When analyzing sickness, or any other event, we look for connections. If there is news that food from market shelves is making people sick and some having bought that food have died, we make a lot of connections, including the responsibility of the food producer and the health of those who didn't survive compared to those who did. The more connections we make (valid connections) the better we understand the event. Regarding connections on a different subject, Selina O'Grady in a debate on Intelligence Squared was supporting the proposition that "Religion is good for us" (even though she is an atheist). She spoke of Bin Laden saying "specifically that he wanted the United States out of the Arabian Peninsula," and she described this as "a territorial demand, even if it is dressed up as a religious demand." In making her argument she arbitrarily denied the ingredient of religion that was a part Bin Laden's territorial demand (and more than just a dressing). And religion was an ingredient in the motivation of those others who took part in the attack in New York on September 11, 2001. Accuracy and understanding events are created by an inclusion of valid connections, not by their elimination.
Also, O'Grady disconnects religion and science, which is a disconnect of a different kind. Science, she says, is about what is, about fact, and religion is about what ought to be. She scolds the late Christopher Hitchens for failing to make this disconnect. But many people of religion have failed to make this disconnect while contemplating their relationship with the universe, and religion is what people of religion think and do connected to their religion (their choosing to eat beans may be irrelevant). Many think this or that god is, and some might be willing to kill heretics or kill in the name of their god to defend their faith. O'Grady's claim of a disconnect between religion and science (an epistemology) is more imagination and art than it is a valid connection with societal reality.
Selina O'Grady has a book for sale at Amazon: And Man Created God: A History of the World at the Time of Jesus.
Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.