[FoRK] Christians and atheists start a calmer dialogue (not here, obviously)

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Thu May 10 14:43:15 PDT 2007

On May 10, 2007, at 4:04 PM, Jeffrey Winter wrote:

>
>>> So no, you don't get treated with respect
>
> What percentage of humanity do you suppose is worthy of respect?

Sadly, very little.  But it's always been like that;  any progress  
we've made as a species has been made by very few, and despite the  
best (or worst) efforts of all the rest.

All right, hold on, let me set one thing straight, here.  I can have  
a tremendous amount of respect for a talented artist or musician or  
scientist, let's say, even if they're bug-fuck nutso.  I have  
tremendous respect for the work of, for example, John Nash --- again,  
bug-fuck nutso.  The respect I'm talking about, in general, is  
contextual.

I can, and have, had many a civil interaction with Dr. Ernie, despite  
the fact that he's bug-fuck nutso.  Hell, half my family's right-wing  
Xian culture warrior --- yes, b.f.n. --- yet family holidays and  
vacations don't usually turn into bitter, acrimonious verbal brawls.   
But:  they know better than to try to peddle their particular brand  
of crazy to me, or when I'm around.  And they know that if they let  
their particular brand of crazy infect their politics, and they talk  
about *that* --- then again, they're going to get the biggest verbal  
wedgie of ridicule and disgust I can muster up to give to them.  And  
then they'll shut up, and I'll shut up, and we'll go back to playing  
gin rummy.  Or whatever.

The point of my acrimony when the topic of religion comes up is  
this:  throughout human history, ever since the first con man /  
shaman came up with the idea of the Big Kahunas in the Clouds,  
societal pressure has existed to tolerate ---  say it soothingly,  
taaaaaaawlerrrate --- that bullshit.  It's impolite, impolitic,  
OFFENSIVE, and socially unacceptable --- taboo, heresy --- to  
question the shaman, their teachings, their beliefs.

Well, it's time to break free of that.  It's complete crap that the  
religious would define morality and standards for everyone else, yet  
they're so damn *touchy* about having their freakish little myths  
hauled out into the harsh light of reality and questioned.  Too  
fucking bad for those sensitivities.  It's time to undo all the  
damage that's been done.  Religion is no longer --- ahem ---  
sacrosanct on the fields of public discourse.

That's my cause, and I'm sticking with it.

You want respect?  I'm quite happy to give it to you, even if you are  
b.f.n;  just not in the context of religious debate, and not if  
you're actively working to spread your b.f.n poison, or defend the  
sacrosanct status quo, or otherwise impede the roadmap of possible  
human progress.

jb


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