A strange(and unfair) idea that the new atheism is possibly promoting is the idea of wiping out religion from the world. It is a type of approach which is creating certain type of atmosphere where religious people don't even get their rights. For example, Richard Dawkins said in 'The Unbelievers' that we should mock religious people with contempt. I mean, why?
I, despite of being an atheist, am a secularist. I don't think that this type of approach will help them a little bit. In contrast, it will enlarge the clash, and will promote arrogance both for theists and atheists. Theists should get their rights until or unless they start indoctrinating their children or start to force their beliefs on others. Secularism is what we need.
Another kind of atrocity I am witnessing is the slogan scientists must be atheists. Umm, no. I don't know that whether or not any atheist activist said this or any of the four horsemen(perhaps some horsewomen also), but I think you might be familiar with this because it is so common indeed. However, it is purely a fundamentalist point of view that scientists must be atheist. Because scientists are humans. And also a statement of a scientist is not necessarily a statement of science.
Anyway, I wanted your views in this particular issue to purify my opinions.
Religious groups when confronted with legal constraints on their privileges call it secular intolerance, social freedom is atheistic amorality, and criticism is mockery. I have no problem with anyone's beliefs, but when these beliefs are raised up in the public domain, the beliefs, and the people who espouse them, are open to praise or ridicule as society sees fit.
People should not be mocked. Their ideas however…..
When someone (usually in pairs) comes to my door with buybulls, the book of moron, and/or Watchtowers in their hands, I have a perfect right to point at their "literature," laugh my head off, and slam the door in their faces. That's MY version of free speech when confronted with superstitious nonsense.
They have a legal right to believe anything they want to, but they don't have any right to shove their garbage in my face, nor do have to respect their delusions.
You've heard of inculcation? It is hardly the fault of a little child to grow up by the guidance of their religious parents/guardians that they've been imbued with the nonsense spewed forth by their holy books. These kids rely on them to navigate reality.
If you want to break the cycle, you are most often face dealing with a separate reality, and so are they. Ridicule is a tool to use to be sure, but if you really want somebody to genuinely give thought to your viewpoint I don't think getting negative on a personal level will serve you well.
Having said that, I do get what you are saying sk8eycat. An impervious wall is an impervious wall and the heavy lifting involved with that is hardly a practical use of time.
Maybe I could channel my inner George Carlin when opening my door to these JWs and Mormons (silent middle "m"). I just wish I had his skill!
It's too late to "break the cycle." I just want them to leave me alone.
Yeah, quit coming to my door. But there they are. Might as well treat it as sport. Get some satisfaction! Then slam the door!
A friend of mine was a religious lunatic sk8eycat, and he had these ideas about Armageddon, two of these Mormons called at his door last year. After dragging them indoors and explaining his ideas about a scorched earth and the countdown to it, they decided it was time to go, leaving their bible behind them.
I just haven't the time for explanations any more Christopher. I've found over the years that religious people are immune to reality, logic and anything else that threatens their faith. I was accosted in the street the other day by a pamphleteer, after hearing that I was an atheist he enthused that I was just the type of person he wanted a discussion with. I politely told him I suffer from vertigo and cloud nine's a bit to high for me.
Back in the 1960s I was accosted by a wild-eyed street preacher in Hollywood. He was yelling "Jesus died for you!" Or something like that. I yelled back, "I NEVER ASKED HIM TO! AND HE NEVER EXISTED, ANYWAY!"
Oooops. I had forgotten that my date was a serious Catholic. Just as well, I guess.
Yes, it is best to get the "Jesus died for you" question out of the way before the second date. I wonder if the poor fellow would have given up his religion for you? He would have been far better off to do so.
It wasn't the first date; I just forgot that he wore a scapular under his shirt....among other things.
He was also a speed skater....a good one.
I wouldn't go so far as to mock, but rather ask penetrating questions. I have a friend who is a devout catholic and I do this all of the time. My own slogan of sorts is this: no idea is above criticism. Many of the "new" atheists are baffled by scientists that profess religious beliefs. That is certainly within their rights, especially if scientific integrity is at stake, but dogmatism isn't confined to adherents of organized religion. Science needs strong advocates to protect what is truly a fragile enterprise. We only have to look at how easily complex ideas are often hijacked by people like Deepok Chopra, Dr Oz and the Food Babe and then used to mislead the uninformed. Such individuals have clearly taken inspiration from religion and seized on the areas where knowledge is still weak, or by spewing forth scientific terms laced with hokey spiritual blather. The real problem with religion is a need to believe and this can affect many things, and usually leads to the belief in having a monopoly on morality. Christians in America are notorious for this and they refuse to accept that their beliefs are merely one set of traditions among many. The same can be said of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism etc... Reading the history of religion is one way to see that it is a human invention, just like the deity/deities that such traditions are organized around. The problem lies in convincing people to do this.