Posted by: ericgrimsrud | September 20, 2021

Are religious fundamentalists detrimental to the future wellbeing of human beings?

A large fraction of Americans believes that there is an almighty God who is aware of their individual personal lives and is capable of affecting them in either a positive or negative manner whenever He feels such actions are warranted. It is a common practice, for instance, for religious fundamentalists to ask their God to help others or themselves when a particular need arises. It is also common practice within a wide range of fundamental religious groups to promote specific views on controversial issues of society and to insist that the word of God as revealed in the scriptures of their religions represent the wishes and directives of God.  The potential problem with all of this, of course, is that it sometimes leads to public policies that differ greatly from those derived from the fields of science. This, in turn, can lead to unfortunate outcomes because modern science has repeatedly provided our best predictions of future events. 

The influence of fundamental religious views on our two most important scientific issues of today are very apparent. Concerning one of them, we have today an uncontrolled pandemic throughout the USA due to the spread of covid-19 viruses primarily by individuals who have chosen not to be vaccinated – contrary to the recommendations of science. Many of these uncooperative individuals have been influenced by the evangelical and fundamental branches of their churches, which often suggest that we should leave some of our most important issues for God to decide.  As we now know, however, this approach to the Covid-19 problem has failed to stop this pandemic which now threatens to take over almost all available intensive care facilities of our country.  We are now belatedly trying to make corrections by following recommendations of science that should have been put in place much earlier.

The second example of the unfortunate influence of fundamentalists on public policy today concerns mankind’s attempt to stop the relentless advance of global warming. Far too many of us buy into the view of many fundamentalists who claim that weather and climate are set to the preferences of God who they are certain, designed and created the entire universe. Thus, those among us who accept that religious notion are more easily persuaded by the CEO’s of the fossil fuel industries who also try to  assure us that the influence of their fossil fuel products on our climate is too minuscular to be of importance. Unfortunately, notions such as these are turning out to be contrary to the predictions of science as well to ongoing observations. Therefore, the fundamentalist’s view is very likely to be exceedingly harmful to the future welfare of human beings on this planet.

I have described here the unfortunate influence of religious fundamentalists on the two major scientific issues facing mankind today – one dealing with the efficacy of vaccines and the other dealing with the greenhouse gas warming of our planet. Sadly, in both cases, viable solutions and actions concerning these enormous problems are being frustrated by individual citizens who subscribe to the fundamental branches of their religions. Since many of those citizens lack the scientific knowledge required to thoroughly understand these issues, they must then decide whose advice are they are going to accept. Going forward, more of them will hopefully choose the advice provided by science which has the far superior record of correctly predicting the paths to be taken by Mother Nature.  If we don’t choose the advice of science, we will continue to be in a losing battle against Mother Nature and, as we should know by now, She bats last and always wins. We will have a far better chance of winning this battle if we use all of the gifts either God or the evolutionary process has given us – including our reportedly superior brains.


  1. As a minister from Vancouver WA has stated, ‘the Bible makes very little claim about preserving our individual freedom, but it repeats endlessly our obligation to serve our neighbor.” That’s the reason she provided for getting vaccinated against Covid. “In service to neighbor.” Likewise, being a steward of creation was the first job description for humans in the Bible. We’re doing a crappy job on that one. As the big-brain species, we are doing a disservice to our capabilities when we ignore science and its overwhelming assessment of our species’ so-called civilization’s role in climate change. As a species that lives in community, we also betray the source of our evolutionary success when we act to benefit only a small sector of our community. Get the vax and vote for people who will set sustainable energy policies for a future in which we can survive!

    • Great response and even greater advice, I only hope someone listens!!!

  2. Not everyone who gets the vaccine is safe. I got both vaccines and got the covid anyway. So much for that.

    • Mary Kay,

      Thanks for that relevant point. My daughter in law also got the latest strain of the Covid19 virus in spite of having both of the vaccine shots.

      My point, however, is that getting both vaccines will still greatly help prevent the spread of the virus so that it doesn’t become a pandemic and will also help individuals like you and my daughter in law survive if you do get it. The pandemic that is currently upon us is due largely to our large numbers of unvaccinated people. My understanding is that full vaccinations would have prevented our present pandemic. Check this out with your husband who he is a biology expert.
      Best Regards. Your neighbor, Eric

    • It’s not an end all against any possibility of infection, especially as the variants get stronger, but I’ll bet you weren’t hospitalized and you seem to still be with us. “So much for that”!

  3. Eric,
    I am one of those who do believe in a Creator, but I will not let that belief influence the reality that human beings actions are a big part of the Global Warming problem and I also believe that he/she would not be pleased with our stewardship of the natural world that was handed to us, He/she would also not be pleased that some of us are using their “association” with that Creator to justify what is convenient thinking for them to solve whatever problem suits them at the time. This mis-directed way of thinking is definitely hurting the scientific rationale for the problem of Climate Change. These so called religious fundamentalist’s are really going to be calling on “their GOD” when the planet becomes uninhabitable. See what kind of a response they get then!

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