Orson Scott Card is even worse than I imagined »« This is not an update

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  1. Sastra says

    Mo: “You can teach your children to respect all religions or you can teach them to respect the Truth. Take your pick.”

    QFT.

    The liberals who teach “respect” for all religions are playing a little bait ‘ switch mind game with themselves. On the one hand the things you believe in “on faith” are like personal preferences, intimate choices which identify you as you and not someone else. They’re to be respected the same way one respects another person’s right to choose their own non-invasive lifestyle — with forbearance and tolerance. It doesn’t matter if a faith is true or not in the literal sense: it only matters if it’s “true” for them. What works in their lives; what works in my life; what works in your life. No right, no wrong — just different.

    Celebrate diversity!

    And yet that’s not how they’re approaching their own beliefs, is it? Their retreat to faith may signify that outside criticism is out of bounds, sure — but only because they’ve elevated themselves, not because everyone is on even ground and it’s all good. Whether God exists and whether the specific details of what God is and wants are actually true (including the very specific detail that “God doesn’t care about specific details,” thank you very much) is supposed to matter. Religion and spirituality are supposed to clue you in on the super secret facts of reality.

    It’s a special revelation, people. It reveals. It’s not a sort of self-improvement project for making happy with your life and tastes may vary. God or Higher Consciousness or Spiritual Reality or whatever you want to call it is supposed to be … you know … real.

    Genuine respect would entail treating religion in general and religions in particular like hypotheses. They know this … but they play the game that they don’t in order to stave off what would be mutually assured destruction in a system where you can only accept the truth if you want it to be true.

  2. anuran says

    Nope. Wrong. Bullshit. Strawman and a whole bunch of other words. It’s on a level with saying that if you are an atheist you MUST believe thus-and-such and MUST be a conscienceless sociopath.

    You can be religious, even a Believer and still believe in respect for people who have other beliefs. And that respect can extend to letting them be right or wrong according to their conscience.

    You can believe that other people have a right to their beliefs even if they are wrong – ” I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.” S. 109:1-6

    You can believe you are Right but hope to be tolerant in return for the same treatment from others. This is also why the Baptists used to be strong supporters of the Separation of Church and State.

    You can have beliefs and be open to the possibility that you are imperfect and might be wrong.

    You can be absolutely bug-fuck balls-out religious like some of the Charedi Jews and believe your religion is for your group alone. Others have no obligation to follow it. Or you could be really Old School Hebrew and say “Our God rules! Your god drools. But he’s still your god.”

    In short, PZ is having fun stroking his hate-on in front of everyone and refuses to recognize that his caricature does not fit the more complex human reality.

  3. anteprepro says

    You can be religious, even a Believer and still believe in respect for people who have other beliefs. And that respect can extend to letting them be right or wrong according to their conscience….You can believe you are Right but hope to be tolerant in return for the same treatment from others. This is also why the Baptists used to be strong supporters of the Separation of Church and State.

    Agree with anuran about the above.
    “Respect all religions” =/= “Believe all religions”

    (I don’t agree with anuran’s characterization of PZ and his alleged “hate-on” though)

  4. don1 says

    I respect a person’s right to believe but whether or not I respect the belief itself is another matter. And if the belief is, to me, odious then I probably won’t have much respect for the person holding it.

  5. Sastra says

    anuran #3 wrote:

    You can be religious, even a Believer and still believe in respect for people who have other beliefs. And that respect can extend to letting them be right or wrong according to their conscience.

    Sure. But that wasn’t the argument.

    The problem is that this “letting people be right or wrong according to their conscience” is a very, very dicey attitude to keep when held in conjunction with the belief that what you believe in really, really matters. There is an inherent conflict in treating religion as both a personal choice and a revealed Truth because it’s subjective and objective in a way that other empirical claims are not — while being both trivial to how we live and deeply, wildly, crazy-run-amok vital-to-all-things at the same time. This is I think a problem. The more important you believe God is, then the more important it will be to not believe in God the wrong way. The more significant your religion, then the more divided you are from nonbelievers, however you define them. All value comes from above.

    In other words, this conflict is benign only when people don’t care that much about whether God exists or not — and can admit that. Otherwise you’ve got tribalism based on arbitrary moral lines which deal with who is “open” and who is “closed,” who is enlightened and who isn’t, who is receptive to God and who spurns it, who is saved and who is damned … who has heart and who is nothing but cold and cruel intellect.

    Good luck being on the wrong side: there is no rational argument against a judgment based on faith. Just because they insist they don’t “judge people for this” doesn’t mean there is no judgment. It’s a dangerous passive aggressive subtext that will break out, over and over, as soon as they’re confronted by the issue of what they believe and why they believe it. They cannot handle outspoken dissent. The floodgates open.

    People of faith can indeed enlarge their tribe so that people of different faiths are just worshiping the same God “in their own way.” But by the time atheists are included in this group, they’re either denying respect to God or denying respect to us.

  6. brianpansky says

    also, can these “we all draw from the same water, but different wells” type people at least admit that contradictions can’t exist in reality? they could easily take the scientific approach and say “hmm some parts contradict, so we have to figure out which one (or both) need to be amputated”.

    it’s like “hoarders” for nonsense ideas.

  7. brianpansky says

    i’m refering to contradictions between different religions, but i could add that it’s about time the sloppy bibles and other ancient texts should be replaced by comprehensible encyclopedias containing the consensus of what truth they supposedly contain. it’s a lot safer that way. (or some idea has got to be better than the current setup anyways….)

  8. Rich Woods says

    @brianpansky #8:

    I tend to think of encyclopaedias as big, heavy books filled with stuff known to be true or accepted to be true with good reason. It strikes me that the encyclopaedias you are suggesting will end up pretty small and very lightweight. Good luck in getting the religious to accept them…

  9. brianpansky says

    @ Rich Woods #9

    : D

    still, i’d like the “we are better than fundamentalists” people to do something to make non-fundamentalism the clear automatic choice for anyone picking up the core book.

  10. Shplane, Spess Alium says

    @anuran

    There is a difference between respecting a person and respecting their religion. I treat religious people like people, but if religion comes up I am direct in telling them “No, that’s bullshit. Believe less ridiculous things.”

    Hell, I can’t imagine respecting a person and NOT calling them out on their nonsensical beliefs. I can’t respect someone and also believe that they’re incapable of listening to criticism.