One the cars parked at the office parking lot where I work had a bumper sticker on it that read “fiction” in cute religious symbols used to spell out the work. It’s similar to the “coexist” and “tolerance” bumper stickers you may have seen on other cars.
The premise of the bumper sticker is that all religions are equal (Leftists love their equality, don’t they?) and that all of them are a fictional narrative. The truth is that all religions and philosophies of the world not equal and comparing them is more like comparing apples to lizards.
I am a Christian and I’d like to take the time to note that this is not about asserting the superiority of Christianity as many pastors are known to do when this kind of topic comes up. I have no interest in convincing non-Christians of the errors of their ways because I know from experience and from observation that nobody will be argued into Christianity.
Nearly every religion has their own origin story. While those stories may be similar, they always are used to describe the reason why things are the way they are. Very few religions have an origin story. Our origins are fundamental to our existence and so by answering that question, it gives us meaning and purpose.
On top of that, we find that there is some deity or collection of deities who are responsible for creation and human life. Whatever the mythos, each has their own narrative.
Now what about scientists talk about the big bang and evolution? The main problem I have with scientists who push these theories is that they do so with the fervor of religious fanatic which they tend to despise. I am not saying they are necessarily wrong (Christianity itself allows for both the big bang and evolution given its vague creation story), just that they reject others while screaming for tolerance and understanding. I’d imagine that tolerance would be the official buzzword of their concentration camps.
The fact is, science hasn’t proven a damn thing when it comes to the origin of life. Yes, they have made great strides in demonstrating how it could have come about but we haven’t even recreated the primordial soup becoming life or observed a new species born, given the literal millions of unique and distinct species on this planet.
Science requires direct observation of some kind. This is how it works. That observation can be done with instrumentation of some kind, but a the end of the day, you have to have proof of something in order to consider it to be a fact. There is zero proof of evolution or the big bang other than conjecture based on observations made in the present.
Our existence in a linear time dimension limits our ability to thoroughly prove such things as of right now. I would like to note that we cannot disprove such theories either.
And now we come to the reason why it is absurd to call religion fiction: the Naturalist alternatives are just as absurd if you think about it logically. Logically, neither is provable or disprovable and all of it relies on magic thinking.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking that I’m an asshole who is not taking a side. No, I am merely pointing out the short-sightedness of the supposed elite thinkers of our time who believe that religion is for the foolish.
Yes, there are many religions that are outright ridiculous (Scientology comes to mind) while many others seem to rely on wild claims like reincarnation (why is nobody ever some generic loser in a previous life) or 70 virgins in the after-life if you die fighting infidels.
There are others that are hard to swallow and have confusing doctrines which seem to contradict each other. I know that Christians in the West have adhered to a lot of false teachings or doctrines which sayings like God helps those who help themselves (never shows up in the Bible). I am not naïve to think that there are not problems with Christianity. Submitting to a God who doesn’t bother to give the time of day to most people is definitely a struggle for the prideful.
But to clump all religions together as irrational thinking is absurd generalization at best and, at worst, indicates a mind closed off from its ability for self-reflection. I have often found that the organizations or individuals who use terms like “rational” or “reason” in their titles and names are often far from such terms much like the People’s Republic of China isn’t really a republic or beneficial to people (at least the United States of America is a solid definition of what the country really is).
So before you mash all religions together as magic thinking or irrational fantasies, understand that such sweeping generalizations make you look foolish.