I am starting a new thread, because I do not want to be blamed as an alleged monster making fun of cripples and this accusation was getting out of the scope of the discussion about soulmates.  

I claim:  Every religious and other irrational belief and every behavior based upon such beliefs are so preposterous and ludicrous, that this justifies ridicule and making fun of it.   This is independent of who is afflicted with the irrationality and of the reasons to behave irrationally.   

This ridicule is principally justified by the irrationality.   Hurting the feelings of the misguided believers is not justified, so the ridiculing has to be restricted to be done in a way, that they do not know it.

I told about having been to Lourdes and discreetly having a good laughter about the weird spectacle of the irrational religious behaviors.    This does not imply laughing about the unfortunate and tragic situation of cripples and sick people.    They have my compassion and my sympathy.    

The evaluation of a person's situation and the evaluation of a person's method of coping with a situation are independent.   Compassion with a person's unfortunate situation does not require automatic respect for weird coping, no matter if the coping is the belief in a miracle at Lourdes or in homeopathy or any other woo-woo.   

The availability or lack of having a choice is the decisive difference:   Becoming sick and crippled is not a choice.   Making a fool of oneself by going to Lourdes is a choice.   It is this choice, that justifies the laughter.   

What about the Darwin award?   Are the people, who have invented it also monsters?   Does their laughing at weird ways of getting killed really preclude their having compassion with the dead persons and those grieving?   

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thanks, now I am jumping to wrong conclusions too. 

In all fairness k, I didn't understand Doug's comment either, and English is my first language.

If something is so blatantly ridiculous isn't ridicule just one of its aspects, a part of its very nature?

Doug, I see it as relatively ignorant people, indoctrinated by religion, with an infirmity, of which they believe, desperately, due to that indoctrination, that they will be cured, via magical, miracle spring water. I cannot fault them, any more than I can fault anyone laboring under what we now have come to call, Stockholm Syndrome. I can pity them, but I can't bring myself to ridicule them - I would relinquish a part of my own humanity if I did.

I may understand now:

Some things are ridiculous and they invite or trigger therefore to be ridiculed.

But some things are so extremely ridiculous, that ridiculing them is a spontaneous and logical reaction and not ridiculing them a conscious act of self-control.  

Bingo!  Give that man a cigar!

Thanks Doug - there are those on this thread who would cut off my tobacco supply. I don't suppose you could make that a Cuban --

I'd make it an El Presidente, if I had access :-(

I keep Fidel on Speed Dial, I'll see what I can do --

I have a partial box of Cohiba Esplendidos sitting around here - but I'm saving them for Hitchday, :D

http://www.cigarsofcuba.com/itoolkit.asp?pg=products&specific=j...

When is that, exactly?

April 13th http://www.thinkatheist.com/events/christopher-hitchens-day-1

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