Religious zealotry vs. child molestation

In March 2008, an 11-year old died from undiagnosed but treatable diabetes as her parents prayed by her side without even considering taking her to a doctor.

Now, the parents have been sentenced leniently by a judge who sympathized with them.

Quotes from the article:
During the sentencing hearing, Leilani Neumann, 41, told the judge her family is loving and forgiving and has wrongly been portrayed as religious zealots.

"I do not regret trusting truly in the Lord for my daughter's health," she said. "Did we know she had a fatal illness? No. Did we act to the best of our knowledge? Yes."

Dale Neumann, 47, read from the Bible and told the judge that he loved his daughter.

"I am guilty of trusting my Lord's wisdom completely. ... Guilty of asking for heavenly intervention. Guilty of following Jesus Christ when the whole world does not understand. Guilty of obeying my God," he said.
Compare this to child molestation.

If the parents were mad in a sexual way, and believed that it's okay for them to molest their children, they would be sent away for a long, long time, and would never see their kids again.

But the parents are mad in a religious way. Religious madness is apparently much more acceptable. Even when it results in death, it does not warrant taking the children away.

The parents get a slap on the wrist, and they get to keep their kids so they can continue exposing them to religious abuse in the future.

Comments

dare said…
couldn't agree more.
echo said…
Religious madness is apparently much more acceptable. Even when it results in death, it does not warrant taking the children away.

Why exactly is that strange?
daniel said…
Read this or even perhaps the whole paper.

I think it will help you explain a lot of your frustration with general human lack of rationality.

It did to me at least:)
denis bider said…
Daniel: Thanks for those links.

I read the article summarizing The Adapted Mind.

According to the article, the book consists of two parts, the first part resolving the nature/nurture debate to explain how nurture is a result of nature anyway, so the dichotomy is false. This I have come to understand intuitively, I find it plausible but it doesn't seem new to me.

The second part of the book plays up the role of domain-specific psychological mechanisms (the human = combination of built-in capacities for mating, foraging, theory of mind, etc), while talking down the role of domain-general psychological mechanisms (the human != reason).

This second part is less familiar to me, but also not very surprising.

I am not frustrated by the general human lack of rationality because I fail to understand it. I do understand it. That doesn't change the fact that I despise it. Human irrationality is a threat, and I dislike that it continues to exist.

Highlighting the instances where it arises helps us identify it and take small steps to have less of it in the future.
daniel said…
"Highlighting the instances where it arises helps us identify it and take small steps to have less of it in the future."

Good intentions, but I think we both know they have as much effect as spitting can have at raising sea level.

I must admit that the essay is the best debunking of current social sciences I have seen so far.
It points out very persuasively it's "ducktape" nature and lack of consistent structure, that would enable it to discover truths(or laws if you will) that would be as solid as they are in other sciences.
They claim that by looking at our societies through the lens of evolutionary psychology, we stand a realistic chance of reaching that goal.

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