Religious people do have a clearer moral code than secularists
By TIMESONLINE AND TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
Added: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Lieutenant Hiro for the link.
A number of people have commented on this issue here http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5040.
Itâs come to this. The secularists have got me sticking up for Cherie Blair. Those barrels of laughs, the British Humanist Association and National Secular Society, have complained, apparently with straight faces, that she has discriminated against non-religious people by taking a convicted manâs religious observance into account when suspending his sentence for a violent crime.
National Secular Society: âBears discriminate against moorland by only defecating in woods.â
British Humanist Society: âVatican treats atheists unfairly by appointing Catholic Pope – yet again.â
At a huge risk of stating the bleedinâ obvious, Cherie Booth QC, as we must call her when sheâs not trading on her married name, wasnât saying that religious people are morally superior to others. She was saying that, as a religious man, he should know better.
Even Booth, who isnât herself blessed with an unerring sense of right and wrong, will know that there are bad religious people and good non-religious people.
Atheists are more annoying than believers
Iâm transfixed, in a mind-melty sort of way, by the allegation that Cherie Booth — in her lofty judge capacity, rather than her slightly-chippy-former- PMâs-wife capacity — gave a more lenient sentence to a man convicted of assault because he was religious. Shamso Miah was on his way home from his mosque when he joined the queue at a cash dispenser. After a disagreement about who was in front of whom, he punched somebody else in the face, breaking his jaw. Judge Cherie, the story goes, suspended his sentence, on the basis that he was a religious man, and already beating himself up about it. Albeit not literally. Presumably.
Now the National Secular Society has complained to the Judicial Complaints Office that this sort of thing is unfair to atheists, on the basis that, if Miah had been one, heâd have been off to chokey. Itâs got everything, this story. Creepy religious Blairs? Check. Out-of-touch judges? Check. A slightly scary Muslim? Check. Theyâre probably knocking out a BBC Four docudrama about it as I type. But the nub of the matter, I think, is the old chestnut about the bearing, if any, that religious belief should have on abstract morality.
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