I sometime read religious boards and it amazes and disappoints me how much religious zealots and atheist have in common – the absolute and righteous certainty that they at the exclusion of others possess knowledge/revelations that makes them the bearers of the truth.
Recently on a different Atheist discussion board a lady that had just lost her young daughter wrote about her religious experience and of the comfort she receivers from her faith. She politely shared her heart breaking story and even offered words of kindness. The replies were predictably brutal and mocking, barely a shred of compassion for a mother that lost her child. I made my best to present my atheist point of view to this lady but I did so with respect, compassion and understanding. I also felt ashamed for my fellow atheists.
I see it here too at nexus, the same hubris and arrogance that at times is such that some individuals proclaim that their philosophies are “my own religion” while others are themselves “…my own religion” and their church is “my flesh and blood”. Does this sound strangely familiar? I suppose soon we will have Gods among us.
Before we all get too heady from over indulging in the advantages of having the weight of evidence in our favor, we should remember that pointing out the irrationality of religion is as-easy-as- shooting-fish-in-a-barrel! The real challenge is offering something better.
We are no better than those that dismiss us and demean us for being atheist if we dismiss and demean them for being believers. The belittling of others only diminishes us and at the very least makes us as misguided as we see theists to be.
It would serve us all well to remember that before presenting our carefully constructed arguments we could show something very simple – respect – and maybe even modesty.
If you believe that logic and reason offers superior guidance than mysticism and religion then BE the example.
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