Saturday, October 4, 2008

The propaganda of religion.

Why is it that religion is so widespread? What evidence is there of a God? Why do people believe? These are a few of the questions you might have asked yourself. Here I will discuss part of the answer to the first question, Why is religion so widespread?

To begin, I offer you a definition. The word is Propaganda. Wikipedia defines propaganda as;

... is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.

The full article can be found here.

Here is a quote from Clamour Magazine;

"Propaganda is not the same as advertising or art. Art today is preoccupied with abstract ideas; advertising tries to get you to buy something. Propaganda, on the other hand, is interested in making you believe something. It is the stronger societal force; once you start believing in an idea or ideology you will buy anything – metaphorical or literal – it tries to sell you. Once the public was scared into believing Iraq was trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, they didn’t seem to mind that they were being fed lies over and over. Untruths and misleading statements were quickly accepted as reinforcement and justification for a particular point of view, even when proven false.
Propaganda is that strong."

To back up my statements, I will offer you an example of religious propaganda, then I will point out the falsities and misguiding statements of it.

The following is taken from here. I encourage you to read the page for yourself to see other examples.

Scientific Accuracy

Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

These are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but in terms of the basic world of man's everyday experience; nevertheless, they are completely in accord with the most modern scientific facts.

It is significant also that no real mistake has ever been demonstrated in the Bible -- in science, in history, or in any other subject. Many have been claimed, of course, but conservative Bible scholars have always been able to work out reasonable solutions to all such problems.

How this article is propaganda.

1. Roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22)
"22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"

As we all know from decades of science and observation, the earth is a sphere, like a ball. Not a circle, like a frisbee. According to this, the believed the earth was flat.

2. Almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9)
"9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

If you define"heavens" as the sky above us, then this verse cannot be attributed as proof of the bible. It is a common view due to observation. If you look up, it does seem endless.

3. Law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7) I include verses 5 and 6 for context.
"5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

The fact that the heavens and earth seem to be kept in check, is due to "the word" of a unproven deity is laughable, and in no way scientific.

4. Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7)
"7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again."

You could make it a stretch to believe this means the hydrological cycle if you infer that the rivers come from the rainclouds. It could be interpreted as if the rivers would flow backwards to the source. This is ambiguous.

5. Vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
"22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me."

Again, this cannot be attributed as proof of the bible because it is another common observation that most people have viewed. Look up at night. Can you count all the planets, moons and stars.

6. Law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27)
"25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands."

Entropy is defined as "A measurement of the randomness in a system." If it was created be a devine being, that indicates order, not randomness. This doesn't even apply.
7. Paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11)
"11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

Another one of those obvious observations. If you bleed out all of your blood, you die. Therefore, you can assume that you blood helps you life. How can this author believe that the obvious is proof of science in the bible.

8. Atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6)
"11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

This is not Atmospheric circulation. It is an observation of a local winds such as a dust devil, not a global system of air movement.

9. Gravitational field (Job 26:7)
"7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."

How can this be evidence of gravity. The earth is held in place by a complex system of centrifugal forces trying to send the earth out words, at the same time the sun's gravity prevents this from happening. If you hang your coat on nothing, does it not fall to the ground? Something cannot be "hung" on "nothing."

As you can see, this is pure propaganda. There is much more of this type of misinformation out there. But I will discuss those later.

1 comment:

Xxx said...

*gasp* you forgot about the atheistic whackjob who thinks gravity is a crock ;) I think he says its all magnetism

So does that make your post propaganda? :p

If someone shoved their faith in your face - saying turn or burn - I can see where you obviously then get the right to condemn a whole set of beliefs - Much like the atheist who called me stupid, deluded,propagator of the world's evils - all because I answered his question

One needs be careful before you slam someone else's beliefs - Heck if I have time I'll rebut ya - My view deserves just as much respect as yours - although I am looking forward to seeing "Religulous"