“We must accept seriously held public belief as a normal part of modern living,” says Davie. “The more you deny and attack it, the more defensive it gets.”
Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed. Sam Harris -The End of Faith
The problem is that there is not really much difference between the irrationality of the firm believer dedicated to humanitarian, socially responsible activity and that of the fundamentalist extremist.
As but one simple example the Creationist who believes that a mystical entity created everything 4350 years ago is intellectually no different from any other believer who has decided (as the Catholic Church has had to) that the entity must have done it more than 13.4 billion years ago. Neither has a shred of evidence
Deborah Mackenzie’s article in New Scientist offers some sage advice for those free thinkers who argue rationally with fundamentalist ‘thought’ but make little headway:
“The challenge for the secular inheritors of the Enlightenment is to remain true to their values and be tolerant and pluralistic - even in the face of an opponent that can never reciprocate. That means understanding fundamentalist mentality, and at least not adding to the alienation that inspires the more extreme among them”.
There is only one hope left and that is in education but as we see that is under threat as religious groups are taking over the educational system in the UK and the US as they already have in the Islamic World Welcome to MadrasahLand
Is there any way to get the moderates to realise the obvious fact that The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheel barrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology The End of Faith Sam Harris
As we stride boldly into the Middle Ages it does not seem out of place to wonder whether the myths that now saturate our discourse will wind up killing many of us, as the myths of others already have Sam Harris - The End of Faith
They are just interpreting the mystical indoctrination they have had in different ways