I would like to make the argument that people who really hate it when religion is being criticized, are really only encouraging one thing. IGNORANCE
I consider many ideas found in religious text to be immoral, incorrect and harmful to society.
Not only that, but the way society moves forward (or improves) is by challenging ideas. This is how we end up with things like technology, medication, equality (etc), and when it comes to equality you won't have to look too far to see how religion can be a major barrier.
However, I hear many people that really hate the idea of criticizing religion. Even atheists are adopting this position. I hear atheists criticizing people like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins just for writing books and talking about the evidence (or lack thereof) for religious ideas. It seems like an aggressive liberal position to me which basically says:
You can be religious or non religious, but you are not allowed to criticize people that are different to you as it is a form of racism (or discrimination similar to racism)
For me I think these people's hearts are in the right place but I do think that they are wrong. People who are genuinely curious as to what type of universe we live in (one with or without a creator) will need to look at the evidence if they really do care about the truth (and not just what they want the truth to be). Personally, having come across the 'fine-tuning' argument (I heard it first by Frank Turek), it was argued very well and learned facts that I was completely unaware of. I would probably be an agnostic person leaning towards a belief in some kind of deistic god, if it wasn't for people who argued against the idea, supplying there own evidence/arguments in favor of a natural universe (this is the position I hold after listening to both sets of arguments). The point is, as stated above, is that these people only encourage ignorance, or at least opinions based on ignorance. What are your thoughts? Is debating religious ideas an acceptable thing to do?
Nonsense, anyone is allowed to criticize anyone for any reason. At least in most parts of the world. Race, if it even exists, is a natural human condition and does no harm to anyone. Religion however is a contrived idea and does immense harm all over the world.
Theism is just an idea. No one is born with it. No one has a right to uncriticized beliefs, especially when those ideas are forced onto people. Criticizing ideas is not on par with racism. You cannot choose your skin color, or your sexual preferences. Ideas are adopted. They evolve and change. Hell, Christianity today hardly represents the same Christianity that began 2,000 years ago.
I do not believe in attacking the person, just the bad ideas that fill their heads.
Not a fan of atheists using atheism to justify clear Islamaphobia. Seen that a lot. Atheism is a personal choice. I respect all religious belief, I just don’t want it in public spaces and taught in schools without objectivity. If people are religious they can go to temples. They don’t have to go around eroding all our rights and inserting themselves into government. Keep religion personal!
Hell no. Anti-theism isn’t a proposition to erase or become tyrannical against Theists. That’s just psychopathic, period. Anti-theism is the rejection of theism even in the hypothetical existence of the Theist god, as in “I would not worship a celestial dictator”. That’s it.
All ideas should be challenged. Any statement made with certitude, whether it is religious or non-religious, political or philosophical is open to debate. Many of the atheistic views from contributors at this site are delivered with the zeal of evangelism, i.e. no substance to support the claims, or misinformed positions, declaring an 'I know best' refrain. Debate and discussion opens the way for new ideas and any entrenched beliefs are destined to fail due to the advances made with science and philosophical discourse.
NO idea is beyond criticism. Religions explicitly try to set themselves up as a category apart from all others, claiming that they aren't even ideas, but rather revelations from a divine source, and thus immune to criticism. Yet, if you notice, each religion criticizes all other religions. Religion cannot logically plead a special immunity.
There's no special exemption for any category of thought. Religion is as open to critique as any other. Atheism or antitheism is not bigotry, it's simply an opinion. A religion is not something inborn to a person, like skin color, it's acquired and can be shed just as easily.This is just another of the religions' ploys to give themselves a special exemption.
Ideas stand or fall on their own merits and the evidence that supports them. Challenging those ideas and evidence is not discrimination, it is skepticism. Just because the idea has been around a long time does not make it right nor does it remove the evidentiary requirements. Nor does it exempt it from being challenged.
Challenging old ideas is the only way to validate if they are true or right. If we never challenged old ideas we would all still be living in mud huts and dying very young.
I'm not an anti-theist, but as a nullifidian I loathe all organized religions, most notably the Abrahamic faiths. I don't hate adherents, I hate the doctrines, dogmas and demands their faiths espouse. If there is a supreme being, none of the world's religious leaders or so-called prophets have a clue as to its attributes, despite their egotistical proclamations. What gives any man or woman the right to claim to be a mouthpiece for the divine? In this realm Rabbis, Priests, Imams and Buddhist monks are on equally specious footing.
I literally seethe with every fiber in my being when I consider what has been perpetrated--and continues to be done--in the name of religion. And I agree with Richard Dawkins that to force upon the minds of innocent children these unfounded and hideous articles of faith represents a form of child abuse. And yes, we may think it's cute now to tell toddlers that there is a Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, but someday we will look back somewhat shamefully and ask ourselves what made us think it was okay to fuck with our kid's heads like that! Away with all magical thinking, and to 'hell' with religious teaching and all organized religion!
Religions have a very unpleasant habit of trying, usually in their very definition, to set themselves up as beyond criticism, and demanding special status to put forward deeply unpleasant ideas which in any other context we would regard as unacceptable in ordinary discourse.
Whenever they gain any measure of secular power, that typically seems to get backed up with explicit censorship, intimidation, and outright violence to suppress critics who call out the intolerance and bigotry.
I think there is a time and a place for these things. If someone else opens the conversation on the subject of religion, then I feel fine interjecting a few anti-religious arguments and questions. But it is a fine line between bothering people with unwanted debate, which is not cool, and letting bad attitudes pass uncriticised.
Criticizing religion and other bad ideas is great, although should be done with some diplomacy.
I just posted how an aggressive atheist friend was pretty antagonistic with a stranger who is religious and a Trump supporter at a wine tasting tonight. I like my buddy a lot and it was obvious the table as a whole thinks Trump is stupid so I didn't try to curb my buddy.
There's still an enormous difference between criticizing a thought or giving factual criticism of religion v attacking the religious person.
Yes, of course it's acceptable to debate religious ideas. For too long, social programming has built up this idea that religion automatically commands "respect" and that thou shalt not discuss anyone else's "beliefs". I think that line of thinking has harmed us as a society. My proof is last week the Keebler Elf and Smokey Eye cited Biblical Justification for jailing kids and Americans didn't bat an eyelash. That should never be acceptable in our modern world.
I don’t care, but if the chance is given to take out Christian saints such as popes, bishops and especially cardinals I won’t resist the chance and load a magazine of full metal jackets.
I hate them being in charge and making decisions they’re not entitled. I hate them preaching in the temples and collecting “donations”. I hate their sense of justice and want them to be bums, envy the dead and suffer till end of misery for all centuries of evil and pain.
If you treated a person harshly just because they were a theist, then I'd say that it is similar to racism. If you didn't hire a highly qualified person for a job solely because they believed in God or attacked someone minding their own while holding a bible.. basically any act of hatred on an innocent just because they believed in God, then I'd say that's right up there with racism.
Luckily, most agnostics and atheists don't care enough about not believing in God to act out on their distaste in a harmful fashion. Challenging religious beliefs isn't racist. Any belief or knowledge we have is open to criticism, and should be challenged in the same fashion as it. If a theist is having a calm back and forth discussion, do the same. If a theist is trying to physically beat the belief of God into you, punch them in the fucking face. If someone gets offended by non-hateful criticism though, then they are probably insecure with their belief.
I think there are a few ideas here at play that truly distinguish religious criticism from racism - in fact on its face the comparison is absurd. First, many religions attempt to assert themselves as fact. Because of this, the adherents want to use their beliefs to create laws (and therefore systems of punishments and rewards) and rewrite social norms and agreed history to serve their beliefs.
This necessitates testing to justify that these changes are in the interest of the greater good.
When their beliefs are tested in the same way other facts are tested, they fail the truth test. Most (if not dang near all) forms of racial criticisms are in the same boat and their assertions fall apart in the light of examination.
The second major point is that because they are believers, they hold their ideas sacred. Which is to say in a separate category of fact that "transcends" stats, dates, and figures and is deeply rooted in emotion and feeling (starting to remind me of actual racism here which is rooted in overgeneralations and emotional responses to bad data).
Believers see their ideas as beyond reproach, and the inconsistencies are romantically interpreted as mystery and tests of faith. Their offense comes from non believers being unwilling to do the same. But rejecting unsubstantiated ideas (at best, and repeatedly debunked at worst) is not the same as attempting to diminish the dignity of an entire people, especially when the overwhelming body of anthropological research continually points to our similarities.
In fact it seems to me that attempting to institutionalize a religion has far more in common with racism than antitheism does. Projection, anyone?
Antitheism is not akin to racism, no matter hiw theists try to paint that picture. Participation in a religion is entirely based on choice, and any person within a religion has every right to desist from practice at any point in time for any reason, but we know that religious groups are guilty of pressuring members of their sects and non-members into conversion and the abuse of coerced practice either usually through psychological means. Race on the other hand is not a matter of choice and hatred expressed towards a member of a marginalized racial community is an afront to that particular person and violates the principle of human rights that we uphold as a part of any well developed humanitarian society. Members of religious groups historically have been subject to discrimination, and also can fall victim to the same kind of human rights abuses that members of racial communities do, however there's a distinction to be made between hatred and the fair kind of criticism that results when calling into question the questiinal social and political practices that might emerge among sectarian political communities like the practices that religious communities put into place based on their own interpretation of religious law. These kind of criticisms are fair in the same way we might criticize the governing bodies that make up our political realms since the organization and body politic of religious communities are one in the same, and any religious community that seeks exemption to these criticisms ought to be treated with the same degree of suspicion that we would have for any political body that seeks exemption the same kind of exemption - e.g. the totalitarian regimes that haunted Europe in the 20th century. Racial communities don't form these kind of political bodies and don't ask for these kind of protections, only the kind of protection that guarantees them standing as individual political entities in desert of basic human rights. Now, a member of a religious community has that and should have that, and this protects this person from the same kind of discrimination that might be felt by a member of a racial community, but we don't invent special laws that give privileges to members of one racial community and not another, and if we did then that would also be something to call into question, but what religious communities are asking us, people that would like society to be fair and equal, to allow them to receive exemptions from ordinary laws followed by the rest of society on the grounds that they're free to practice their religion. They are, after all, free to practice their religion, but that freedom doesn't allow them to reap more freedoms than they would ordinarily receive, especially at the expense of freedoms belonging to non-members of their community.
i think you are misdefining antitheism. being against religion is not the same thing as hating or discriminating against religionists. protecting yourself from their discriminating against you is no more equivalent to racism than being black and objecting to being shot dead for no reason by a racist policeman would make you racist.
Religion and racism are both founded upon ignorance. Neither have any basis in science or fact, and both are founded in lack of knowledge.
Incredible claims require incredible evidence. Neither religion nor racism has any evidence. To me that means both need fervent ridicule to highlight their idiotic claims.
No anti-theism opposes a belief system not people. Even though people can and do identify with their religions and take any criticism of their beliefs as attacks on their characters, its not. In fact it demonstrates how pathetic people are that they see themselves as a mindless follower of a cult rather than as an individual.
Anti-theists don't hate religious people; they want to free them from superstition and ignorance.