Is Anyone in the Asylum Listening?

The asylum hasn’t seen much progress – there’s just way too much crazy out there to be battled, and so many insane folks that they’re running the nuthouse, and the country and, it seems, the world. The sane people who should be in charge of distributing the daily dose of reason are being overrun – trampled, ignored, and in extreme cases, eradicated. Some of them have even lost their own minds in the melee.

And then there are the strong ones – the rational men and women who stand their ground against the onslaught of madness, who plant themselves in the middle of the asylum’s halls, yelling their message into the screaming bustle of loons who would topple them at any opportunity.

It always amazing me, then, that these pillars manage to find some new way to say the same thing they’ve been shouting, be it poetic or idiomatic. One of the leading proponents of sanity managed that today, from the midst of a cyclone of inmates, attacking him from every direction. One can only hope that, being so close, some of them may actually hear.

Please, if you’re currently screaming about anything PZ Myers did yesterday or wrote today, please stop for just a few moments. Please consider this message. It is not written (nor copied) as a result of hatred, bigotry or intolerance as so many would claim. It is a genuine cry for the world to work together to move forward for the sake of our descendants yet to come, rather than living our lives for the sake of those who have lived and gone. Please, simmer down for long enough to read and absorb this paragraph.

Nothing must be held sacred. Question everything. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet. You are all human beings who must make your way through your life by thinking and learning, and you have the job of advancing humanity’s knowledge by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality. You will not find wisdom in rituals and sacraments and dogma, which build only self-satisfied ignorance, but you can find truth by looking at your world with fresh eyes and a questioning mind.

Maybe you understand what he’s saying, and you will decide to teach your children about a real hope, about a world governed and improved by the glory of science, rather than a whimsical God who has made little progress over the past two millenia. Maybe you’ll tell them about the beauty of a plan they can be a part of, that they can build on, rather than a plan they have been assigned by a God who seems to only care about a human’s needs when they mesh with his own.

If you don’t, then you’re the reason PZ Myers and others keep standing in the halls, trying to teach rational and critical thinking, trying to break through the delusion of religion and pseudoscience. It is not evil or hateful. It is actually an act of love: for our world that is spectacular enough in its own right, for our children who will inherit it, and for those of us who live in it now.

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2 Comments

  1. July 30, 2008 at 12:53 am

    […] not a new idea; in fact, it pretty closely resonates with PZ Myers’ message I posted last week. It wasn’t even new at the time of the novel. It serves to show, though, that maybe in […]

  2. October 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

    […] not a new idea; in fact, it pretty closely resonates with PZ Myers’ message I posted last week. It wasn’t even new at the time of the novel. It serves to show, though, that maybe in […]


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