Monday, October 22, 2012

Atheists, militant fundamentalists, and the thought police

Anytime you tell somebody that their thoughts, beliefs, cultural practices, or life style is wrong, you are inflicting a wound to their psyche.  Those wounds frequently scar. These unseen wounds are the ones that kill our souls, that stunt the growth of human kind, that lead to lingering and festering inequalities and injustices.

Just as most of us can agree that a radical Christian or radical Muslim should not have the right to disrupt our lives by spewing hatred and insults and violence at us, the same rule should hold true for atheists  some of whom have recently taken it upon themselves to attack anyone who holds a belief in something they don't understand (which, if you think about what humans understand about the Universe is very little).  This rule should hold true when witches and Pagans tell each other that they aren't "real" because they don't follow one particular path. We shouldn't tolerate this violence from anyone for any reason.  If civility and mutual respect are not part of our interactions with others, we should be excluded from those interactions.

I am not claiming to be perfect at this, but I am making a conscious effort to not encourage, endorse, or spread hatred in any form.  Telling someone else how to believe isn't right.  I'm not saying you shouldn't call people out on racism and discrimination (which are based off of bad science coupled with some religious beliefs  economics and downright meanness), I'm saying that when it comes to spirituality, to those things that we cannot empirically and universally observe, choices are best left to individuals.

I'm sorry that I have to harp on this subject over and over again, but if we don't start pushing back against this sort of hatred and epistemological violence, we will be stuck in this bloody cycle as a species forever.

1 comment:

  1. I love it, "To tell others how to live is wrong, except when they're doing things that I disagree with. Then they have to be stopped."

    It's like censorship. "Nothing should be censored except those things that I think are vile and dangerous. And every right thinking person agrees with what I think."

    Look, ever person on earth is deeply flawed. Just accept it. To one degree or another, we're all hypocrites, bigots, liars, cheats, coveting dishonest, self-obsessed fools. While capable of doing great good, most of what we touch turns to crap. Yes we need to try to love others as we already love ourselves but to pretend that if we're the right religion or non religion, the right political party or if we're scientifically minded or have the right amount of education then that will make us good is nonsense.


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