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← Melvyn Bragg attacks Richard Dawkins' 'atheist fundamentalism'

Smegmar's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Smegmar

Comment 5 by UncleVanya :

Comment 4 by Smegmar - that's true, there are many things like astrology etc. that we might think are clearly daft, but we don't invest the same energy in declaiming or criticising astrologers. Why do we single out organised religion, and is it down to a mere prejudice?

I think the answer for most of us is that other daft beliefs don't (usually) have the capacity to cause harm, in the same way that organised religion can. Not always, but the insistence that society be organised around bronze-age morality, discrimination against homosexuals, and intrusion into science education, are real forms of harm that can and do arise from these beliefs, in a way that is just not possible with astology.

I guess that someone could reply that we are harmed by many different thing depending on where we live or what else we believe. So it could be the case that "we" single out religion because of the contingent historical or even geographical situation we are in. The problem with the New Atheism movement is that it usually stops exploring these questions because it is mostly based in Western liberal democracies. And because of the prejudiced view of history it just assumes that other beliefs are less developed forms of thought failing to achieve secular outlook.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:19:58 UTC | #926936