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← Why Are Atheists So Angry?

AlexP's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by AlexP

Ok, let's take a look at Wolpe's points:

1: Am I angry with religion for the evil it has done, intensified or kept alive?

Yes. Definitely. But neither is religion the only source of "evil", nor are religious people universally in agreement with everything their religion says or commands.

I am angry, not with religion itself, but with men who treat it as divine, as special, as sacred. Of people who treat religious teachings with a reverence and respect unachievable by any "mundane" thought or opinion.

2: It is immensely frustrating, to say the least, when a persons remains adamant in his beliefs, even when they are obviously contrary to evidence, common sense and every other aspect of the real world he spends his life in.

What makes me angry isn't disagreement, not even unflinching disagreement. But rather the notion that to maintain your position regardless of the evidence is a virtue. That, the more obviously incompatible a belief is with a rational mind, the more laudable it is to hold onto it.

Yes, that does make me angry. Ignorance is not a fault per se, but willful ignorance is.

3: There are a lot of serious religious thinkers, but even more who never gave a real thought about their religion.

Frankly, I do not intend to engage religion on a theological basis. Partly, because the very foundation of any theology - "theos", god - has never been sufficiently ( or even remotely) proven, which makes every thought founded on this premise worthless until there is reason enough to consider a divine entity.

But mostly, I don't consider confronting religion theologically important. We don't care about your personal beliefs. They are completely yours. And as interesting and challenging as it can be to debate religion with an educated person, what matters is not to "eradicate" religion from everyone's mind, educated or not, but to remove it from the pedestal that grants it special rights and respect.

I am not angry that people are religious, but I am angry when religious feelings and religious rights are somehow worth more than their mundane counterparts.

4: Actually, that is a good example of what makes me angry.

The idea that trying to understand the universe is somehow devoid of awe, of wonder, of mystery and beauty - this idea I consider insulting. Because its completely to the contrary of what I experienced.

There is joy and wonder in understanding. When I learn the processes behind natural events ( or technical devices ) I do not shrug and complain "You spoiled it for me!". The universe does not feel smaller through explanations, it feels bigger, richer.

Isn't it far more interesting to find out just how a stage magician fooled us, to learn how he used our own expectations, our prejudice, our very way to think to mislead us - rather than just saying "its magic"?

The desire to understand is the beginning of wonder, not the end.

Also, I find it rather curious how many religions claim to have gained their knowledge from the most powerful and wise being in the universe, not from the small and limited human minds science must work with - but it is somehow science and reason that are "arrogant" and religion that is humble.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:31:19 UTC | #601312