In a sense, I know that we should respect everybody, but do we really just need to keep quiet when crazy religious people preach and yell and affect law? I personally don't think so. Maybe I am too closed minded, but I think the more vocal the atheist community becomes and LESS vocal the religious community can be the world would be better off...Faith is not based in fact, as everybody knows. So why not publicly denounce all faiths as ignorant and detrimental.
Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?
This is a great post. Thanks.
Everything we know of the psychology of religion shows that religiosity is a self-deception, founded on the satisfaction of emotional and spiritual needs of individuals within faith communities
I'm wondering if you might expand on this for the reader. I don't think most atheists are all that knwledgeable of this area and I think you're touching on a key point here.
@Mark - probably the most succinct, erudite, comprehensive treatise on the subject I've read! I wou;d, however, like to elaborate slightly on a point upon which you touched briefly.
You said: "One of the features of what we call the ‘post-9/11’ world is the recognition that religion is no longer a private matter" - this began long before 9/11, first appearing during the Nixon Era when the hydra that was the "Moral Majority" first raised its ugly heads, greatly resembling Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the like.
With the effort of the religious to turn this county into a theocracy, it has increasingly lumbered out of the area of private opinion - which any of us should be allowed to freely hold - into the political arena, where election of the wrong people can institute warfare where none need take place, and infect our educational institutions with false information, masquerading as facts, that could well, if accepted as truth, set this nation's youth back a hundred years, and as those youth represent our future, that paints a rather bleak picture.
Also, whereas the USA had 9/11, please don't forget that in the UK we have had religious terrorism a lot longer, with the "Irish troubles" as we quaintly called the bombing of innocent civilians that covered the preceding 30 years or so. I am only here because circumstances dictated that I left my office in the City of London about half an hour before it exploded... not once, but twice.
I wasn't on the Underground (subway) the one day that the Taliban blew it up because it was the day before my birthday and I took the day off work.
To me, that's Christians 2 - Muslims 1. Or rather, Religion 0 - Strega 3.
Our motto in London, in the face of terrorism, was on bags, buttons, T-shirts and newspapers.
Whatever you do.... We Are Not Afraid
Ever get the feeling Strega, that they're actually after YOU?!!
(PS - don't miss your plane!)
I think that *most* people deserve respect (unless they prove themselves unworthy). However, not all "ideas" deserve respect. People also do not deserve to not ever be offended, especially when the "offense" is that other people don't buy into their delusional superstitions. Religion, on the other hand, does not deserve ANY respect. Religion has spread hatred, fear, death and destruction throughout the world, especially the abrahamic "super-twins". As the followers of these cults will argue, they are not ALL evil. But, of course, if they were, they wouldn't be able to survive. However, these superstitions do allow their indoctrinated to feel superior by giving money to their charities which help some people, even while blatantly damaging other people's lives. They allow their followers to justify their otherwise inexcusable bigotries. My brother, as an example, is a big time patriot. He listens to music that embodies "proud to be an American" and expresses pride in our troops defending our freedoms. He would be horrified at the accusation of being prejudice. Yet he felt the need to vote Yes on California Prop 8, despite this being obviously unconstitutional, because his mormonism allowed him to vote "for his conscious". How ridiculous is it that a person can, in one breath can praise justice, freedom, and individual liberties but in the next justify stripping civil liberties away from a huge subsection of our citizens just because he doesn't "approve" of their "choice".
Which leads us into the next big problem with religion, in that it allows people to believe things, despite these beliefs being clearly proven wrong time and again. The fact that religious people can still proclaim homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice" is beyond stupidity. Proclaiming that someone can be "cured" of their nature is moronic beyond all reason.
I wouldn't have nearly the problem with the religious, if they didn't feel the self-righteous justification that they should be allowed to forcing their horrid beliefs down everyone else's throats. They constantly berate the rationally minded person for not just "letting everyone believe what they want" and not allowing us all to "live and let live" while completely ignoring the fact that it is they who began this ideological war in the first place by trying to indoctrinate our children and push legislation through based on their superstitions.
No, religion has no justification is expecting any respect from anyone at all, and, unfortunately, it not only expects it , but DEMANDS it while showing no tolerance or respect to anyone who doesn't buy into their crazy, delusional superstitions. While people may claim that this is a problem with "religion" and not the "religious", it is the religious that propagate and support the religion, so they are the ones that must bear the burden of the war that they persist in maintaining.
Did that make sense?
Yup. Welcome to TA. I tend to have the same mindset toward my friends who "follow".
One thing I give Catholicism over any form of Protestantism is that they are not into a litteral teaching of the bible. My elementary school teachers in the early 70s were nuns, yet religion was never opposed to science, scientific facts were a given. Of course we had to write essays on how greath that bitch M.Theresa was, vomit, I don't know why I aced those classes... sigh. I was never not an atheist, and I got along very poorly with those nuns, they left some pretty severe scars on my psyche nevertheless.
If the patriarchal, fascist, racist, xenophobic, anti-intellectual, misogynistic, brutal, sadistic, masochistic, indoctrinating, arrogant, domineering, opportunistic, exploitative, mind-numbing/dumbing, greedy, paralyzing, contradictory, hypocritical, abusive, patronizing, inconsistent, unjust, bullying, might makes right attitudes/practices of religions somehow magically and/or literally changed and disappeared, then and only then would I respect any of them.
Since this is unlikely, I will sleep with one eye open and keep my distance from all of them. I do however see the humans that are trapped by religion with a great deal of pity and empathy because they all deserve better than what they have inherited. I'm a progressive, liberal-minded, peaceful acting humanist and that makes me quite happy to be alive. A fair number of religions have evolved to be kinder and gentler than they were but that in no way excuses their historical actions and ideas as well as their continuation of horrible dogma, practices and hatred.
I can NOT silence my disdain and disgust with religions because that would mean I have surrendered to them like a slave. I'm a free man and intend to stay that way until my last breath. Respect good humans, reject evil ideas, stay furiously curious about everything possible, find your bliss, do your part for humanity and just have a hell of a healthy great time whenever and as often as time allows.
Life is too short to waste it in church or reading the same book/books over and over. It's time for more people to wake up and move on for the sake of humanity and the health of every interconnected life form that we know of. I like to wax inspirational/verbose/melodramatic at times. hahahaha Take it easy, everyone :)