Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Respect for Other's Beliefs...

...is a one-way street.

It is generally considered completely socially appropriate for a believer to be up front and open about their faith. Public affirmations and prayers are normal and most don't even acknowledge how often this occurs because they are not separated from it. It happens all the time with public statements of "God bless," "Thank God," and in modern mediums like Facebook where people affirm their faith for all to see with random statements such as "Trust in God. He has such an amazing plan for us."

Conversely, any public statement of doubt or non-belief is not only considered taboo, but immediately is labeled as extreme, disrespectful, or militant. Even genuinely innocuous statements of non-belief are immediately taken as attacks on another's faith. This is illustrative of a self-centeredness of the religious (not surprising since believers think themselves as special and the Earth is the center of the universe) and likely evidence of a shallowness of faith. Any and all external denials of faith become denials of THEIR faith. They cannot differentiate between the two even when the denial is in no way directed towards them.

Neil deGrasse Tyson points out that at no time have scientists picketed outside of churches to protest the incorrect teachings regarding the natural and explainable universe by religion, however various sciences are under constant attack from the religious. These protests by theists are due to science negating supernatural explanations for rational and natural explanations of phenomena or contradicting their religious-based morals; which are not objective, universal morals. As deGrasse said, I can't think of any instance where an atheist group has protested Sunday services. This is different than an atheist group protesting prayer at public, government functions which blur the lines between church and state however most believers do not make this distinction.

They just don't get it.

We are expected to be respectful of faith and religion while our very existence is considered the gravest sin. What is even mote disturbing is that some of us are expected to be respectful of our family's faith by actually attending church with them on occasion. Why? What is THEIR need for us to attend a religious service that we not only disbelieve in, but find objectionable? Why is it important for us to respect their belief system and our lack of faith/belief is NOT important enough for them to respect? As usual it is not a two way street with the faithful. They demand respect of their beliefs while dismissing all others. A calm, rational, tit-for-tat discussion of belief vs non-belief is automatically labelled as hateful and intolerant on the atheist's part. At no point is the fact acknowledged that belief in god is not a default and there is not a single shred of evidence for the existence of a supernatural world/universe/dimension. None. Which worldview is the rational one?