Monday, August 16, 2010
Religion and Equal Opportunity Mocking
The more I contemplate public discourse regarding religion the more I borrow a statement from South Park to describe my reasoning and logic. In an episode (Cartoon Wars) about mockery and tolerance the boys come to the conclusion that "it's either all OK or none of it is." There is no gray area. This is how I treat faith and religion. It's either OK to mock all of it or none of it. More importantly; its either all correct or none of it is. No exceptions.
What makes this line of thought attractive to me is (admittedly) not only it's simplicity, but also that it denies all theistic claims of supreme knowledge at the same time. All the major religions claim supremacy and truth, but only one can be correct (we can ignore the modern, politically correct, liberal notion of cultural/religious relativism that all religions are correct and are the same truth shown to different peoples. That is a rationalization by people that have one foot in the modern world and one foot in the middle ages. It is a way for them to cope with their cognitive and cultural dissonance). Which one is correct? ONLY ONE can be correct. Since none can be proven correct then all are back to square one of being irrelevant. Maybe just as importantly this "all or none" philosophy helps temper my reactions to believers. I not only mock all, but also defend them all Constitutionally in difficult situations where personal feelings and even objective facts may show one to be more immediately dangerous than the other. I won't ignore the dangers of Islam, but neither will I ignore the dangers of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. I won't allow my prejudice against specific groups of theists to warp my logic, but neither will I allow my prejudice against ALL other religions to go so far as to hate and persecute. It's not easy to reign in these primitive emotions of "other" and "truth", but I try. Otherwise my atheism becomes it's own demagoguery. It is not a religion itself (as much as our theist opponents try to claim) but it would have many of the same negative traits as religion.