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Unprovable …

A quick follow-up to my Science and Religion post, this time coming from the atheist side.

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” ? Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens

This statement is known as Hitchens’ Razor; the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim. Mr Hitchens used it first to criticise the beatification of Mother Theresa in 2003.

Martin Luther King Day 2013

It seems that last week’s post on Inaction was just setting the scene for this post. Today is Martin Luther King Day [^] in the US.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr King was talking about segregation and racial oppression in the 1960s, but this still hold true today. History is full of immoral acts that were allowed to continue unchecked because of silence and inaction.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

 Martin Luther King Day 2013

Science and Religion

To properly communicate a belief sometimes we need to phrase it in a very exact way. That isn’t always easy to do, and we can end up frustrated.

Thankfully some great thinkers and speakers have preceded us, and they manage to sum-up our thoughts in a few powerful words. Martin Luther King, Jr said:

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.”

This isn’t the MLK quote that I want to use today to mark Martin Luther King Day in the USA. It’s here so that next time a friend wants to tell me that science is wrong I have the right words so that I don’t need to flail around, or cause offense!

Science - Stylised Atom 


Albert Einstein said:

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Which is a reminder of the instruction by Leviticus (19:16) in the Old Testament:

Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened.

It is worth remembering that we should follow the Golden Rule, and treat others the way we would want to be treated. We cannot stand idly by while another is being mistreated.

Jerome K Jerome "The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow"

Why Not?

Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.

“Back to Methuselah” – George Bernard Shaw

Also used as a slogan by President John F Kennedy, and as a eulogy by Sen. Edward M Kennedy for his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

NY Times – A Wallet Lost 40 Years Ago Now Is Found – 20 Feb 2011 [^]
John F Kennedy Presidential Library – Robert F. Kennedy Quotations [^]