Read a stupid blog post and need to Ti-vent... the author has got to be an immature Fi-dom, right?
There is a substantial body of proof to support the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. Without getting into whether we believe Jesus came back from the dead, it's clearly a separate idea, ultimately a matter of faith. That's why we often use the terms religion and faith interchangeably. You can't posit those views as equally valid.I fall on the atheism side of the fence [but] I like to call myself a naturalist. It feels more comfortable ... Smug atheism makes me cringe. I have a set of beliefs that I feel very strongly about, and I can back them up because I believe that they can be proven. Others have a set of beliefs that they feel very strongly about, and they can back them up because they believe they don’t need to be proven. Neither system is inherently better than the other ... the truth of the matter is that nothing is really knowable, and the fact that I know that the earth revolves around the sun doesn’t mean that it actually does — it just means that that’s as much as we’ve been able to prove given what we know and understand about the laws of physics (i.e., according to my belief system, it is true). When I think about that, that is not really different from somebody else knowing that Jesus came back from the dead.
Many people believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and that's great. But everyone believes the earth revolves around the sun, including those who celebrate Easter. The two views are not mutually exclusive, but one of them merely acknowledges reality -- everything we know to be true about the physical laws that govern the universe -- and the other is a leap of faith which speaks to many people but not to everyone.
IOW... Killing in the name of religion is probably bad. But what if “religion” were replaced with “bacon”?!?!?!? If bacon were at risk — if the government decided to outlaw all pork products...I am a pacifist, and I really, really hate the idea of people hurting in the name of religion. But if “religion” were replaced with “children,” what would we think? ... If science were at risk — if the government decided to strike all science from the books and teach children nothing about the natural world, and instead, only religious stories to explain everything — I can’t say that I would kill, but I would absolutely condemn. Science is dear to me.
I guess you see where I'm going. This "let's replace one word with another that's totally unrelated" game doesn't work.
The author is now defending murdering for one's religious beliefs. This argument isn't about smug atheists any more, it's just a blank check for religious extremism (really for all extremism, if we're playing the "substitute children game"). We can't know which belief system is best, so anything done in the name of religion is valid. What a dangerous theory. Not all dichotomies present equally valid choices, and the author clearly doesn't realise that.
Believing in gravity and believing that God wants you to kill people are both beliefs, too.The thing that a lot of atheists forget is that atheism is also a belief system.
Atheists who go out of their ways shit on the beliefs that are important to other people are being dicks. But that does not mean that all beliefs -- religious and otherwise -- are equally valid. They're clearly not.
I don't consider myself an atheist, and I do consider myself thoughtful and open-minded, but this post is absurd. We can't know anything for certain (including that the earth revolves around the sun), so everything is okay, because it might be. Right. The author is a nihilist, not a naturalist.