wheelerdealer asked:

Hey. I'm not a religious person(not even a little) but I would like to say something about the "whack a woman" image(the one about islam) that you posted: this surely represents a huge sector of muslims, i would not even deny that, but hey...it surely does NOT represent ALL of them so, I think you ought to mention that atleast.

The problem is not the individual Muslim but the doctrine, what the Quran and Sharia Law actually say. The fact that the majority of Muslims can ignore the most unsavory parts of their “holy” books does not counter balance the reality that fundamentalist thought and action depend on them as the origin and justification of their unreasonable, hate filled actions.

It was well said in regards to moderate religion that:

We need to have inoculation against plague, not the spread of a more gentle version of it.
-Christopher Hitchens

Just stating “we don’t do that” does not mean that the “holy” books don’t support it. Treating such nonsense as holy is only a guarantee that there will always be someone who will put it into action.

Take care,
In reason:
-FA 

v1nce-deactivated20101202 asked:

I just finished watching a documentary about Africas Witch children on HBO. I can honestly say that I have never been so upset and hopeless for humanity. I don't know if you have seen or know anything about this but its definitely something you should watch.

It just comes to show you how the religious teachings of Christianity can be used in such a negative way.

I think the crux of the problem is the idea that beliefs do not need to be justified if they are religious in nature (Exodus 22:18). That is the dangerous mindset that leads from religious moderation to fundamentalism.

Sam Harris said it best:

While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism. We cannot say that fundamentalists are crazy, because they are merely practicing their freedom of belief; we cannot even say that they are mistaken in religious terms, because their knowledge of scripture is generally unrivaled. All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don’t like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God.

Unless the core dogmas of faith are called into question-i.e., that we know there is a God, and that we know what he wants from us-religious moderation will do nothing to lead us out of the wilderness.

Until religion is hold up to the scrutiny it so desperately needs, we will continue to see such displays of inhumanity because of belief in gods.

Anonymous asked:

I'm wondering if you do not like Christians or just do not like the religion? I, myself, an Christian, yet I have many atheist friends and friends of other religions(which is inevitable, unless you live in some scary small town). However, I do not like it when people judge Christians as a whole. There are obviously some phsyho scary radicals, like there are in every group, but I for one do not press my religion on anyone. My beliefs don't hurt anyone, as far as I know. So are you instantly put off by someone as soon you find out they are Christian, or do you base your opinions on a person solely on their religion! (this isn't meant to be rude or anything, I hope it doesn't sound it!!)

I am for rationality, logic, common sense, evidence and justified beliefs. Sadly all religious beliefs (not only the Christian ones, since they are too many to count) lack these. This is different from saying all Christians are bad people just because they hold irrational beliefs, something I have never said.

I have addressed the point previously here and here. Summary: I don’t dislike individual believers just because they are believers. To assert that is false and to say that my blog promotes it is not true.

In regards to the next portion of your question, I am happy to hear that you do not press your religion on anyone, but the fact is that religious moderation is a problem since it is the basis and cover fundamentalists use for sustaining their dangerous literalism.

The following comes from this great article about fundamentalism and religious moderation:

While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it does not permit anything very critical to be said about religious literalism. We cannot say that fundamentalists are crazy, because they are merely practicing their freedom of belief; we cannot even say that they are mistaken in religious terms, because their knowledge of scripture is generally unrivaled. All we can say, as religious moderates, is that we don’t like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on us. This is not a new form of faith, or even a new species of scriptural exegesis; it is simply a capitulation to a variety of all-too-human interests that have nothing, in principle, to do with God.

Also,

Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word “God” as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world-to say, for instance, that the Bible and the Koran both contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish-is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of such political correctness. We must finally recognize the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.

I am not put off by Christians just because they are Christians. Neither do I base my opinion of an individual Christian only on their acceptance of a particular myth or superstition as true. That being said, religion is the source of many past, current and future problems. Fact is not society has been negatively affected by becoming more rational, and that is just what I am trying to promote.

Thanks for the question.
In reason:

-FA

posnonrel
There are a lot of Americans, i think they’re a minority, but they’re very vocal, really aching for an Ayatollah. I think would love to have a department of religion. We’d go back to the early 17th century, perhaps. Have an official church. They’ve convinced a lot of people to forget this country was founded by people who were escaping governmental religion.
Arthur Miller, The Atheism Tapes (via goodreasonnews) (via posnonrel)