Rebirth of Reason


Iran Earthquake - God Dunnit
by David Bertelsen

Strike up a few more lives to the death toll reaped by religion this century. Another 40,000 plus whose philosophy of "God will protect us" failed, dismally, despite an all-pervading religious state, temples pointing in the right direction, week-long sessions of chanting, fasting, self-flagellation. One can safely assume that in Iran, that haven of Islamic correctness, whatever the wise script readers interpreted as being his Almighty's preferred form of suffering has been preached, tested, implemented. And yet... still, he chose to direct the full brunt of his anger at the very source of his most fervent faithful.

As my heart cries for the dead, my mind just keeps coming back to that vulgar American expression most needed in Iran and the rest of the undeveloped, mystic world... GET REAL.

For it is God, and the rejection of reality believing in him represents, that is the major reason why so many died in this disaster, uncannily similar in size to the one in California a few days earlier that left a mere nine casualties. For in the modern, civilised world, even in such seemingly mystically-mad tofu-munching sandal-wearing states as the Golden one, a commitment to reality is second nature. A commitment that drives man to improve his lot, to build with concrete instead of clay, and to trust mathematical equations and not prayer sessions.

Maybe I'm wrong- perhaps we should blame the Americans, who despite copious efforts to build cars the size of trucks, and cool Arizona to colder than the South Pole, have still failed to spend enough money on oil to allow Iranians a reasonable income from what they find under the ground. Or perhaps it's the nasty Jewish conspiracy, somehow manipulating Hollywood, aligning the stars in a big fat David that wobbled the earth's gravity (what's that?) such as to tip over all those houses God built in an Arab homeland.

Surely, it can't just be metaphysics that caused this? Well it was. The very same metaphysics explained by Aristotle more than 2300 years ago stating that existence exists, that it is knowable and that, God Dammit, we'd better off just respect it.

It all comes down to one thing. Religion is evil. Some will say that religion is a harmless, nay helpful even derision that guides peoples lives, gives them a moral compass and prevents their otherwise flawed selves from running amok on libertine sprees of rape, murder and cake-eating. Unfortunately, the consequences in believing instead of knowing are very real...the ground did shake and houses of mud did collapse. The deaths could have been avoided by respect for reality, by respect for productivity, free exchange, and the wealth and material improvement caused by a commitment to capitalist values. Lives could have been saved, by reality-based "Western" ideas such as science, and it's logical derivatives such as earthquake proof engineering. For every dollar spent on temples, every second "wishing" for God's favours was money and time NOT spent on respecting reality.

This earthquake was a disaster. A natural one, yes, but more importantly, a disaster of the mind. America, and it's governing coalition in Iraq would do well to learn from this disaster, and having justly removed one dictator, ensure that it does not allow a despot to be replaced by mystics.

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