILL double check myself and most importantly I will HAVE the tool to do so (by reading the source or original documentations). I may not have the ability to do so, but no one is saying that I cannot.

Some sick children have died because of the stupidity of their parents. Praying never cures a child, not even one. When you are sick, don't ask for prayers. Ask for modern medicine know-how and trust the professionals. Just like Dan. Then say 'thanks goodness!'

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