Faith-based thought vs thinkers Re: [extropy-chat] Intelligent Design: I'm not dead yet

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at
Sun Jan 29 01:39:37 UTC 2006

Russell Wallace wrote:
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Russell Wallace 
  To: ExI chat list 
  Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 2:34 PM
  Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Intelligent Design: I'm not dead yet

  On 1/27/06, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at> wrote:
    How come?  The Crusades and various Israel-Arab conflicts were paltry
    little affairs compared to the major wars of the last century.  The
    historical record doesn't make your case.  Now, if we decide to
    declare an all out conflict targeted at one or more major religions, 
    that would be a dangerous and foolish thing to do.  Let's not go there.

  I agree. Most followers of the world's major religions are not enemies of progress. Yes, a minority of fanatics are; the same is true among atheists; to indiscriminately tag all "faith-based thinkers" as the enemy is both untrue and unproductive.

Perhaps you are right that "faith-based thinkers" should not be regarded as the enemy. Perhaps it is 'faith-based thought', not the 'thinker' that is the root danger. But the thinker or non-thinker is the agent or vector. 

The only atheists that have done significant harm that I am aware of have only been able to do so because large numbers of people put faith in them. 

To me "faith-based thinking" rings like a contradiction in terms. To me faith-based thinking looks the same in its consequences as non-thought but perhaps
you have a different understanding of the word faith.   

Can you offer any examples where faith-based thinking is progressive, humanistic, extropic, or in any way a net benefit to people in its consequences?

Brett Paatsch
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