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Reply #64: I don't think anyone is saying you *can't* believe it [View All]

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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-31-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. I don't think anyone is saying you *can't* believe it
Edited on Sat May-31-08 04:44 PM by ihavenobias
I think the point is frustration over belief in things not supported by logic or reason in any sense.

What if the poll said that 78% of Americans believe in Leprechauns? I don't ask that to be dismissive or insulting, I ask that in all honesty because as non-theist I see there is just as much (or as little) evidence to support either.

As for how that particular belief might effect the OP's life, it doesn't, but it may speak to the underlying issue of belief in irrational things. As I wrote in a previous post, this *does* become incredibly relevant when irrational belief is used to justify or guide certain actions or laws (trying to ban gay marriage, stem cell research, contraception and HPV vaccines for example, or making people feel extreme guilt or shame over things like masturbation, sexual attraction and sex before marriage).

Now, obviously these beliefs can also lead to wonderful conclusions and actions (be generous and kind, stop war, etc.) but it's potentially dangerous because you can't have a reasonable discussion based on an unreasonable premise.

For example, if a Bush supporting evangelical says God chose Bush to be president and therefore the war must be good, what kind of debate can you have in that context? By contrast if someone argues that the war is good because we're fighting terror, you at least have a *chance* of possibly having a reasonable discussion based on facts, etc.

PS---I believe in the right for anyone to believe in what they want to believe in. But that certainly does not, and should not, mean that I HAVE to respect each and every belief itself. Religious beliefs should not be off limits from criticism and opinion, as they are no different than any other belief.
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