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!
i have no problem with racists writing books about why they believe what they do, just as theists or atheists might. Preaching it is another issue. And I like this board for discussions with intelligent people about interesting topics, and I don't want my feed to be cluttered up with the various ism garbage
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that Pre-Christian Jews were debating their own religious beliefs. A pesher is a commentary on scriptural interpretation. The Habbakuk Pesher is the most famous one included in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Christianity would not exist without this type of debate. Jesus (who never actually claimed he was God) argued for this type of reinterpretation. Sufism which is a Mystic form of Islam would also not exist. So debating religious ideas is not only right, it's essential to spiritual growth, and human understanding.
"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)"
I would say that not only is that wrong, it is inverted.
Dogmaticly speaking, religion by religion, non belief in said religious claims tend to make the outsider the minority and the one discriminated against.
If you don't believe, you burn in hell (for instance)
This is the Dogma of various faiths and denominations claiming "Only my religious Tribe is correct"( with a few exceptions), others not of my tribe are lesser, unsaved, sinful, infidels and so forth. That is the very process of de-humanization, the bedrock of Bigotry.
This religious discrimination is so ingrained it is evidenced in clothing and jewelry. Few believers, sporting a new gold cross, ever stop to think that is a Dogmatic Insult to all Jews. Their personal statement of "I believe in Christ" communicated by that simple cross also says "The jews have it wrong" or worse "The Jews killed Jesus". Not all Dogmas are compassionate.
Your opening statement shows the lack of clarity found in many believers. I can criticize your ideas or beliefs, and that it not a criticism of you personally. You are not your worldview.
You believe something I cannot believe, and I am just sharing the why of that with you.
Not responding or talking about religious beliefs let them speak with a bullhorn in a silent auditorium.
As a Minority in society, in order to survive, we must shout like Hortons Who's "We are here, We are here, We are here!"
A very broad definition of "racism" is "discrimination of other people because they are members of another group".
In this sense anti-theism is a form of 'racism' because some people despise theists just because they are theists, not because they are doing something reprehensible.
(NB: Ignorance itself is not a sin or something bad. Truth as such is overrated.)
Racism is blind and generally meaningless bigotry based on ignorance.
Anti-theists can be extremely annoying and even counter productive but being intolerant of bad ideas is bigotry with at least some rational thought, although IME some anti-theists are just over-reacting based on their pain from religion. I get that, I was that very angry, immature anti-theist for about a year.