October 30th, 2007
Why one particular atheist is angry.
I agree with pretty much everything she had to say.
So I'll just add, "amen."
Current Location: work
Just one very egregious example:
"I'm angry -- enraged -- at the priests who molest children and tell them it's God's will."
Hello, so are all non-child-molestors, atheist or no. I'm just as "angry -- enraged" at the non-religious child molestors who molest children and tell them it's fate or as nature intends or if they tell they'll be killed.
She's an idiot, and I'm actually disappointed that you're taking her seriously. I don't think she's worth any more of my time and attention.
Most people during most historical periods have professed some form of religion. Therefore, the lion's share of the good and bad things have been done by people professing religion. It has nothing to do with "religion" as a social institution. It has to do with percentages.
|Date:||October 30th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)|| |
That seems like a pretty specific group of people to me-- she's enraged at child-molestors in the clergy. How is that vague? And how does that refute the original point?
Beliefs or no, I think it's pretty clear she isn't an idiot. Giving issues like this your time and attention is what makes me believe that people with religious beliefs actually can and want to support them and engage in intelligent debate about them.
She addresses the "people who do good/bad things being religious or not" issue in the blog post, which pretty much summarizes exactly the point you made.
I think it's abundantly clear that an idiot is exactly what she is.
And no, she doesn't summarize my point. Re-read, please.
I'd have been ashamed and angry to have someone saying those things presume to speak for me when I was agnostic. I actually think for myself; I don't just spout a few-years-out-of-college line of PoliSciSpeak mixed in with some "alternative" press article hooks and try to pass it off as independant thought.
|Date:||October 30th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Okay. Clearly we disagree on what it means to "speak for yourself," which is what she's doing and what I'm doing. Of course I can't speak for her in this context, but I agree with many of the things she said, and not because I was brainwashed by any of the items you list above. Just as I would not have said that you've been brainwashed out of hand to dismiss your points, but apparently we're different.
You said that it's a question of percentages that good/bad things were done by people who were religious, just based on the percentage of people who had religion at the time. She says, "I get angry when believers trumpet every good thing that's ever been done in the name of religion as a reason why religion is a force for good... Of course, to be fair, I also get angry when atheists do the opposite. Neither side gets to have it both ways." While the lead-in is different, both your point and hers conclude that saying "all bad things are due to religion" (or the other way around) is pointless-- though you're saying the points she mentions have nothing to do with religion, that it's all percentages?
Many of the specifics she mentions (the Inquisition of Galileo, Craig Thompson's art teacher) are closely linked to the religious beliefs of those persons. She's talking about particular instances, not discussing the evils of every religious person in history, because they're religious. As she said, "I was very, very careful in this post to say 'I'm angry at people who do (X),' or, 'I get angry when (Y) happens,'. I said that I was angry about specific aspects of religion, specific ways it plays out in the world...I never said that the things I was angry about were universal to all religious beliefs or religious believers."
No, no, no.
Things like the Inquisition had less to do with religion than with power struggles. Religion was the window-dressing behind a particular group's grab for power. It wasn't the cause; the same sort of thing has happened in the name of Communism or exploration/navigation for example. It doesn't mean that Communism or exploring new worlds are inherently bad ideas; it means that power corrupts and people are people and there will always be social forces and ideologies that are the current sticks to beat other people up with.
But some of her statements just don't make any sense - trashing Mother Teresa for providing sub-standard healthcare? Does she realize that the alternative was not standard healthcare but no healthcare?
Anyway, sorry if I pissed off you and Ry. I'll wander off to a corner and make a "When religion is outlawed, only outlaws will have religion" icon or something.