06 March 2006

In God we trust?

This is a comment left at Chicken Yoghurt that sums up nicely my views on the 'godnuts' running this country.

"It worries me deeply that a Christian cohort is running the country. These people are supposed to make the myths, not believe the nonsense.

As Seneca said, 'Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful'.

It worries me when the Home Office is trying to impose a Christian morality on the justice system, when the Minister of Education, a supernumerary of Opus Dei is increasing the number of religious schools, including those that teach Creationism. It worries me that New Labour is promoting deeply religious people to key positions in government, the civil service and quangos."

I also like their riposte to someone who suggests atheism is a religion.

"On the contrary, I have no religion at all. Atheism is not a religion, it is absence of religion. As some wag said "If atheism is a religion, then is my not collecting stamps a hobby?"

29 comments:

  1. Depends upon one's interpretation of the word 'religion': clearly there are many people for whom atheism provides "a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion", so therefore some atheists will demonstrate the negative traits we see in some religious people, albeit without an irrational reliance upon a deity.

    And going back to the stamps example, my own attitude would be that I forcefully reject the idea of collecting stamps, which is not the same as being ambivalent to that ridiculous hobby.

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  2. Strangely I am ambivalent about collecting stamps but I am not about religion.

    I suppose there are different types of atheist.

    Those who just don't believe in God and don't care what others believe.

    And then there are anti-theists like me, who see religion as a threat, because it is an idea that encourages irrational decisions that affect my life.

    I can understand that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are politicians and that unfortunately religious belief can be used to win votes. And why should we let the right have a monopoly on this manipulation?

    But at the same time, I recognise the dangers of trusting decision making to the insane. I do hope that Blair and Brown etc. don't really believe in God but are just cynically using the notion. I do however have my doubts. I'd rather a sane cynic running the country than an insane religious believer.

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  3. If atheism is a religion, baldness is a hair colour.

    Interestingly after the French removed the Catholic church during the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte allowed it back, strictly on his own terms. This, because, like Seneca, he regarded it as useful.

    I think you may be wrong about Blair's religiousness - he has never tried to hide his belief. That, I can live with. It's when it influences policy that I take umbrage.

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  4. Hmm.
    Into the active minefield I go :/!

    Neil wrote:

    I can understand that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are politicians and that unfortunately religious belief can be used to win votes. And why should we let the right have a monopoly on this manipulation?
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    That reads like you want the best of both worlds. You want Labour to try and grab some of the religious vote, whereas you declare yourself as seeing an anti-thiest who sees religion as a threat!
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    But at the same time, I recognise the dangers of trusting decision making to the insane.
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    Ooh be very careful here! Are you saying that Blair and Brown are insane, or that religious people are insane or what!

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  5. Paul, sorry to be offensive (but here goes), yes, I do think all truly religious people are insane (in varying degrees). I hope this doesn't make you too angry.

    To make you feel better, religious people are not alone; nationalists, racists, communists, believers in astrology etc. and all sorts of other prejudiced idealists are suffering from the same sort of mental affliction (meme or virus of the mind). It is difficult to rise above a mumbo jumbo that is drilled into all of us while we are children and perpetuated by papers like the Daily Mail etc.

    It may be an insanity that some can compartmentalise and have a limited effect on their overall judgement, or it may be one that causes serious misjudgements.

    Unfortunately, it is evangelical christianity which is the fastest growest religion in this country. It is affecting our schools (Reg Vardy the most extreme), universities and now right at the top of government.

    The more religious you are, the more likely you are to be right wing, to oppose things like abortion, and homosexuality, stem cell research and evolution. There are not many atheists that oppose these things.

    You are right about one thing though. I CAN understand why politicians cynically use religion to win votes. The problem I have with this is, it lends religion a higher credibility and this is very very dangerous.

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  6. Neil, to suggest that people who believe (no matter how absurd the belief) are suffering from a mental affliction is treading onto a very slippery slope indeed.

    How soon before people who do not agree with official doctrine are deemed "ill" and in need of "treatment"?

    It's not a huge step from here to there.

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  7. If I said I made decisions in my life by consulting an imaginary friend, wouldn't you think I was insane?

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  8. If I said I made decisions in my life by consulting an imaginary friend, wouldn't you think I was insane

    You do. Richard Dawkins, usually...

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  9. "If I said I made decisions in my life by consulting an imaginary friend, wouldn't you think I was insane?"

    I'm not a qualified psychiatrist, so am not qualified to make that judgement.

    My point, though is that once we start deeming people "insane" or "mentally ill" because of their beliefs (whatever they may be) we are making subjective judgements and applying them to others.

    That's the Road Stalin took. I don't want to tread it, thankyou very much.

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  10. Andrew: So Dawkins doesn't really exist?

    Longrider: I am not saying that people can't have insane beliefs, just that we should call their beliefs (and hence them) insane. I mean their beliefs are insane aren't they?

    Religious people think I am going to burn in eternal damnation, I think they are insane. Which is more likely to be true?

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  11. Call them, yes, by all means. Insane? No, sorry, can't agree with that one. I've met plenty of religious types in my time and insane, they ain't.

    Frankly, as long as religious belief is not allowed to influence government policy making, I'm happy to live and let live. If someone wants to indulge in a theological discussion, then, yes, I'll set about dismantling their arguments, citing biblical inaccuracies and contradictions. And, no I don't believe in eternal damnation - it's a preposterous and unsubstantiated assertion - but that's all it is. Lots of people make preposterous and unsubstantiated assertions - doesn't make them insane, though.

    What I won't do, is make judgements that I am not qualified to make. I very much doubt that a psychiatrist (whether religious or not) would deem someone to be clinically insane because they believe in a god. Believing they are God, well, that's another matter...

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  12. "Frankly, as long as religious belief is not allowed to influence government policy making, I'm happy to live and let live."

    I agree with your statement, but the problem is, religion DOES influence government policy making. Someone who truly believes in God (and they are far less numerous than the census suggests) or those who are cynically playing to a religious audience, can't help but let it influence them. I mean it is a pretty substantial thing to believe and then just ignore.

    The dictionary definition of insane basically involves words like 'immoderate', 'very foolish' or 'absurd'. This is the context I am using the word. I am not saying they are insane enough to be locked in an asylum, but I do believe that religious beliefs take us beyond just stupidity and ignorance.

    Thankfully most people who claim to be religious, don't actually believe in God and certainly don't believe the scriptures. It is for them, just a convenient cultural label and grouping to belong to.

    However those who beleive the world is 6,000 years old etc. are clearly ill. I think tribal loyalty to political parties, racism, communism and ideologies in general, can be a mental affliction as well.

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  13. You're being a little selective with your choice of definition, here. If all you wanted to convey was that you believed religious belief to be foolish, then fine, I wouldn't argue with you.

    However, you talked of "mental affliction" which is not the same thing at all. That is a clinical condition, such as schizophrenia, paranoia and compulsive obsessive disorder.

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  14. I don't believe that religious people are insane, however I do believe they are suffering some form of delusional and irrational behaviour. There are also those (as I have been) who don't believe but enjoy the sense of community and structure religion can bring, a readymade social network and a free cup of tea and some biccies after the service! It is of course a conditional acceptance or as I prefer to think of it, a non-acceptance because once you leave most everyone deserts you or certainly give you short shrift thereafter.

    Going back to what's been said, I must mention an incident which took place in the main area of my town last year. I was confronted by a group of (4 or 5) Christians preaching through a megaphone. One of the chaps began by asking me if I believed in God. I told him that no I didn't. He was a little taken aback and then carried on talking. I was respectful to him, he was respectful to me though vehemently disagreed with me at the same time. Then it happened...

    He said "did you feel that?" "What?" I said. "What indeed" he said then turned and smiled to his cronies. "That" he said "was the Holy Spirit." At this point, his friends had sort of marched up and formed a semi-circle around me. They all agreed that they had felt the Holy Spirit in that moment. He then said "you see, there is a God, who reveals himself through the Holy Spirit."

    I replied that I had felt nothing but they were entitled to think and feel as they liked. I then decided to try something. I asked people as they walked by whether (about 30 seconds or so ago) they had too felt the Holy Spirit. Most people didn't know what I was talking about it but the upshot was, in the 20 or so people I asked, no one had felt the Holy Spirit. The main Christian chap said "well, they wouldn't have done because they obviously don't believe."

    At this point it became obvious to me, with religious belief comes irrational behaviours yet in this country we seem to applaud it. When a child is murdered or something dreadful happens, we see news footage of a prominent church leader talking of their regret at the incident and how they're with God now. After 7/7, people piled into Westminster Abbey to hear an address by Rowan Williams but according to Christian belief, only those who follow Christ make it to Heaven so what of the Hindus, Muslims and other faiths who lost people who were also present?

    I personally think religion does far more harm than good and shouldn't garner the respect it does.

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  15. Correction:

    It was St. Paul's Cathedral not Westminster Abbey.

    My apologies.

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  16. A rational explanation for that experience may well be that of the confidence trick rather than delusional behaviour.

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  17. Jonathon, thanks for the story.

    Longrider: Either it was a confidence tirck, or the people concerned are very disturbed indeed.

    I think being disturbed in that way is a form of insanity.

    You may disagree with the strength of the language I'm using but I think it needs to be said.

    Just because a majority claim to belong to a religion, doesn't mean they are religious. It is the religious minority who are insane, but the majority somehow give them respect, where if somebody acted in the same way without the cover of religion, they would be viewed as mentally ill.

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  18. So Dawkins doesn't really exist?

    I'm not even convinced that you exist, at least outside of the Millbank blog-spam prototype computer.

    But either way, if your objection is to people basing their decisions on things written in old books, then whether the author is real or imaginary is beside the point. It is just as irrational to do something because Dawkins 'told you to' as because God did.

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  19. But I don't do anything because 'Dawkins told me to'.

    I don't think everything he says is right. I make a judgement on the available evidence.

    Religious belief on the other hand revels in 'faith' or believing 'despite the evidence'.

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  20. I don't think everything he says is right. I make a judgement on the available evidence.

    Interesting. In Dawkins' field, I'm guessing you've never personally seen the evidence for evolution, but you trust his judgement on it as an expert?

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  21. You may disagree with the strength of the language I'm using but I think it needs to be said.

    Possibly...

    But what if the orthodox view is that socialism is a disease of the mind and that people who espouse it are mentally disturbed? Should they be treated for their affliction?

    That is why I take issue with the strength of your language.

    As an atheist myself, I'm not arguing against you on the matter of belief - except that I am a soft atheist where you appear to be a strong one. Certainly I have no problem whatsoever with you voicing your disapproval, nor should you respect others beliefs.

    Just let's not go down the same road as Stalin.

    On Jonathan's post; yes, I do believe it was more confidence trick than delusion - they were trying to convert him. It has the smell of the Moonies or a similar creepy cult about it.

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  22. hzNeil, you wrote:

    Paul, sorry to be offensive (but here goes), yes, I do think all truly religious people are insane (in varying degrees). I hope this doesn't make you too angry.

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    More disapointed than angry. Put it this way, I have known from Day One as a Christian that if I am to be committed (to my faith that is :) ) then I must expect some flak!
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    To make you feel better, religious people are not alone; nationalists, racists, communists, believers in astrology etc. and all sorts of other prejudiced idealists are suffering from the same sort of mental affliction (meme or virus of the mind). It is difficult to rise above a mumbo jumbo that is drilled into all of us while we are children and perpetuated by papers like the Daily Mail etc.

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    But doesn't your hardline athiesm make you a prejudiced idealist?
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    The more religious you are, the more likely you are to be right wing
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    I am more left wing than right wing. I would point to Labour Party membership here, but as we know, these days thats not convincing credential :)
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    to oppose things like abortion,
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    Admittedly I do, although there are certain circumstances where I am not
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    and homosexuality
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    Tell that to two of my closest female friends friends who are devout Christians and have been together for four years, but I get your point!
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    stem cell research and evolution.
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    I don't agree with stem cell research, but a large no of non Christians don't either. With regards to evolution, I try not to have any opinion on the subject, because I have seen people really tear each other to shreds on this issue and I would far rather argue on the atonement with regards to Christian theology
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    There are not many atheists that oppose these things.
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    Collectively no, but individually, and in some cases sadly, yes!

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  23. Paul, thanks for replying and being so polite. You probably think I am being incredibly nasty in suggesting you are partly insane.

    I'm sure in a lot of ways you are a very nice, liberal and rational person but look at how your religious views irrationally colour your morals with a right wing perspective.

    In believing that homosexuality is ok, you are in conflict with your religious inclinations.

    The only thing that makes you liberal is your OWN decision making. You are picking and choosing the bits of religion you like and disregarding the bits you don't like. Religion is not helping you be moral or liberal, on the contrary it gives legitimacy to your immoral and irrational prejudices. This to me, makes religious belief an insanity.

    Your left wing morals are in conflict with your religious morals.

    Nobody truly on the left would support victimising women who find themselves with an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. In a lot of cases, abortion is the moral thing to do in a world with six billion inhabitants. Women who take the decision to have an abortion do so for good reasons. Rich women will always find a way around the abortion laws (as they did previously and still do in some countries). It is the most vulnerable and financially insecure who will suffer the most from an abortion ban (or indeed a reduction in the limit), that serves no purpose except to bolster the moral vindictiveness of the religious minded.

    Only the religious and scientifically ignorant could see no contradiction in supporting animal testing and at the same time opposing stem cell research.

    It is ok to doubt the theory of evolution in the same way we can doubt the theory of gravity or a constant speed of light, but only the religious would deny that evolution is the accepted scientific theory and put forward an alternative that in comparison has no scientific evidence to support it at all.

    "I have known from Day One as a Christian that if I am to be committed (to my faith that is :) ) then I must expect some flak!"

    Do you understand what it is like to be an anti-theist?

    I can assure you, I probably take much more flak for being anti-religious. It makes me a pariah in some circles. Religion dominates every area of our life from our schooldays to our standing in community. I see a majority of people in the world who respect religious ideas that are nonsensical.

    Anybody else who claimed to consult an imaginary friend or claimed something equally as absurd as a miracle would be rightly viewed as insane. Religion is only different because it has been traditionally accepted by the majority over centuries. Humanists are a much more oppressed minority than Christians.

    "But doesn't your hardline athiesm make you a prejudiced idealist?"

    An idealist, yes, but it is not prejudiced to believe in evidence and rationality. Prejudice is easy in religion, because 'faith' is about believing something 'despite the evidence'. In fact, the less evidence, the stronger the faith has to be. So the more religious you are, the more likely you are to be irrational and therefore insane.

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  24. Longrider: "But what if the orthodox view is that socialism is a disease of the mind and that people who espouse it are mentally disturbed? Should they be treated for their affliction?"

    No. But they should be argued against in the strongest terms if their views are so obviously irrational as to cause harm to others (as religion, racism, nationalism and other prejudice does), including highlighting how insane their views are.

    People have said I'm insane for believing that reducing wealth inequalities will benefit the whole of society.

    Now if I said that I have 'faith' that this is true and made no effort to back up my claim with facts, then I am being irrational and unreasonable.

    If I then claim that no contrary evidence will ever change my mind then I am acting in an insane way. Any fixed view is dangerous and is an insanity in my opinion. As long as I back up my claims with considered argument and evidence and I am willing to change my opinion if provided with stronger contrary evidence then that is ok. But a lot of religious people are not like that are they?

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  25. Andrew: "Interesting. In Dawkins' field, I'm guessing you've never personally seen the evidence for evolution, but you trust his judgement on it as an expert?"

    I've seen and heard loads of convincing arguments and illustrations of evidence in favour of evolution from numerous sources and I am convinced it is a reasonable theory. In contract the arguments against evolution and in favour of intelligent design by creationists are ridiculous. Surely you agree with me on this? If numerous sources could provide reasonable arguments backed with illustrations of their evidence in favour of a theory that was better than evolution, I would be inclined to believe them. This is not the same as having a leap of faith and believing something despite the evidence like religious people do.

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  26. Briefly, busy, as always; atheism isn't a Religion. It is a "faith". I cannot prove there is no god, I merely believe it.

    I'm of the opinion atheism should be a box you can tick on the census, I think we should stand up and finally be counted.

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  27. Neil wrote:

    Paul, thanks for replying and being so polite. You probably think I am being incredibly nasty in suggesting you are partly insane.
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    It help's that I have met you I think :-). I just think you are being misguided rather than incredibly nasty.
    That said, this is somewhat surreal isn't it! Being genuinely nice to each other during all this discussion, almost like a verbal version of 'pistols at dawn' and the like ;)
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    I'm sure in a lot of ways you are a very nice, liberal and rational person but look at how your religious views irrationally colour your morals with a right wing perspective.
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    No more than your rampant athiesm giving your politics an unpleasant tinge in my eyes. I would regard one or two of said 'right-wing' views not being right-wing as such, rather the fact that so many left-wing people hold the opposite view gives it a right-wing image.
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    In believing that homosexuality is ok, you are in conflict with your religious inclinations.
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    Hmm! This really is a minefield. Put it this way. In the Gospels Christ is always with the minority, downtrodden, and oppressed. Homosexauls are treated badly by society, and I have had enough friends who have told me of their experiences, who are gay, and Christian and non-Christian alike, for me to feel that they get a short straw and have been victimised by people and institutions who should know better. The Christian couple I know where more or less kicked out of a Church they were in by a whispering campaign. That is not just wrong, it is immoral and gravely dishonest.
    To go further on this would require a long essay from me, suffice to say that whilst I see where you are coming from, in what I have just mentioned I think I am the one who is being Biblical.
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    The only thing that makes you liberal is your OWN decision making. You are picking and choosing the bits of religion you like and disregarding the bits you don't like. Religion is not helping you be moral or liberal, on the contrary it gives legitimacy to your immoral and irrational prejudices. This to me, makes religious belief an insanity.

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    Hmm! I don't think I am, although playing pick n' mix with the Bible is an easy trap to fall into and I apologise to all if I am guilty and therefore being dishonest!
    The Bible is, as I have found time and again over the years, more subtle than one gives it credit for. Passages can be taken out of context, but one thing I see as a constant and that is love for God and love for one's neighbour and you can sum up the Ten Commandments with that sentence. The Bible bangs on more with condemnation on the fact that people bully the vulnerable than anything else and I would be very shocked if you disagreed with that sentiment.
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    Your left wing morals are in conflict with your religious morals.
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    The Good Samaritan?
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    Nobody truly on the left would support victimising women who find themselves with an unwanted or dangerous pregnancy. In a lot of cases, abortion is the moral thing to do in a world with six billion inhabitants. Women who take the decision to have an abortion do so for good reasons. Rich women will always find a way around the abortion laws (as they did previously and still do in some countries). It is the most vulnerable and financially insecure who will suffer the most from an abortion ban (or indeed a reduction in the limit), that serves no purpose except to bolster the moral vindictiveness of the religious minded.
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    I am against abortion because it is the unborn child who directly suffers (not to mention the various mental agonies many women face before and after). But I am pro-contraception and would support much to help encourage that!
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    Only the religious and scientifically ignorant could see no contradiction in supporting animal testing and at the same time opposing stem cell research.
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    I am not entirely happy with animal testing for what I hope are obvious reasons!
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    It is ok to doubt the theory of evolution in the same way we can doubt the theory of gravity or a constant speed of light, but only the religious would deny that evolution is the accepted scientific theory and put forward an alternative that in comparison has no scientific evidence to support it at all
    ----------------------
    That is exactly why I don't want to get involved in such debates. It can get insulting over an issue which I do not see is of primary importance!
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    Do you understand what it is like to be an anti-theist?

    I can assure you, I probably take much more flak for being anti-religious. It makes me a pariah in some circles. Religion dominates every area of our life from our schooldays to our standing in community. I see a majority of people in the world who respect religious ideas that are nonsensical.
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    Well, now we can see that we both feel vulnerable about what we regard as highly important in our lives! So long as we both recognise that and respect each other without dishonest compromise then we cannot go far wrong :)
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    An idealist, yes, but it is not prejudiced to believe in evidence and rationality. Prejudice is easy in religion, because 'faith' is about believing something 'despite the evidence'. In fact, the less evidence, the stronger the faith has to be. So the more religious you are, the more likely you are to be irrational and therefore insane.
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    But you are prejudiced about religion to the point where you make comments that many can find insulting and hurtful! In that sense you are a prejudiced idealist

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  28. Paul: "Playing pick n' mix with the Bible is an easy trap to fall into and I apologise to all if I am guilty and therefore being dishonest! The Bible is, as I have found time and again over the years, more subtle than one gives it credit for. Passages can be taken out of context"

    What is subtle about the following (from DR Laura (evangelical on US radio) 's letter?)

    a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

    i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    So the Old Testament is pretty flawed I'm sure you would agree, but what about the New Testament, surely that was better?

    Simon Blackburn in his book on ethics points out the problems with Jesus's teachings as written by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.

    'Things are usually supposed to get better in the New Testament, with its admirable emphasis on love, forgiveness and meekness. Yet the overall story of 'atonement' and 'redemption' is morally dubious, suggesting as it does that justice can be satisfied by the sacrifice of an innocent for the sins of the guilty - the doctrine of the scapegoat. Then the persona of Jesus in the Gospels has his fair share of moral quirks. He can be sectarian: 'Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel'(Matt 10:5-6). In a similar vein, he refuses help to the non-Jewish woman from Canaan with the chilling racist remark 'It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs'(Matt 15:26; Mark 7:27). He wants us to be gentle, meek and mild but he himself is far from it:'Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?'(Matt 23:33). The episode of the Gaderene swine shows him to share the then popular belief that mental illness is caused by possession by devils. It also shows that animal lives - also anybody else's property rights in pigs - have no value(luke 8:27-33). The events of the fig tree in Bethany(mark 11:12-21) would make any environmentalist's hair stand on end.

    Finally there are the sins of omission as well as sins of commission. So we might wonder as well why he is not shown explicitly countermanding some of the rough bits of the Old Testament. Exodus 22:18, 'Thous shalt not suffer a witch a live', helped to burn alive tens or hundreds of thousands of women in Europe and America between 1450 and 1780. It would have been helpful to suffering humanity, one might think, had a supremely good and caring and knowledgeable person, foreseeing this, revoked the injunction.

    All in all, then the Bible can be read as giving us a carte blanche for harsh attitudes to children, the mentally handicapped, animals, the environment, the divorced, unbelievers, people with various sexual habits and elderly women. It encourages harsh attitudes to ourselves, as fallen creatures endlessly polluted by sin, and hatred of ourselves inevitably brings hatred of others.'

    "I am against abortion because it is the unborn child who directly suffers (not to mention the various mental agonies many women face before and after)."

    This is rubbish I'm afraid. A woman is more likely to suffer both mentally and physically by having a child she doesn't want than having an abortion she does want.

    The vast majority of abortions are pre-10 weeks when we are talking about just a cluster of cells (yet you are not so forthright in your opposition to animal testing which is far worse than abortion). You also oppose stem cell research, which is a ridiculous position to have unless you also condemn animal testing, eating meat, leather clothing etc.

    Then of course there are the practical objections to banning abortions. We all know making it illegal will not make abortion go away, it will just lead to more unsafe abortions (causing suffering to both child and mother)for those who can't afford to get around the law.

    You say you support contraception, but do you support the 'morning after pill'? I suspect you don't.

    "But you are prejudiced about religion to the point where you make comments that many can find insulting and hurtful!"

    Sometimes the truth can be insulting and hurtful to some people. Should I not tell the truth about absurd practises I find abhorrent?

    I am offended everyday by religion telling me I can't be moral unless I believe in this absurd God idea. I know which is prejudiced and it isn't my positon. There is nothing prejudiced in stating what the evidence supports.

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