While reading through the recently released second printing of David Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions, I came across this gem and thought I’d pass it on:
“In 2007, a number of scientists gathered in a conference entitled “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival” in order to attack religious thought and congratulate one another on their fearlessness in so doing. The physicist Steven Weinberg delivered an address. As one of the authors of the theory of electroweak unification, the work for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, he is a figure of great stature. “Religion, he affirmed, “is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion” (italics added).
In speaking thus, Weinberg was warmly applauded, not one member of his audience asking the question one might have thought pertinent: Just who has imposed on the suffering human race poison gas, barbed wire, high explosives, experiments in eugenics, the formula for Zyklon B, heavy artillery, pseudo-scientific justifications for mass murder, cluster bombs, attack submarines, napalm, intercontinental ballistic missiles, military space platforms, and nuclear weapons?
If memory serves, it was not the Vatican.”
This is one of many magical moments in Berlinski’s book. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the theism debate and a sense of humor.
See also: “Everybody Expects…the Liberal Inquisition!” at http://firebreathingchristian.com in the Article Archives.