Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Rationalism and Our World. Part II

Religion: As for arguments that deal exclusively with religion, I list and explain here some of the most important issues in my opinion.
The Bible: This book is regarded as sacred and as the word of God revealed to humans. First of all (and I think this since childhood), how do we trust that all books in the Bible indeed constitute direct revelations from God to prophets? Why do people believe in this argument? It seems to me that the authorship of the biblical books is purely human, with no divine intervention. Indeed, if it inquires into historical archives, we will see, with surprise, that many of these books were written with domination motifs of one people over another, or some elite on the masses, or even to lift their compatriots morale, in response to difficult times (wars, persecutions, etc.)..
The gospels, for example, are not only four as everyone knows; they are about ten. Each of them was written by people outside the very environment of Jesus, both on a space and temporal scale, and the authors of these gospels are not the apostles of Jesus (as it is said), but were written between the years 70 to 100 DC, that is, nearly a century after the existence of Jesus!
The reason why the religious authorities decided to include in the Bible only four was because they were the less contradictory between them. Then, eliminated gospels, are conveniently called apocryphal. There is historical evidence that the first gospel was written by Mark, who believed in demons and possessions, which greatly influenced in that gospel. The three remaining gospels were written long after, based on the Gospel of Mark. Despite this, they contain contradictory elements between them. The book of Genesis, on the other hand, tells us about the creation of the universe in only 6 days. This fact (and the totality of what argued in Genesis) is totally irrational when contrasted with the nature and geological, paleontological, biological and astronomical evidence. Explaining all this would require more space than I would use here, but, fortunately, is easily verifiable. Now, we could touch the issue of morality. This issue could be divided into two parts: the morality of the God of the Bible, and the morality of human beings. In the Bible, we see a God with many faces and facets, and in most cases, with features far away from what we usually think. For example, we can see at times a god of love and understanding, although on many other occasions we can appreciate a God who is full of angry, vengeful, vain, misogyny, slavery, and so on. Lets put examples of them, using the Bible:
  • Lamentations 2, 5: The Lord has become like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all its palaces, He has destroyed its strongholds And multiplied in the daughter of Judah Mourning and moaning. (Choleric Character)
  • Deuteronomy 1, 34-36: Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully. (Angry and selfish character)
  • Isaiah 10, 24-26: Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did. “For in a very little while My indignation against you will be spent and My anger will be directed to their destruction.” The LORD of hosts will arouse a scourge against him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt. (Vengeful and genocidal character)
  • Isaiah 14, 1-2: When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors. (Slavery and vengeful character)
  • Exodus 20, 8-10: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. (Slavery character)
  • Genesis 6, 5-7: Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Voluble and destructive character, as well as an apparent lack of omniscience)
  • Numbers, the entire Chapter 31: We note that the nature of God is vengeful, brutal, male chauvinist and extremely bloody and cruel.
  • Hosea 13, 15-16: Though he flourishes among the reeds, An east wind will come,The wind of the LORD coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article. Samaria will be held guilty, For she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, And their pregnant women will be ripped open. (Bloody, authoritarian and genocidal character)
  • 2 Kings 2, 23-25: Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria. (Intolerant, cruel and bloody character)
  • Leviticus 21, 16-24: Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. ‘For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. ‘No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest who has a defect is to come near to offer the LORD’S offerings by fire; since he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. ‘He may eat the food of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy, only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, so that he will not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the LORD who sanctifies them.’ So Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel. (Cruel, discriminatory and conceited character)
  • Genesis 22, 1-12: Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Irrational and selfish character)

On the latter scripture passage, I would like to make a comment. Obviously this story is a legend created by humans, which aims to show the values of personal sacrifice for God and obedience to him. But look a little more in depth. If indeed occurred this fact, doesn’t it an act of psychological bestiality? Let us think about the poor Isaac. What psychological trauma so great for him was that his own father had tried to deliver a sacrifice to a bloody God (like the one that shows us much of the Bible). Even considering that at the end of the story, God told Abraham to desist from their work, the innocent Isaac have suffered tremendous psychological damage. The only possibility that Isaac would have taken good way, is that since his early childhood has been indoctrinated to die for their God at any price. Apparently, and for the bulk of people believing it would be the right thing: to die for their God. But is it not that what we see every day in the Muslim world today? Just think deeply and objectively about these issues. Turning to the Bible itself, it should be pointed out that the books in which God is presented as an angry, extremely bloody and vengeful God (even more than in the rest of books) are the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Of course, the different Christian religions conveniently omit many passages of these books regarding human morality. Of course, human morality is not at all based on the idea of a God or the Bible. Supposedly, morals and ethics practiced today in the western world are based on the word of God, which are, from believers perspective, in the biblical writings. But if we analyze these writings, we see with surprise that there are many passages like what I described above. So, on what can we discern what is ethical and moral vs. what is not? Well, is in our nature. Obviously we have some mechanism to distinguish the good from the bad, and that mechanism is in our rational thinking features. Morality can be explained as three reasons favored by the evolutionary process: 1. The genetic kinship relations, 2. Reciprocity (give something in exchange for something else), and 3. The benefit of acquiring a reputation for generosity. The structure of our brain is a product of natural processes such as evolution (among others). We have intricate neural networks which enabled us to acquire a new power in the natural world: the intelligence and intellect. But at what cost we could acquire this set of features? Well, there’s no need to be very observer to realize that with respect to other animals, humans have a number of disadvantages (fortunately substituted by the powers that gives us our complex brain). And what are the disadvantages? Only enumerate a few: poor muscle strength, deficient speed racing; deficiencies in taste, touch, smell and hearing; high frequency of diseases of the spine (as a consequence of bipedalism), among others. Something that we might see is that these features are useful for our lifestyle, but are weak in relation to other living things. Recall that the biological adaptations are relative and not absolute, as we sometimes think. They’re relative concerning the environment, interaction between species, the ecological niche and the interaction between the set of morphological features present in the same species. At this point, I think I strayed from the arguments relating to religion and I entered the next group of arguments: those who had to do with natural sciences. Anyway, it should be pointed out that the fact that the Bible presents a conceptually different history from what we are accustomed, not necessarily imply the non-existence of God. I propose this argument as single evidence that it is a book written by men and inspired by men (and mainly by political and economic power, anxious throughout the entire history of mankind).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Rationalism and Our World. Part I

I wrote some time ago a kind of letter-paper for my parents to communicate the reasons for my atheism. We have always had enough confidence to talk about everything, but as this is an "special" issue, I decided to talk to them and tell them my thoughts, but I found that a letter would complement the work. The arguments presented in the article, which divided into two parts, are only a part of all the arguments that I have about believing in God, but I think they are a good introduction to the topic. As can be noted at the outset, I use a phrase of St. Augustine, which I later used to write "St. Augustine's Misconceptions", which is the first article published on this blog. I hope you enjoy it.
I write this article mainly to tell you about something important as regards my ideology and my way of seeing the world. It could start by defining three concepts: theism, deism and atheism. The theism is the belief in a divine being (called God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Zeus, Thor, etc.) as creator and designer of our universe, a spiritual being omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, which intervenes directly and indirectly in the daily events of all people and also heard our prayers, read our minds and sometimes conceed some of our good wishes and / or desires.
The deism is conceptually similar to theism, with the difference that is given the name "God" to all processes and natural laws of our universe. The main difference between deism and theism is that a deist person doesn't believe in a God who listens prayers, nor acting directly and consciously in the world's events, but simply uses the label "God" to call the entire nature. Finally, atheism is the non belief in any kind of divinity. Generally, people who come to this point have done so after years of rational, objective and skeptical analysis of general natural phenomena. One thing you might notice is that an atheist have almost gone through each and every one of these three sequential phases as follows: theism - deism - atheism.
The concept of God is transmitted from generation to generation and usually we were instilled from an early age, becoming, after a short time, an inherent part of our way of thinking and seeing the world. In general, people never question religious issues, because there is a fear of divine punishment. As St. Augustine said:
"There is another form of temptation; even more fraught with danger. That is the disease of curiosity. It is it who prompts us to try to discover the secrets of nature; those secrets that are beyond our understanding, that not provide any advantage, and which man should not want to learn".
This is a sample of authoritarian and retrograde thinking of religion about human curiosity(tremendous blessing!, by the way). At this point it becomes necessary to take the next question: Why did not fit in any religion the deployment of high curiosity? The answer is very simple: Because religious doctrines are based on the blindfolded belief about several items (faith) and the most remarkable is that there's no evidence of anything that religion argue (and even, religion goes its way despite the evidence). If someone gets to think deeply and ask things about our existence and the many contradictions between the real world we see every day and religious doctrines and the concept of God, then many questionings regarding this situation will raise. Issues that often not arise because of an unconscious self-repression to think about profound existencial nature and natural issues.
So far I have not made much progress on this issue, but I think we already have been realized by where this letter is going. One thing that I must grasp is that my way of thinking today is not due to any disillusionment or disappointment or external influence. Far from it. For years I've been thinking so wobbly and intermittent in such matters, although in recent months in greater depth. The reasons that led me to not believe in God are purely rational, and I can say I am trying to maintain objectivity as far as possible. For a good time (several years) my way of thinking has been essentially Deist, but remained in me some characteristics of theistic thought. As I said earlier, the God concept is so ingrained in most humans that it is difficult to leave theism altogether.
There are many reasons that have led me to non-belief. In what follows, I will enumerate just some, because if I dwell too, I could write a book about it (it's really not a bad idea ...)
Before turning to my arguments, I think prudent to say that religion in which we grow is something relative to the birthplace. I was born in a country where Christianity dominates, so the influence to which I have been subjected (not only myself but all those born in these latitudes) has been clearly Christian. But now let's think a bit and let's supose that, instead of being born in Peru, I was born in Saudi Arabia, where I would be Muslim, or in Ancient Greece, where I would be worshipper of Zeus, or in today's India, where I would be polytheistic. But, does the absolute truth is found in only one of them? I think that every religion is built in different realities and according to very different cultural experiences among them. Now it seems to me appropriate to separate my reasons according to three different areas: sociology, philosophy and Epistemology [1]; Religion; and natural sciences.
Sociology, Philosophy and Epistemology:
In this part I will explain the humanistic ,philosophical and epistemological reasons that lead me to think about non-existence of any deity.
Feel protected: Human beings have the need to have some support or divine protection. Since ancient times, humans have been performed rituals and ceremonies honoring the gods in order to obtain the grace of these through rewards of nature: rain, favorable climates, fertile soils, etc. For hundreds of thousands of years, has taken root in our minds a need to be protected by some divine entity, whether God, Sun, Moon, Mother Earth, and so on. Even the evolution and natural selection favored the development of this cultural characteristic. Our ancestors created thousands of years the idea of a God (or gods) and they spread and transmitted it to the present day, using local legends and myths, or even metaphors and folk tales for that purpose. So now, perhaps for many people is something hard to think in a godless world.
The will of God: Religions taught us since historical times that our destiny is already said, and therefore, what often happens is God's will. Now, after this point several problems arise. The first I'll explain with an example: A person has a very sick parent and prays every day for his health. That parent is subjected to medical interventions and treatments to restore his health, but after some time, died. Now, a believer would say: It was God's will. But if we put ourselves in a case where an alternative parent is recovered and healthy, then the same believer would say: It was God's will .... Is not it absurd that reasoning? I think yes. Another problem for the will of God, is that if indeed things happen in their will, there would be a paradox (inconsistency) between His will and free will that supposedly gives us. Lets explain that as follows: The will of God is: death of a person's parent so that he temple or strengthen his character and could learn things, but at the same time, if he has to decide something in his life, whether good or bad, God leave him do his free will, ie not involved at all, hence, would not be God's will, but the person's will (that means free will, is'nt it?). This is clearly evidence that life situations occur by probability or estochastic circumstances and personal decisions, not by divine intervention (or not intervention). Furthermore, if God exists, would not be implemented perhaps the famous lex talionis [2] with all of us? If we do bad things, punishes us; if we do good things, we are rewarded. Personally, I seem all this absurd coming from a God almighty and omniscient.
Prayer: Most humans are accustomed to perform regular prayers in which they talk with God and they thank him and ask various things regarding us or our loved ones. If God answered our prayers as many argue and ensure very convinced, then we would expect to see a statistical trend towards the effectiveness of prayer. But such evidence does not exist at all. While it is true, many times we ask is met, which lies just to statistics runs issues (A statistical run is defined as a sequence of identical occurrences preceded and followed by different occurrences or none at all. To visualize and understand best this, this is an example: A coin has a face (F) and a stamp (S); Now, suppose we launched the currency several times. A likely outcome could be: F - SS - FFFF - SSS - FF - S -- F - SS - F. In this sequence could be seen 17 coin throwings, which results in 9 faces, 8 stamps and 9 runs. There is a statistical test to determine if the runs are due to chance or if some external factor intervened. In fact, there have been inquiries about this alleged phenomenon, but the results have been negative for prayer. On the other hand, if theists had positive results, would it not be conclusive evidence to affirm the existence of God?, However , despite many believer scientists have been behind these studies, the tests have failed).
If we have asked anything to God and then things happens as we ask, we tend to automatically say taht it was the work of God. However, we do not take into account real and simpler explanations such as statistics and probabilities, which explain natural phenomena accurately and satisfactory. But it must be admitted, that in many cases, the act of praying serves as a therapy for self-suggestion, which gives results only in psychosomatic illness cases.
Divine tests: Many times we say that things happen because God tests us. At first impression sounds logical, but if you delve further into the matter, it makes no sense whatsoever. Let me explain: What need is to God, an omniscient and omnipotent entity, prove the behaviour or reactions of inferior beings in relation to him if, as omniscient and omnipotent entity, he would know in advance what will happen or what we are going to decide? There is simply no response, because such situation does not make sense. On the other hand, as an omniscient and omnipotent entity, why would he might change his mind on something? (see remorse for having created the men and then kill all humans in the Universal Flood mentioned in Genesis, and many other examples in the Bible).
Play Dice?: In light of these considerations, I could analyze it a little more as follows: Assuming as real the existence of God, then we accept that he tests us every day and allows the life on Earth and its development in many ways; if this is true, then it would mean that God plays dice with us?, what does he would need to test our reactions or see them if he supposedly already know them since ever? The only reasonable answer I can make after the foregoing is that we are an experiment, a kind of pastime for God (if we assume that he's there).
Gaps: A thing that human beings do now and did in the past since ancient times is to fill the gaps in our knowledge with the idea of a god or several gods. The religion in general use these loopholes to explain mysteries (so nothing objectively) the existence and influence of any deity in our natural and social world. The science, antagonisticly, examines the nature as objectively as possible and use these mysteries to deepen our knowledge and research in them, to convert a mystery in a known process and explainable by natural laws. While religions require the existence of unchanged mysteries to explain their doctrines, science uses the same mysteries to study and analyze them and take away from them the label of mystery. In other words, the religious doctrines are based on ignorance of the nature and its mechanisms , while science allows us to get out of that ignorance and try to better understand our natural world. Over the course of human history, many mysteries have been solved (formerly regarded as unexplained things and issues attributed to divine), which has served to broaden the human beings's knowledge of nature. Personalities as Galileo Galilei, Copernicus, Darwin, Newton, Mendel, among others, were considered in his time as heretics by their contrary ideas to those imposed by religion. Ideas, which, now seems to be clearly consistent with the laws that govern this universe. Not even the scientific method is perfect, nor intended to give absolute truths, but is a very effective tool in analyzing a phenomenon, verify his correspondence with nature and draw conclusions from the most objective possible manner. And that is not all, but again and again theories can be reviewed and make corrections or discard them if necessary. At the other hand, the religion has many dogmas and doctrines and aims to remain unchanged and immune to any skeptical scrutiny, which preserves only ignorance and impedes the advancement of human knowledge.
[1] The epistemology designates the area of philosophical reflection that seeks to answer the question: How can we know if knowledge is true ...?
[2] lex talionis: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Saint Augustine’s Misconceived Ideas: Male Chauvinism, “Androcentrism” and Ignorance

Catholic Church has been the most important occidental religion in the last two thousand years, and also the most influential in politics, morals and, in general, whole private life of millions.
Many closed-minded characters have gone through the ranks of Catholicism, thus impeding scientific progress and full freedom to which we are all right, and imposing retrograde dogma of force (although they contradict with nature and even their own “sacred” book).
Many of these characters have existed, but one in particular deserves the attention of this analysis: St. Augustine of Hippo. St. Augustine, that figure considered by the Catholic Church as a saint, used these words to refer to the curiosity:

There is another form of temptation; even more fraught with danger. That is the disease of curiosity. It is it who prompts us to try to discover the secrets of nature; those secrets that are beyond our understanding, those that do not provide any advantage, and which any man should not want to learn”.

Imagine what kind of conversation would have been between you and the "gently" St. Augustine, a boring conversation, authoritarian and without admission of free questions. Talking with him about religion or metaphysics, it would have been impossible for two reasons: the first relates to the above, the second responds to the fact that in his time, St. Augustine spent part of his time condemning as heretics (and hence, condemning to death) to any person who believed different things (or did not believe at all) to the commanding Catholic Church.
You can imagine, what kind of mind could propose the abolition of human curiosity! That is, Saint Augustine believed that curiosity really provides no advantage in life? Did you made? Or only used these words according to his convenience and expediency of the ecclesiastical authorities? It seems that is the last thing that has moved all the characters who paraded through the corridors of Catholicism. You can not believe that a person really wants to cancel a virtue so important in life as a curiosity. Or I would say St. Augustine that he never felt curiosity about the character and nature of God, or curious about what people thought or why he thought it, or curious to know more about his world (even the religious way, ie Subjectively). Without human curiosity, advances in science or any other matter would be poor, since it is the same curiosity that drives human to learn new things and make your personal life something interesting and enriching. Of course I do not mean curiosity for what they do individuals in their private lives, because that kind of curiosity has a special name: gossip. With curiosity I mean our ability and need to learn new things, our ability to surprise some new experience and go beyond to know and understand better. This kind of curiosity is what motivates people's lives: the quest for knowledge and understanding yourself, on the one hand, and know and understand the nature, on the other. Without curiosity there is no new knowledge, and thus achieves a stalemate knowledge precisely what happened for about five hundred thousand years thanks to the efforts of the Catholic Church. But St. Augustine not only made comments about human curiosity, but practically speaking, all he had to do with human beings, albeit clearly ignorant and despotic (as the God of the Bible). His idea about women is astonishing to most people today:
"Women should not be lit or educated in any way. In fact, they should be segregated as they are the cause of insidious and involuntary erections in the holy men. "
In other words, what a male chauvinism level is reflected in their own words! In other words, good St. Augustine had the idea that man was as wise, enlightened, which had exclusive right to education and knowledge, and the great innocent of the movie. In another of his appointments we could see more of this "ideology":
"It's Eve, tempting, from whom we must guard in every woman ... I fail to see what utility can serve women for the man, apart from the role of conceiving children. "
That is because the "saint" of St. Augustine (worth redundancy), women led him shameful erections, dared to disregard for this in a way of male chauvinism and ignorance. Apparently no one could find that no woman was even aware of their erections, while he blame others of a natural physiological process that happened in himself! On the other hand, good Augustine clearly not respected at least to women, none. Not respected neither her mother nor their relatives women, and in general, no woman. Saying that women only serves to conceive children is an insult not only to women of his era, even to women of all eras, but is an insult to all mankind! But I wonder, if women only served to conceive children, then what do St. Augustine served for? Does he was even allowed to have offspring? Well, the answer is NO. Very probably this explicit aversion to women has resulted in negative personal experiences, in addition to influences and characteristics propper of an era of ignorance as to the nature in general, in this case, the human race. Fortunately, we are in an era in which our knowledge about human nature (still imperfect), has enabled us to free ourselves of old and absurd taboos imposed by religions, and gives us a picture significantly different in terms of moral questions of our own nature and our position in it. We know now that both men and women belong to the same species: Homo sapiens, and carry a relationship of mutual horizontality, unlike the verticality dogmatic idealized by centuries mainly encouraged by the Catholic Church. Under this concept, there is no weaker sex or less; only exist some natural physiological, anatomical and morphological differences , common to all living sexual species. This is called sexual dimorphism. Just as lions, elephant seals, spiders, the peacock and other animals, such differences between males and females, humans also owns. Neither man is superior to women, or women superior to men; each has their own features and functions. That is how we shaped by the evolutionary process. Therefore, we must never again refer to humanity as "man" but as "human beings", which is a name more just and free of prejudice and ignorance. But St. Augustine obviously did not know all these things we have learned through scientific knowledge, so we need to judge their words and ideas as the thinking of its time.
As Stephen Jay Gould said about James Ussher, an Irish Archbishop , who determined that the creation took place on October 23 the year 4004 BC:
"I have to defend the timeline established by Ussher while a commendable effort for its time, and argued that his ridiculous alleged facet is the result of an unfortunate poverty of vision, born of our unhealthy habit of judging from the distant past and different in light of current criteria. "
But obviously come from Ussher to reach this conclusion was scientific, although the premise that he departed were not, while St. Augustine was limited to only irrational field of theology. So, anyway, a little common sense and rational thinking would have prevented St. Augustine, and many others, to say many atrocities on women, sex, the human being as vedette of creation, and so on. There is no superiority between the sexes, nor human superiority over other living beings. All living beings on this planet we are equally advanced and evolved, none is more evolved than another or superior to another. All that happens is that each has followed a path itself evolutionarily speaking.
In his book The City of God, St. Augustine tries to explain how it was divine selection of creatures that should go into the Noah's Ark:
"So I do not think that there were those without sex, because he (Noah) was ordered to be male and female, since some animals that are born of anything, without union of male and female, and then to come together and engender such as flies, and others in whom there is no male and female, such as bees. "
What is talking St. Augustine about? Obviously, the spontaneous generation. As I wonder earlier, what does St. Augustine served for? Within the inspiration that God gave him, how could not even give a little new information about basic things like that there is no spontaneous generation? In short, if women have only served to conceive children (according to him), he had no children. Women 1 - St. Augustine 0. But he served to convey the message of God... or not? If God existed, could have given correct information and solved their mistakes and those of others on various natural issues. But as what he called divine inspiration was just inside his head, then, let's say he did not provide for such task either. Women 2 - St. Augustine 0. Even under his own thinking, women win.
As we can see, many myths and misconceptions of nature have governed our culture for centuries, but is in our hands rid of them. Many people such as St. Augustine have shown very little curiosity and a lot of ignorance, which has had terrible consequences in terms of scientific development and human rights over the past millennia. Today we can ask ourselves: Do we really want to live like that? I am confident that the response of the majority would be a resounding NO.