Response to cleanhippie (Original post)
Wed Apr 18, 2012, 01:35 PM
LeftishBrit (35,378 posts)
4. I disagree with this - not because I'm religious which I'm not
But because I don't agree that 'moderate theists are the most destructive'. Nor do they necessarily refuse to allow 'open and honest debates on theism'. In the UK, there are plenty of debates on the topic. If there aren't in the USA - I think that this is not so much a matter of it being forbidden by 'moderate theists', as perhaps that Americans find it more important than British people that citizens should share values. I have seen the argument that America depends on 'a shared system of values' even from quite liberal people; in the UK, only decidedly right-wing people argue this (beyond the need for a respect for democracy and the rule of law). The UK suffers from rabid anti-immigrant bigotry and general xenophobia, but not so much IMO from bigotry about ideas - this may be based on the tradition of tolerating eccentricity, and finding 'crankiness' amusing rather than threatening.
In any case, even if religion is everything that the author says it is, there is no way of getting rid of it, without clamping down on free speech and democracy. In a way, the author's argument against 'moderate theists' reminds me of Prohibition and the drug wars and campaigns against sexual 'immorality': trying to stop people from being religious isn't going to work any more than trying to stop them from having sex or drinking alcohol.
What is more constructive IMO is to insist on equal rights for all: atheists must not be treated as outsiders to society, or as political dangers; nor must members of religious minorities; nor must any group or individual that happens to differ from the majority in some way.
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I disagree with this - not because I'm religious which I'm not
|Starboard Tack||Apr 2012||#8|
|mr blur||Apr 2012||#9|
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