This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Atheists should be allowed to argue their case

R. A. B.'s Avatar Jump to comment 14 by R. A. B.

As near as I can tell, believers all-but-explicitly regard their faith as exempting them of the burden of providing evidence, if not in the first instance, then at least in the last. Calling this a cop-out may not be welcome, but is it worse than ‘calling a spade a spade’?

There is something to be said for being honest and direct, even when it upsets people.

So, although religious believers have persecuted and murdered atheists, and anyone else who disagreed with them; while religion has happily promoted genocide, slavery, the oppression of women and other races, sexual repression and the use of force to ensure conformity (this being only what the Bible flat-out recommends); and while religious authorities have fought tooth and nail the liberalization of our ethics and politics, to say nothing of steadfastly opposing progress in scientific knowledge and technical ability, what is really counter-productive is that atheists have the temerity to think their tendency to base belief in reason means they might have something to say about the truth of matters, and are downright arrogant in expecting those who disagree with their conclusions to do so on reasoned grounds.

I loved this part. It's wonderfully stated and makes the point really well. Why is it that religion gets away with horrible things, but everyone else has to be nice? How is it counter-productive to point out the bad things that are happening and say, "That's wrong"?

But it seems to me that what is moderate about a believer is rarely their religion. Rather, their moderateness is so to the extent of their secularity, to the extent that they are not religious.

I never did learn many morals from going to religious school. I learned right and wrong mostly from looking around myself and from learning history in school. All the people who stood up for equal rights and for a secular government were the people I learned from. I didn't learn much from Adam or Moses or Mohammad.

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 10:52:00 UTC | #343008