Saturday, March 19, 2005

Randall Terry is an Idiot

Randall Terry is infected with a mental virus that has completely impaired his ability to make cognitive sense of the world.

In the name of an allegedly existent god, Terry has been campaigning against American rights to birth control for decades. Now, he has taken up a misguided campaign to save Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman who has recently been taken off the life support systems that have sustained her since her heart failure 15 years ago.

This is religious zealotry at its worst. Terry is making a political issue out of our right to die with dignity.

If you truly consider yourself to be "pro-life," please start working on issues that can save hundreds of thousands rather than individuals. Consider joining the fight against HIV, or erradication polio once and for all. Consider helping to solve automobile safety issues--how many children each year die in automobile-related accidents?

If Terry were really interested in the lives of people, he would devote himself to a more effective and meaningful expression for his cause. Why doesn't he? Because he is mentally ill. He is infected with a severe mental virus that drastically affects his behavior. This virus is the Biblical literalism virus that has grabbed the minds and now controls the actions of conservative Christians.

To be clear, we are all infected with different mental viruses, and each of us are driven by these viruses in different ways. I am infected with the scientific rationalism virus--one I personally think is actually a benign virus. It allows people to look at other mental viruses--like extremist religious convictions--objectively.

Very few medical doctors would likely state that holding a religious perspective is a type of mental illness. Questioning a person's religious beliefs remains the last great taboo we have yet to overcome.

To get more of where I am coming from:
  • On "belief": read this interview with the great Douglas Adams, now dead, and certainly not in Heaven nor Hell, but simply dead (and missed by many of his adoring fans)
  • On "mental viruses":
    • read the excellent essay by Richard Dawkins, "Viruses of the Mind"
    • or innoculate your mind with beneficial viruses by reading Richard Brodie's book by a similar name


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