The Pope’s Easter message is one that we are “groping in the darkness, unable to distinguish good from evil” which is remarkably coming from someone who resides in palaces that glitter with baubles of such incredible opulence; we must wonder if he has gone blind from the glare.
He is right though but for different reasons. Humanity is leaving a darkness but it is one of superstition and of ignorance of the natural world around us, and the light that is showing the way is one of knowledge and of learning that has come from a process of methodological naturalism.
There are many changes we have seen in the past century but there is one major statistic that usefully encompasses all of the blinkered vision, ignorance and dis-ingenuity of the Pope in one hopeful statistic: the maternal mortality rates in the Western world plummeted during the initial part of the 20th century before the World War II.
That one statistic, whereby the death rates of mothers at childbirth have gone from around 1% of births to 0.01% or two orders of magnitude drop, has turned our modern births from a lottery of death to one of a joyous occasion at the start of life. If there is a light and darkness, if there is a good and evil then this example of life or death must be a representative example. There are many factors that have contributed to this incredible technical feat and I won’t say that rising secularism has any part in this but this change in maternal mortality rates has come from knowledge about germ theory and that theory is founded on the scientific method.
Materialism has proven to be an essential part of the scientific method. The Pope hates materialism because there is no place in a material world-view for his beliefs. I’m sure that the Pope doesn’t want mothers to die at childbirth simply to prove his point but he does not want to hear that what has saved their lives has done this without needing or even wanting his beliefs.
So he creates a false dichotomy of good and evil, of light and darkness, and he wants you to use your imagination to put him and his hierarchy on one side of the fence and all that he hates on the other side. It is such a pity that the fence he builds is a barrier to progress and it is made from the graves of those that could have been saved. Like Ignaz Semmelweis before us, society must learn to wash its hands of these theologians and recognize them for the plague they are. If there is a darkness that obscures human morality then it flows from the mouths of these people who sell Religion.