Author Topic: "Treat Believers with Kindness"  (Read 721 times)

Sandra Craft

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"Treat Believers with Kindness"
« on: March 04, 2019, 08:13:08 AM »
Admittedly something I have a hard time with and often fail at.  Tarico's basic argument seems to sum up as the old saw of "people are not wrong/bad, only their behavior is wrong/bad".  Which to me is fine when dealing with somebody too immature (for whatever reason) to truly understand the difference between right and wrong, but once people are mature enough to grasp that difference then I think the person is most definitely defined by the behavior they choose.

Tarico does bring up the idea, promoted by some atheists, of religious belief being transmitted as a psychological virus, making it similiar to a mental illness that removes the believer's ability to tell right from wrong or true from false (or at least questionable), and that puts them back into the person good/behavior bad category.  I see what she's saying, but to me this point of view seems as insulting as outright scorn, and very condescending too. 

I've been on the atheist side of this and frankly, I'd rather be told I'm a stupid jackass for not believing then given the *pat, pat* "you poor thing, you're not mentally well and can't help your wrongful disbelief".  But that may just be me.

There is also the issue of how productive it is not to curb our anger and frustration at people who try to use their private religion to form public laws.  Is there something to be said for being understanding and patient with someone who is in their right mind but overbearing about it?  Is it better to try to catch flies with honey rather than vinegar, since we have to deal with the flies in any case?  Esp. since the flies occasionally have a point altho not when they go about trying to mess with the laws.

Treat Believers with Kindness, not Contempt

Quote
I should add, too, that every religion is a factual and ethical mixed bag; a religion that contained only falsehoods and did only harm likely wouldn’t get passed down very long. The Bible may be full of tribalism and violence. It may have verses that identify women as chattel and offer instructions for slavery. But that is not all it contains. Thomas Jefferson called the wiser parts, “diamonds in a dunghill.”  The beliefs and values of Christians and other believers are similarly jumbled, and when we think of people with contempt, we miss their diamonds.
Sandy

  

"Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet."  Sarah Louise Delany

Tank

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Re: "Treat Believers with Kindness"
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 04:24:34 PM »
Daniel Dennett vs Christopher Hitchens. I at least try to start out Dennett (most of the time) but often end up as Hitchens.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

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Re: "Treat Believers with Kindness"
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2019, 08:16:23 PM »
I expect that even if the sort of atheist who tends to categorically dismiss theists (or approaches pretty much any interaction with them as a conflict) bothers to read the piece, it won't have much effect on their behavior. Phil Plait's "Don't be a Dick" from nearly 10 years ago carried a similar message, to little effect as far as I can tell.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Re: "Treat Believers with Kindness"
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2019, 11:21:33 PM »
In my family there is a mix of believers and atheists.  Interestingly of the four that attended private catholic single sex secondary schools, only my sister is now a believer.  I, my niece and nephew all became atheists while at school.  We all get along with nothing other than the usual family disagreements, but never about religion.  It works because we all respect each other.  The people that I have trouble with are those that seek to create laws based on religious teachings or introduce their pseudoscience into the science classroom.  These guys are simply not showing respect for anyone else and so I have nothing but contempt for their efforts.  Does this make me a bad person?  Possibly, but tough titties.
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Caliasseia

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Re: "Treat Believers with Kindness"
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2019, 04:41:30 AM »
My approach is simple. Behave nicely until the discoursive criminality puts in an appearance. The moment this happens, go nuclear.
Bad ideas exist to be destroyed ...

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Re: "Treat Believers with Kindness"
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2019, 08:02:29 AM »
My approach is simple. Behave nicely until the discoursive criminality puts in an appearance. The moment this happens, go nuclear.

Yep. That's about right.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.