While going through a number of texts yesterday in preparation for sending off a ms. for my new book ('Cosmic Ruminations') I came upon an essay by a little known French philosopher and teacher, Andre Comte-Sponville.
It follows thus:
They mistake their faith for knowledge and are prepared to kill or die in its name. They have no doubts or hesitations. They know everything there is to know about Truth and Goodness....and Salvation. So of what use is Science to them? None. Of what use is democracy?
Everything worth knowing is in "the Book". One need only believe and obey. From Genesis to Revelation they have taken sides once and for all. They are on God's side, so how can they be wrong? Why should they believe in or obey anything else? Fundamentalists, obscurantists and terrorists...but they see themselves as angels, though they behave as beasts and tyrants.
They take themselves for the Knight of the Apocalypse. They are the janissaries of the absolute, which they reduce to the narrow dimensions of their own conscience and perceive as their private property.
They are the prisoners of their faith, slaves of God or of what (with absolutely no proof) they claim to be His Word or Law. Spinoza summed their type up admirably when he said:
"They fight for their servitude as if it were their salvation"
They see themselves as submitted to God.
More power to them, provided they don't infringe on our freedom, by attempting to submit US as well!