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Lies, Damned Lies and Religious Beliefs

02 January 2013, 07:46

Clive Doubell started a thread in response to a remark from Shilulu. I thought I’d continue it here.

“Freedom of speech is used as an excuse to allow evil haters… to attack people’s beliefs and standards.”

Just what are these standards you’re talking about?

The standard that espouses that anyone that doesn't share your particular belief system is inspired by Satan?

The standard that espouses that anybody that isn't the same religion as you is morally inferior and destined for hell – even though some of them worship the same god as you?

The standard that only your version of the ultimate truth is acceptable? And any other truths are despicable, evil, and should be routed out by all means?

The standard that restricts information to only those bits that agree with your world-view?

Those standards?

Or maybe the standard that a finite transgression of morality deserves an infinite punishment?

The standard that your infinitely moral god can both command and commit genocide?

The standard that there can, in fact, be a Chosen Race?

The standard that two people who did not know good and evil were cursed for all time because they got a little curious?

How about the standard that incest was OK at one time but not now?

Or the standard that human sacrifice is acceptable?

The standard that encourages you to teach fairytales in schools instead of science?

The standard that sees parents withhold life-saving medical treatments from their children on the basis that God will heal them?

The standard that has you saying "I'll pray for you" rather than providing actual material help to people who need it?

What about the standard used in the face of the recent mass murder in Newtown, CT, that the innocents received the "best Christmas present ever" because they were dispatched off to heaven so soon in their young lives?

What about the belief that a frail old man and his few sons built a boat big enough to house a pair from every species on earth?

Or the belief that human children and dinosaurs frolicked together at one time?

The belief in talking snakes and donkeys?

The belief that a god who sent himself to hell for less than three days, was resurrected and now sits in heavenly bliss for all eternity was somehow a sacrifice?

The belief that "hell is the absence of God", but God went to hell for the sins of humankind? Huh? Doesn’t that mean he could never have been in hell?

The belief that a spiritual entity that reportedly killed nine people is “The Evil One” and the entity that killed several million is the good one?

The belief that a young Mediterranean woman was impregnated by an invisible spirit-entity rather than just being a hot-blooded minx?

The standard that it’s acceptable for a tribal leader to receive moral commandments from a god, one of which is never to kill, and then order the killing of all the tribespeople that don’t follow them?

The standard that allows you to acknowledge that your beliefs are based on faith and not evidence, and then permits you to make evidence-less claims about society that you expect others to accept?

The standard that allows you to teach children that if they do wrong they will be destined for torture and torment for all eternity, and it’s not called child abuse?

The standard that encourages you to force a belief system on a person who is unable to speak and think coherently because they’re less than a year old?

The belief that some time in the near future all the good people will be whisked out of their seats to heaven, regardless of what they're doing at the time - like flying large passenger aircraft, driving trains, performing brain surgery, or directing traffic?

The standard that a belligerent little nation in the Middle East should be encouraged to fight its corner because it will fulfil prophecies in your holy book?

The standard that primitive tribes dancing around sick people and shaking feathers at them are either demon-possessed or lost, because they’re not shouting at the sick people with a black book and cross in their hands?

The standard that all the gods worshipped in the Middle East and elsewhere are either evil or imaginary, but yours is either a copy or composite of them?

Are these the standards and beliefs that you feel should be protected from attack?

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