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Tolerance

Entry 780, on 2008-05-28 at 21:21:24 (Rating 5, Religion)

I regularly listen to a podcast called "Quick Hitts" which is done by a no-nonsense individual by the name of Dave Hitt. Looking back through this blog there are several occasions when this podcast has inspired me to write and Dave has done it again with a provocative episode called "Insulting Islam".

I don't have a lot of admiration or respect for any religion. I see religious people as being too lazy to think for themselves - why else would they believe such a load of obvious nonsense? I don't think we should just go out and insult Islam though, I think we should insult all religions which cause trouble in the world. But at the moment that would overwhelmingly be Islam. A few hundred years ago it might have been Christianity but, apart from their continued attempts to hijack the education system by pushing their creationist garbage, they are fairly well behaved today.

Many people will say Islam is a religion of peace and that most Muslims are moderate and don't support the actions of the extremists. That might be true in some cases but I think that there are enough evil people in Islam that we should condemn the religion as a whole. Its always the minority who do the greatest acts of evil, but that's only possible because other members of their cause support them either by positively helping or failing to act against them. I would prefer not to mention the tiresome comparison with the Nazis but that's the comparison most people will make anyway.

So when I meet a Muslim should I immediately ridicule them and refuse to treat them like a reasonable person? Of course not. I make a distinction between ridiculing a belief system and ridiculing people who might have some level of belief in that system. I will rant against Islam (and any other fundamentalist religion) and show no respect at all, but that's only rejecting the idea, not the people.

I never start an argument with a religious person, but if they start it I will attack them - and its no holds barred! But even then I'm not attacking the person because although I might say their beliefs are evil that doesn't mean the person is. They have been afflicted with a nonsensical religion but that's probably not their fault. In most cases they were probably brought up in an environment where that religion was strong and it is well known that its very difficult for anyone to break away from that sort of propaganda and intimidation.

In the past I have steered away from using emotionally loaded terms like "evil" in my blog but I have changed my mind. I'm a secular humanist and I do have beliefs about what is right and wrong. I have just as much morality as any religious person. More in fact, because my morality is based on a rational analysis of the state of the world instead of just blind acceptance of something written in an old book.

If everyone had the courage to build a system of morality based on a rational analysis of reality I think a lot of the world's problems would be solved. But that's hard and in the end believing something written in an old book or what your priest, imam, pastor or rabbi tells you is a lot easier than thinking for yourself!

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Comment 1 (1456) by Jim on 2008-05-30 at 15:27:41:

OJB seems to be abandoning his lefty tendencies and seeing sense in the arguments he usually dismisses as fascist! I'm shocked that he would be so intolerant. Maybe there is hope for him after all.

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Comment 2 (1458) by OJB on 2008-05-30 at 20:18:51:

While my politics could be simplistically summarised as leftist I don't change my opinion to follow a specific political line. For example, I am less politically correct than a lot of lefties, and I support nuclear power and GE unlike many greenies. Basically I decide what I think is right on a case by case basis, so being intolerant of religious extremists fits in fine with my beliefs.

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