Sunday, July 21, 2013

Deleted From Huffington Post's Readers' Comments, Reconstructed From Memory

Frank Schaffer writes:

Where is God when a child is shot in Newtown or hung in Auschwitz or killed in an American drone air strike or for that matter dies of cancer? I don't know. There is no answer.

There's a very clear answer, Frank, believers just don't want to hear it: He's all in your heads. People made him up to try to explain things and to help them cope. God is obviously still a great coping mechanism for many people, but science has been explaining things better for a long time now, and coming up with all sorts of ways to solve problems, undreamt of in earlier eras when religion still represented the intellectual cutting edge (thousands of years farther back in the past in my opinion than in yours), problems which therefore don't have to be coped with by means of flights of fancy and escapes from reality. For example: we haven't completely eradicated cancer yet the way we've eradicated many other diseases, but we're getting closer, and in the meantime we're getting better and better at treating it, and we haven't eradicated those other diseases nor made that progress with cancer by praying or interpreting Scripture, we've done it with science. Science, with which religion is still constantly interfering. (Pushing the HP Religion party line that neither fundamentalism nor literalism nor a conflict between religion and science goes back further than the 19th century is a blatant interference with the study of history, as blind and counterproductive as insisting that the world is 6000 years old.)

By the way, HP mods? Deleting perfectly reasonable comments phrased in a civilized manner just because they express points of view at odds with your own does not make HP look modern and enlightened and progressive and tolerant. HP Religion constantly pushes an image of itself as modern, enlightened, progressive, tolerant believers -- plus a couple of token docile atheists -- and it's constantly deleting perfectly reasonable comments. I can see the comments posted by my friends which have been removed. Of course, if which comments are removed is not decided by the moderators' judgement at all but is just a matter of how many flags a comment receives, that would be even worse. That would mean, in effect, that what we have here are not moderated comments at all, but flame wars.

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