…during (Timothy) Dwight’s tenure, since he personally delivered more than two hundred sermons to undergraduates on the dangers of religious infidelity. One of his most memorable perorations proclaimed the immorality of smallpox vaccination, introduced by Dr. William Jenner in 1796. An earlier form of inoculation against smallpox had been employed by progressive, educated New Englanders like the Adams family since the 1760s. In a departure from the general eighteenth-century approval of scientific advances—a predilection of many orthodox believers as well as freethinkers—Dwight argued that if God had decided from all eternity that an individual’s fate was to die of smallpox, it was a sin to interfere with the divine plan through a man-made trick like vaccination.”
The above quote is from Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
pedantic and extreme, has real relevancy. The quote above illustrates this nicely. Mr. Dwight’s lack of empathy for the suffering of his fellow human beings is corrupted by the fallacy of “God’s Will”. When put into practice, millions of lives are adversely affected.
This is just one example of the corrupting influence that religion can have on society. This is why we need a popular movement based on the values of humanism. Values that put the welfare of all human beings first and foremost.