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Old 03-09-2009, 03:12 PM
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Re: Is bashing religion in general counter-productive?

Originally Posted by John View Post
Not at all. The alternative is to never question anything anyone says; which means ignoring evil and never lauding good.

With this statement, you've presented us with polarized choices, either choosing from one extreme of the spectrum or the other. Either one is bashing a worldview or accepting it unquestioningly.

But I'm afraid you misunderstand me (and terribly, at that). I am against bashing other religions or worldviews and generalized hate. This by no means, however, eliminates questioning and critique. (In fact, you'll notice in my post I said that it was good for atheists to criticize those aspects of religion that are in need of scathing criticism.) I'm all for spirited debate and rigorous questioning of any belief. But bashing and hate for other views? Never.

A key point of atheism is the statement that there is no god. As such any arguments made to endorse atheism have to tackle someone's religion as a whole.
I may be a seminary-trained theist, but I do have full respect--and even some sympathy for--the atheist's logical position.

If someone chooses not to believe in the God that I believe in, great. (The God that I worship doesn't judge people based on their beliefs or opinions.) If a person respectfully declines involvement in my church or any religious tradition at all, good for them, so long as they're fulfilling their life's call in other ways.

Those are one thing. But the moment that one then goes on to pin all the world's problems on religion (either my religion or religion as a whole or religion at its core) or tries to declare the inherent corruptness and/or corruptibility of religion, then we've got problems.

(To be fair, I would say the same thing about theists who contend that everyone outside of their fold are likewise corrupt/sinful/damned to hell.)

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