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← Advice for an Angry Gay Atheist

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by debonnesnouvelles

"More than that, I fear becoming a bigot. How long before visceral revulsion at certain religious beliefs turns into irrational distrust of or disdain for the religious? I was brought up in a very tolerant family. I was taught to believe in the value of pluralism. I was taught that the cardinal sin of man, the single worst emotion that a human being can feel, is hatred. But there it is: I hate religion, and I don't know what to do about it. I'm sure many of you have been where I am and have managed to calm yourselves back down. Do you have any advice? Is there anything I can do to claw my way back to rationality?"

I see no wrongness in you hating religion as long as you are clear in your mind that it is the religion that you hate and not the individual people that you meet who are religious. This distinction would then help you to remain friendly towards religious individuals, at least by your own standard.

There is a lot to be said for feeling compassion for the deluded. After all, we all make mistakes of judgment in our lives and in our thinking, so someone like P is from our point of view maybe just a tad less lucky than someone who's wrong assumptions are more benign.

How can you best assist P on his way to be free? I believe that naked honesty is a good option.

WIth a surprised, almost childlike naivety I would say to P "well, of course there is no god, as there is no evidence whatsoever supporting his existence, but all the evidence for the bible being made up by humans. no reason to take anything written in it as gospel". Maybe also something like "it really isn't that important what day of the week we choose to rest or what hand we eat our food with etc. Humans really are not the centre of the universe, once you look at it up close."

The matter of his sexual orientation, intertwined with the religion, is so fragile a question that I would leave P figure that one out for himself once the idea has entered his mind that there is no need to obey religious dogma. Which, of course, can take a very long time.

And let's do away with the "ah, we can't know for certain, therefore we must respect that people believe in god and thus make their lives miserable". Enough of that. Too much misery and unnecessary suffering is condoned by that attitude.

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:33:29 UTC | #930069