You know the saying, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner,” right?
I’ve never understood the logic behind this. Even when I was a believer I thought it was an illogical statement. What if the “sinner” is a sinner because they are absolutely depraved, evil, SOBs?
It’s like saying, “Hate the murder, but love the murderer.”
Um… no thank-you.
Here’s the thing–it’s the act of sin itself that defines the sinner. If they never sinned in the first place then they wouldn’t be “sinners.” That’s why the logic is faulty. But I get what it is trying to say, “Hate the crime, but have compassion for the person.”
Even though this is a fine sentiment, I have had it up to my eyeballs with religion and the idiots who practice it. Now don’t mistake me, I am not saying that all people who practice religion are idiots. What I am saying is there are countless idiots within the folds of religion.
Speaking of religious buffoons, Eliot Daley is a regular contributor to the religious section of The Huffington Post. Eliot has some questions for atheists. I thought I would try to answer a few of them–being the friendly atheist I am.
I’ve been struck by the number of “Comments” posted in response to my articles by people who are quick and loud to proclaim their atheism and the non-existence of God — and equally quick and loud to disdain the rest of us who don’t share their perspective.
What’s up with this, anyhow? I mean, really, what are you doing cruising the Religion department?
I don’t know about Eliot’s tone here. He says he doesn’t mean to insult, that he is genuinely curious, but his question is pretty rude. An atheist interested in religion? God forbid! It couldn’t be that atheists could possibly find something of interest in the psychologically complex or historically relevant depths of religion, no, there must be another (less flattering) explanation. Naturally. He goes on to speculate.
[Atheists] are disaffected veterans of church or synagogue life who, for some reason or other, are now vigorously renouncing earlier foolishness and still working at putting some distance between themselves and their own (or their parents’) faith.
They [atheists] reflect a very confident belief in their own intellectual superiority and a disdain bordering on disgust for the witlessness of those of us who experience God.
Wait… what? Atheists are interested in religion simply because we want to rub it in religious people’s faces that we are smarter than they are? Really?
It’s not accurate to make the generalization that “religious people are stupid”: the data shows that as a whole the religious are only slightly less intelligent…. In fact, I don’t think religiosity relates directly to intelligence at all. Intelligent people can be religious because they compartmentalize—they don’tapply their intelligence to their religion. Religion is in a psychological category all its own, one that’s perceived as incompatible with skeptical inquiry.
That’s not to say there aren’t genuinely intelligent religious people out there too–but as our atheist friend correctly observed–religiosity doesn’t necessarily relate to intelligence at all–since most intelligent people can be great at compartmentalizing and often neglect to apply their reasoning part of their intellect to their own religious beliefs.
Moreover, there may be something to note about the relationship between lack of education and supernatural/superstitious thinking, as proved by the fact that most third world populations are also, usually, the most religious and superstitious. Usually.
It doesn’t seem to me very likely that a genuinely intellectually robust person, who would probably be aware of the Socratic method, would make such a hubris laden mistake. I suppose it is possible. Intelligent people are often known to have huge egos. Yet their hubris actually doesn’t detract from their sheer level of intelligence–so there is no real objection to be had here.
According to Eliot Daley, the majority of atheists just love to revel in the fact that we’re “smarter” than religious people (although some studies dispute the claim–yet it seems weird that only the critics are up in arms about three independent researchers all finding the same results, but I digress). Really, after having reviewed the posts Eliot refers to, it’s hard to tell if atheists really were being conceited or if Eliot just was whining because he found out that–in all likelihood–he’s not as intelligent as he thought he was.
The next day a Muslim mob waited for him outside of his work and assaulted him. To add insult to injury the local authorities, instead of arresting the violent mob, arrested the victim of an unjust attack–no doubt for religious reasons. He now faces five years jail time for the irony of all ironies–something he doesn’t believe. Indonesia, a predominantly Islamic country, has a strict anti-blasphemy law. In Indonesia it’s apparently illegal to not believe in things.
If you plan on traveling to Indonesia in the near future, best to act like a moron and believe in everything! This way you’ll be safe (more or less… probably less). This is why I’ll never visit a country like Indonesia. I don’t care how good the hookers are, I don’t want to be made a fool of, let alone face the threat of imprisonment for the arbitrary things I don’t believe in.
Dear Mr. Eliot Daley,
Then, like the little geniuses we are, we skip over the pitfalls you continually fall into, we bypass all the floundering and avoid the quicksands of your uncritical footsteps, and we stop to think through the difficult philosophical puzzles you get perpetually stuck in, like a mouse trapped in a maze.
Not because we think we are “better or smarter” than you, but because we simply think better. It’s one of the small privileges of being, on average, more intelligent.
Meanwhile, the religion you follow with conviction is the very same religion which is infested with the worst forms of corruption–but which you habitually fail to see–because like all good sheep–you unquestioningly follow your Shepherds into oblivion.