Bashing Re: [FoRK] Christians and atheists

Jeff Bone <jbone at> on Fri May 11 17:33:00 PDT 2007

On May 11, 2007, at 6:54 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:

> c) A third faction (Jeff) sees religious people as *deserving*  
> disrespect, and perhaps active suppression

Before you go mischaracterizing my position, let's be clear.

> In particular, can you give me a solid reason to believe that  
> people like Jeff wouldn't end up like (b) out of their desire to  
> purge the world of Christianity?

Ridicule, disrespect, and verbal "bashing" are a far cry from active  
suppression, purging, persecution, etc.

Yes, Dr. Ernie, I think your beliefs are DSM-certifiable.  You're  
certainly not alone in that camp, though, and I'm in the minority at  
least in America;  and if "sanity" is merely the social mean, then  
you've got me beat on that one.  Yet I have the right, and will  
exercise the right, to express that point of view as loudly and  
obnoxiously I think is warranted, every time you or any of the "True  
Believers" start whining because some mean atheist put you down, or  
start making ridiculous defenses of your Imaginary Friend's Club's  
belief systems, or start talking about how "wonderful" tolerance is,  
and can't we have some more, please?

Or maybe, particularly, any time one of your God Squad goons plants a  
bomb across the lot from where my wife works.

Yes, I often think you and yours are a danger to any and all of:  me,  
my wife, contemporary society, America, the world, and the future of  
the species.  Yes, I look around and see that almost everybody that's  
planting IEDs and firing rockets and bombs at each other is infected  
with the same bug you're apparently infected with.  And yes, I'm  
going to point that out.  And in the process, well, lets just say the  
thin skinned would be better off not, ahem, exposing them self to a  
meany like me.

But would I drop the vial, referencing the previous  
gedankenexperiment?  I don't believe I said, did I?  So before you go  
getting on your moral high-horse about coerciveness and tolerance and  
all of that, ask yourself:  have I at any point in the past been  
anything other than a vocal critic of coercive means?  Would I *want*  
to drop that vial?  Part of me - perhaps a large part - would want  
to, yes, absolutely.  But would I?  Could I?  I don't know.  That's a  
very thorny question.  Who am I to make such a decision?  Who is  
anyone?  Even if you *knew* with absolute certainty that eradicating  
religion was the only way to save the species, what is the moral  
theory behind taking such an action?  It's a very, very thorny  
question (and hence fertile ground for *fiction.*)



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