Atheist Oversimplification of Religion
New Age religions are diverse, but many, if not most, stress the importance of individuals coming to their own confirmation of the ideas presented. I have witnessed many sessions in which a channel medium (one who presumes to allow a more advanced spiritual entity to speak through his/her body) answers questions from the listeners. Many of these listeners come to channel mediums expecting that the medium's special spiritual source can tell them what to do and what to believe. Over and over, these mediums have asserted (or the spirits they are channeling have asserted) that the person should not take their word for it but must verify the ideas in their own experience.
Unitarian Universalism is another religion that takes the authority of science seriously and is skeptical of ancient scriptures or religious traditions as being acceptable without question.
The author of the article makes the following statement:
"A scientific investigation starts with a question, and tries to reach a conclusion by finding evidence and applying reason. A theological investigation, though, starts with a conclusion, and tries to wiggle around any impediments of evidence and logic in order to justify that conclusion."
I have already described two religious traditions that operate like the scientist and not the theologian described above. This is an example of stereotyping and is evidence of ignorance and prejudice. Anyone who values science as much as this author does should take the same thorough approach to understanding religion as to understanding evolution or physics. Don't make sweeping generalizations based on a limited population of evidence.
The author concludes with the following paragraph:
It's true that many intelligent people embrace both science and religion. They seem to compartmentalize their thinking; it's as if they use different parts of the mind for science and religion, with hardly any interconnection between those parts. They adopt the comfortable myth that there isn't, or shouldn't be, a conflict between science and religion.The author needs to expand his horizon and stop simplifying such a vast field of human experience as religion down to one small portion of the field. It is much the same fallacy as those who try to discredit the truth of biological evolution by plucking out a few factoids to illustrate their case and ignore the rest of the evidence because it contradicts their pet idea. I hope people don't take a similarly prejudiced view of those who embrace science as closed-minded atheists.