Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What Matters

The other big story from the weekend was the murder Sunday of Dr. George Tiller, gunned down at his church, apparently by a militant pro-lifer. Dr. Tiller performed late term abortions. In all the discussion that's ensued, a lot has been made of the fact that the suspect, Scott Roeder, is a fundamentalist Christian. As for what that means and how it plays into the crime, I found this observation from PZ to be worth repeating:

In many ways, though, his religiosity is going to be a distraction. It simply doesn't matter, and the strongest conclusion we can draw from it is that religion fails to provide a reasonable framework for morality, since it is so easily and regularly subverted to rationalize evil. Focus instead on the root of the problem: Roeder was an amoral, obsessed nut who found support for his delusions among a particularly ugly American subculture. Gods don't matter. And when you think gods do, you lose sight of the truth: other people matter.
Quoted for truth, as the kids say.


Muze Euterpe said...

Why is it that only the right wing nuts get their religion placed in the lime light.

What about the religion of Green Peace members?

The man is a nut. There are nuts of all religion and there are atheist nuts.

JDB said...

How many Green Peace members claim to do what they do because God told them to? Or to fulfill his will? I honestly don't know.

But that misses the point (I think) that PZ was making. This guy's religious beliefs didn't turn him into a killer. But they probably provided a filter through which he justifies his actions. It's just an observation, not a basis for further conclusions (or it shouldn't be).