In one of my lectures today I watched a clip with Richard Dawkins who, if you don't already know, is an author and noted critic of intelligent design. What struck me was that Dawkin's zealotry is just as bad as the blind belief of some religious devotees. Science, in this case evolution, has become the new religion. Most schoolkids will unquestioningly accept the views taught by their teachers, just as around a hundred years ago children would accept that God created the earth.
Personally, I try to be accepting of any belief that someone has decided to invest in, provided they are aware of all available evidence. The only thing I will openly criticize is willful ignorance, people who stubbornly refuse to even consider a viewpoint. And this is certainly true of Dawkins militant atheist opinion. Unquestioning faith may not be the cause of all the great atrocities committed by man, but I am fairly sure that it has perpetuated a great deal of them. The reason I wished to discuss this with you is due to the blind acceptance of opinion that goes on here on SoM. How many times have you seen "Magic has no colour!" or "Learn your basics!" shouted at newbies? Whether these statements are true or not is irrelevant. I believe we should simply point people in the direction of information and allow them to come to their own conclusions, rather than forcing views upon them.
When such statements as"Magic has no colour!" or "Learn your basics!" are stated as opinon, or advice i am fine with it. When such things are stated as some sort of absolute truth is when i start to get irritated. It's dogmatic and just bleh.
I agree that advice is valuable. That's why I said it would be better to advise people than tell them what to believe. And while some people on here may simply be giving their opinion as advice, I have experienced firsthand that others will very quickly disregard any newcomer who does not adopt their viewpoint. This attitude is obviously not limited to this site, but I feel that it is rather more prevalent that you would expect.
By: Brysing Moderator / Adept Nov 16, 2011
Post # 5
Sorry, Desidiae, but religion is a belief; evolution is a provable, and proven, fact. When we "older ones" give the young advice, it is usually because of the youngsters believing in such things as mermaids! I do not force my own beliefs on anybody; I hardly even reveal my beliefs! But I do try to discourage youngsters from believing the impossible, and even dangerous!
That is not intolerance, it is sound advice, to stop some little boy thinking he can fly!
k, if you have found peace and a feeling of completeness with a belief, that's fine with me, just don't turn your mind off and become a blind follower.
personally, i enjoy helping people on SoM, it makes me feel good, though certain people are either fluffies who won't listen to help, or are here for jokes. i've talk to a couple like that, i'm still nice, but it get's a little annoying repeating yourself. in regards to colour, i believe magic has no colour, only intent, but for the year and a day, you should think of magic having colour, to help figure out not only if the spell is right or wrong to use [black, white, gray] but also to associate with candle magic. [green=money/luck/healing]
I think, in many cases, you'll see the whole "magic has no colour" or "learn your basics" things being shouted either because of some belief that a black or white magic is a specific tradition of magic, or as a way of pointing individuals towards concepts that help them along the way when one has become exasperated with explaining the same things over and over again.
Indeed, the exasperation tends to be results in such frustration in helping those who seek knowledge as frequently once they are provided with answers to the questions they ask they lash out, finding that they are not the answers they are hoping for.
And then there is the simple fact that some folks need the dots connected for them.
Ideally, if you lead people to knowledge they will think for themselves and form their own intelligent beliefs. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. Science in some ways is certainly a new religion, but at least it is rooted in rational thought - something that most religions rather lack. Science, religion, magic... They all seek answers to the same questions. They try to decipher and explain the mysteries of the world, and the universe. I think they'd all do well if they worked together to explain things, allowing some hopeful faith while applying logical methods of thinking (the scientific method) to such exploration. Or else we're all just believing what we want to believe, and not really discovering anything.