Sunday, August 26, 2007

Respect religion because it is irrational

Jason Rosenhouse has posted a rebuttal to one of Matt Nisbet's attacks on Dawkins et al. Rosenhouse makes some good points, but he misses one truly shocking bit of the post. Here's something Nisbet quotes approvingly from a psychologist:
Yes well look, the more important a particular belief is to us, the more strongly we will ignore or reject evidence suggesting that we are wrong. So what are the most central beliefs that people hold? Their religious beliefs...
This is used as a grounds for concluding that what Dawkins is doing is wrong.

This is not the first time I've seen such thoughts expressed, and I hope it will destroy the delusion that the "moderate atheists" (or whatever they want to call themselves) are somehow being respectful of religious people. The reality is that they're treating them as dumb brutes that need to be handled rather than spoken honestly too. Dawkins, in contrast, is expecting religious people to act like adults. There may be a tendency to lash out when people don't live up to expectations, but at least the horribly condescending approach of Nisbet and his cohorts is avoided.

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2 comments:

Elise said...

Hey there. I'm Christian. no, wait- don't run away! i am not, i repeat NOT going to abuse you! :P

yeah well anyway, i just wanted to let you know that all Christians aren't wacky losers who hate anyone different from themselves. the Bible teaches us not to and the people who go on their little crusades are just looking for an excuse to abuse others, and they choose the Christianity tag so they can do it all in the name of "religion." it annoys me to no end. i have very strong beliefs, but i choose not to ignore the facts. it's the facts that help strengthen what i believe. please don't look at us as a collective bunch of fools who have nothing better to do than use God as a crutch instead of the other things out there (you may or may not- i've never met you) because we're not. i could go on forever but i won't. *sigh* i could preach at you, but i get the feeling you won't care. i could do a great job at it, too. if you do have any questions however, feel free to ask me. i like questions. you probably know all this stuff already...oh well, you know it doubly now! :) hehe

i hope this all made sense. i also hope i haven't freaked you out.

have a great week!

from Elise

ps: i really hope you don't feel abused!

vjack said...

There has to be a difference between respecting religious people and respecting religious belief. I respect religious people not because they are religious but because they are people. I pity them in the same way I pity someone suffering from a more widely recognized form of mental illness. On the other hand, I have absolutely no respect for religious belief whatsoever. It deserves none.