Monday, March 19, 2007

Hating religion

Ahh, the overly-simplistic intellectualite prejudice d'jour... hating religion.

Actually, Sam Harris, It's Hatred of Religion(s) that Has Caused Most Recent Genocides

The anti-religious zealots are getting nasty and more and more illogical. This argument makes as much sense as saying: Moderate atheists only give cover to the really venal extremist atheists--such as, say, Pol Pot and Stalin, who have been responsible for so much needless death and genocide. The logic doesn't hold up in either case. And doesn't history, from the Crusdaes to the Holocaust, demonstrate that it is not religion qua religion that causes problems--but rather something like the hatred of religion or of a particular religion?

Let's hope we can get beyond this type of illogical hatred and begin to judge each other not on our religion or lack thereof--but on whether we are decent and responsible human beings.

from Faithful Progressive

There have those who have railed against the evils of "moderate" people of faith for the last several years, but mostly just on their internet message boards and podcasts. But now that you have people not only making non-theism and secularist concerns a mainstream issue (welcome to the table, well done) but also making religion in general out as something to mock and ridicule, I fear that the debate will go from intellectually honest and rooted in humanitarian concern to a superficial war of uninformed rhetoric and talking points resembling the current state of politics in the US. While I do not currently believe that Harris or other currently popular atheist writers actually hate religion, I think we are seeing a kind of airing out of a lot of previously repressed and ignored frustration with the way the more visible religious movements have been conducting themselves. So, I suppose, as social movements go it might not be surprising to see some fringe atheism emerge to rival the nutiness of the extremist religionists. Only time will tell.


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