F*&%K your "religious freedom." Don't tell me that what you believe is "TRUE." It's just what you believe. And that's a FACT.
And it doesn't matter how many other people who also don't know anything also BELIEVE -- it's not only not necessarily so -- there's no way to know if it is or isn't.
First of all, people of all points of view -- including those very much aligned with mine -- seem to not have a clue that there's a difference between TRUTH and FACTS.
Every public babbler from the far Right side of Rush Limbaugh to the far Left of Ed Schultz, keeps insisting he or she speaks TRUTH.
(Limbaugh doesn't even speak FACTS -- he makes them up to please his narrative and never changes his insistence that THEY'RE TRUE, regardless of other facts proving them incorrect. He's not the only one and they're not ALL on the Right.)
TRUTH, like GOD, is a concept no one can prove or disprove.
Atheist or Pope -- no one can prove that what he or she believes is actually true.They can line up a big load of facts -- real ones, spurious ones, factoids -- doesn't matter -- you can pile up facts as high as an eagle flies --- FACTS do not add up to TRUTH. They're different things.
Apples do not add up to Oranges no matter how many you pile up.
Wondering if there IS or ISN'T a GOD is philosophical gymnastics at best but usually just mental masturbation and a waste of time.
NO ONE can actually ever know that answer, regardless of what he or she BELIEVES.
No one can ever prove it one way or another, and it doesn't matter.
A person -- observing his or her own process of mind might come to actually know what he or she BELIEVES and that it IS a BELIEF but not what IS or ISN'T.
I've noticed most people don't even believe in what they think they believe. Certainly not the religions they profess. Otherwise they'd actually practice what they preach. At best, they THINK they believe in it.
More often, they just like to think they believe, because they THINK that would mean one is a GOOD person. I recognize them -- it's kind of like when I look at my bookshelf and realize -- after a seriously intellectual book has sat there untouched for 5 years or more -- I just want to think I'm the sort of person who would read that of book, but I finally realized I'm not -- one more meaningless bit of pretense I can drop.
(There's something to be learned there, so it's not a total waste. For example, it makes me recognize Newt Gingrich for the intellectual-manque poseur he is and to recognize all the people who remark on how smart he is for the gullible schmucks they are. This year, that's a valuable thing to be able to see. Because I pretended to be the person I wanted to think I am long enough to read some of those books and recognized that he not only takes the quote out of context and THEN misquotes it, he didn't understand what was being said to start with. This is something I first noticed he was doing way back when he was misquoting and misunderstanding Alvin Toffler. And as I freely admit, I may be clever from time to time, but I'm not all that intelligent and certainly nothing like an actual intellectual.)
Back to the God-floggers.*
I don't know whether or not I believe in a God or a Not-God. NOT whether or not there is one -- just whether or not I believe in such a thing.
(My wife tagged this as being a "self-agnostic," and that's as useful a label as any.)
And, like computer solitaire or, even better, Freecell, it is interesting to me to notice, as time goes on, clues to how I think.
It's no use to ask those people -- those absolutely positively no doubt at all people
"Do you actually KNOW that?"
"Of course I know it.""How?"
"Because it's true."
"How do you know it's true?"
"Because I know it."
--At which point it's best to stop, because after that, they get violent.
Hell, I flunked Logic in college, and the fallacy in that little feedback loop is even obvious to me.
(I prefer to think my F was because it was an 8AM class and I just stopped going.)
So I beseech you all -- from Melissa Harris-Perry who is newly-added to Rachel Maddow in my pantheon of those I worship as Goddesses of Facts, History, Social Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology and all the way to Glenn Beck who is .. well, I have no idea what he is --- all of you -- PLEASE PLEASE learn and respect the difference between FACTS and TRUTH.
Journalists -- from the best to the worst, do FACTS.
(The best know this. It's the WORST who insist they're doing TRUTH.)
*God-floggers, as distinct from those my wife refers to as "God-grifters.' The floggers sell what they believe or think they believe. The grifters sell what they want YOU to believe and pay them for the privilege.)