I really do not see problems with calling spade a...spade.
The central tenets of all Abrahamic religions are delusions and the adherents fortunately mostly benignly delusional. Then again I personally am struggling between respecting people's beliefs and the desire to tell how there is not a shred of evidence either way.
Sam Harris hurts a lot of theists because he does not sugar-coat things. Hurting people per se is not wise nor something that should be actively pursued IMHO but it cannot be completely avoided. I think that the main reason for outright hate towards atheists is because the vocal ones cause the theists to a total dichotomy - either the 4 Horsemen are right or they´re evil communists trying to take liberty away.
As not just a theist but a Christian I cannot see any reason that anyone should respect my beliefs. I can see reasons that my beliefs should be tolerated as long as the do not justifiably infringe on others.
Let me expand somewhat.
I believe that there is a God and afterlife and that my behavior while living will be judged after death.
Whether or not that is an accurate reflection of reality is pretty irrelevant; if I try to behave while alive in a way that would be judged as acceptable but there is no judgement or life after death I will still have lived an acceptable life.
I am appalled by the "Jesus paid for our sins" brand of Christianity as a cheap conjob and more than worthless, it is destructive. I have no respect for that snake oil product but do tolerate it since, Thank God, in the US, "The Bible told me so" is not accepted as defense for antisocial behavior.
Beliefs do not deserve respect but I think they do deserve tolerance unless they infringe on others.
I agree with thee. Then again - a slippery slope this is. If a believer can justify his/her condemning homosexuals with the Bible or because "that is what the Lord commands" AND that is seen as an acceptable reason by a majority then what? In the US (at least that is what it looks like to an outsider) saying God or telling that the Bible says so seems to be a "Get out of Jail -card" because it is intended to shut the mouths of the opposition - how can anyone rise against the "Good Book"...
Can I say that because the holy book of my faith of Lastthursdayism stipulates that Christians should be openly mocked and ridiculed and if they´re hurt it just shows how right the LTs are - and people would just politely nod and say that yes, religious tolerance is quite fine and dandy?
We are talking about popularity - Abrahamic religions are quite popular (fortunately the number of non-believers is also on the rise) and that is why they (broad brush I agree) act as bullies and simultaneously as fragile primadonnas.
I don´t want to hurt anyone - I get no pleasure at all seeing another human being in agony (neither mental or physical). OTOH I find myself thinking quite often how I cannot comprehend the believers and how someone (not me obviously should just slap them and tell that they´re deluded bigtime - especially as I ride past the Mormon temple. Grown-ups believing stuff like that - if it wasn´t somehow Christian, they´d be called insane but now they in their utter lunacy enjoy the similar shield as the less moronic (pun intended) religions. Odd, very odd.
Word magic is a great thing isn't it? Call anybody a lawbreaker and you can punish them without any qualms. That's really the history of the world in a nutshell if you think about it. Call Jesus a lawbreaker you can crucify Him. etc.
Boo-effing-hoo Faith. Just because of popularity you have been bullies who without regret have killed, maimed and tortured those who don´t BELIEVE like you do. Now that the tables have taken a slightest turn (ie. you cannot kill atheists at will but have to retort to just hating and condemning) you act like primadonnas whose toes have been stepped on.
Did you decide to be a heterosexual or was it something you were born as? I was apparently born hetero but some of my friends were not. Calling them sinners is way worse than calling a believer delusional because unlike belief, you cannot outgrow what you are.
quote:In the US (although also applicable to other places but as an American I will limit my comments to the US) we did allow "God said" as an affirmative defense for a long time. But we evolve and that works less and each year. Of course there will also be set backs and evolution is not single direction or uniform.
Condemning folk, damning folk, considering folk as lower than slime, as sinners is, thank God, protected here in the US. We have the right to label folk, to disapprove of folk, to not associate with folk and even to hate, despise and denigrate folk in private lives, private organization and in our chosen religion. We have the right to publicly castigate, rebuke, chastise, scold, admonish, reprove or chide anyone for their beliefs, characteristics, sex, behavior, dress, food. smell, national origin, religion, political or cultural association.
What we do not have is the right to act beyond speech on those things outside some private association, private organization or religion.
Is it perfect?
Is is always effective?
But we do seem to be moving slowly towards a better society.
Our biggest issue is still our failure to teach kids how to think and this limits everything above. If we teach that "God says so" is an affirmative defense then we get the society we create.
If you read the posts here from the "Bible believers" I'm sure you have noticed that they do not actually believe what the Bible says but rather what they have been told the Bible says. This creates the absurdities we see in this and other threads as well as in the news.
Education though is difficult, painful and almost often a matter of teaching people what they don't want to know.
Once again I agree - the freedom of speech AND thought are of paramount importance. If it only ended at speech...
Why is it so that "sincerely held belief" is still a valid excuse in the US (at least in some parts)? You are a secular democracy yet you cater to the whims of the (evangelical) Christians?
Education is the key as you said - then again it has been a subject of many setbacks. The science-denialists are remarkably strong and devious and when they´re confronted, the response in just about evil IMO.
There is a great deal of very good in the US - if only you got rid of the stronghold of fundamentalists...
quote:Just as the true nature of God can be found in the Bible we can also find the depths of evil that mankind is capable of, and then even attributing that evil to God.
Ain´t it "funny" how a deity is above all critizism - all good DOES come from god but all evil from men. You are doing the same - taking even double-blame - not from just doing evil things but then blaming AN OMNIPOTENT GOD for those things. My head explodes just thinking about the mental gymnastics you must perform...
I honestly find it sad that people are forced to defend a tribal deity in the age of supercomputers. We are talking about the same Yahweh who could not match chariots of steel...
quote:I don't accept and reject what I like. I understand the Bible through what has been recorded about the life, times and teaching of Jesus. As I said earlier you can't square the idea of God commanding genocide and public stonings with what Jesus teaches.
Then how do you live with that? There is undeniably writings in the Bible in which Yahweh commands the Israelites to commit genocide. You just cannot whitewash that. I cannot fathom a more vile character in anything humankind has ever written than the tribal deity of the Israelites. It is an epitome of pure evil - calculating and deceitful. Even the villain in the story seems actually quite likeable compared to Yahweh...
Edited by saab93f, : Replied to two posts instead of just one.