[quote author=“dougsmith”]Firstly, all of the relevant people (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, et al.) explicitly state that they believe in the freedom to practice whatever religion you want ... I’m sure you know this.
And I don’t think they believe moderate religious practitioners are “evil”. They just think they are deluded. The problem with the moderates is that by supporting notions such as ‘faith’ they give cover to the truly evil folks who are the fundamentalists or radicals.
That they’re the well-educated Michael Moores of inquiry, and make us vulnerable to accusations of scientism.
More to the point:
[quote author=“advocatus”]Most of the Christians on our forum latched onto this statement, on page one—“The New Atheists will not let us off the hook simply because we are not doctrinaire believers. They condemn not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not only wrong; it’s evil. Now that the battle has been joined, there’s no excuse for shirking.”—
Their response seemed to be—“See? You atheists have been complaining about Christians taking over America—this shows you what atheists would do if they ever took over!” I could only shake my head and try one more time to explain to them that they were making a mountain out of a molehill.
advocatus, you can only prove your own intellectual decency, and point to the intellectual decency of others—
Is it reasonable to hold that:
Respect is, from the perspective of free inquiry, best given to persons, and their efforts(which I treat as consubstantial); beliefs, thoughts, concepts ought not to be guaranteed “respect”, except as they serve human beings, and as they relate to human action. Those are conceptual entities - not human beings.
The core “delusion” is that human beings -need- some sort of comprehensive and absolutely certain guide to action in order to make things better. Psychologically, we must value efforts toward comprehensiveness [where logic or rationality fails to serve adequately - take the lack of comprehensive social knowledge on the part of pro-invasion factions of the US military during the Cuban missile crisis] and certainties—as they allow us to minimise our magical thinking—or at least play enough with it until a magical course of argument [let us say, a mathematical model] hinges on certainties underpinning it—that may be verifiably true or (as much as I hate to say this) useful to moving past an aporia.