Aron Ra's "Faith is not a Virtue"

Articulett gave me the heads up to this video and asked that I post it. It has some nice little nuggets in, not least the quote I transcribed and posted below which I am using in another post. The video is Aron Ra, known in the blogosphere, giving a public talk for half an hour and then receiving questions.

I like several things he says, especially about religion impeding science. He hits the nail on the head there. This too:
“I was told that faith is trust… I was told I would not step onto an airplane unless I had faith that it would land safely. That doesn’t make sense because I know the plane exists… I know something about the safety ratings for commuting on an aircraft and I know that I can check my sources to find out they should be fairly reliable. But how could I be expected to trust things which can’t be verified and which are told to me by people which, frankly, can’t be trusted? I can’t trust the teacher, the preacher, or even the President, which when I was a boy was Richard Nixon. And maybe that was why I never recognised any authority as being unquestionable and that includes the people who wrote all the world’s religious tomes while claiming divine inspiration from a host of gods who cannot all exist at the same time.

Each of my science books said, “This is why we think this; this is how we figured it out; and this is what we still don’t know.” That I can trust. And it inspires me to contribute. Conversely, religious books claim to already know everything we’ll ever need to know, even thought they never explained everything; and you’re forbidden to question them. Instead, you should believe them without suspicion and simply because they said so (even when they have already been proven wrong). This is why the word ‘confidence man’ describes a criminal swindler. Such people should not be trusted. When is it ever wise to believe someone without question?”