Tuesday, November 02, 2004

TAYLOR: Death is result of debate about God

Check out this sensational story in Community Free Press: Death is result of debate about God. Notice the heading? It implies that a debate about God was the cause of the victim's death. In fact, on The Church of Critical Thinking blog site a contributor made the comment that "It's another example of why we should ALL be afraid of people with strong religious convictions." This, of course, is nonsense. I would suggest that the perpetrator is probably mentally ill. There are millions of people who have strong religious convictions who do not go around killing people. And I am sure that many people who commit violent acts, including murder, are not religious in the general sense of the word. The heading Death is result of debate about God is nothing more than sensationalism. Wouldn't the title be better as Death is the result of mental illness or something similar? In any case, to conclude that we should fear anyone who has strong religious convictions means we would be responding in much the same way as the perpetrator of this crime -- acting on fear is likely to lead to uncritical actions in order to "protect" ourselves. There's a long history of people mindlessly destroying what they fear. What an irony!

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