Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God vs. Education

The Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O’Donoghue, was charged by the Vatican with finding out why mass attendance has been steadily declining in recent years. His conclusion? It’s all that book learnin’. According to O’Donoghue, the rise of mass education has led to hedonistic, selfish, and egocentric behavior. Not to mention flagrant skepticism about unscientific and otherwise ludicrous beliefs. Without bothering to go into detail about how this makes any sense, O’Donoghue says that while mass education has led to scientific discovery and the enrichment of daily life, it also has a dark side due, for some reason, to original sin. This is probably a reference to the fact that the first sin committed by humanity in the Biblical creation story is eating from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. But even the Bible doesn’t explain why knowledge is necessarily a bad thing. Still, there’s really no arguing the bishop’s point. After all, the Catholic Church’s heyday was in the dark ages, when people were too busy working and/or dying to bother with learning about things like evolutionary biology. But he might want to do a better job dancing around the implication that religious devotion is directly proportional to basic ignorance. More details here.

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