Hi, I thought I’d join this forum to contribute to some discussions.
In fact there is one issue close to my heart which is how do you fight evil that either is or at least appears to be caused by religion. I was listening to the Point of Inquiry interview with Chris Hedges and Hedges seems to suggest that the New Atheists are going about it the wrong way. I will be posting my thoughts on this under the thread for this interview. I would be grateful for any comments.
All the best.
That’s a good question. It can be a tight rope walk to both respect the individual’s right to their beliefs and point to the effect of those beliefs on groups. I tried to find the liberal and modern messages in religion and eventually gave up. I still don’t like attacking religion without regard to who it hurts. It is the same mistake made in the 60’s of attacking soldiers for following unjust orders or just following the law. We’ve improved on that somewhat with “support the troops” while advocating for peaceful resolution of the disputes of nations.
In simple terms, address the behaviors, not the personality or assumptions about the person’s thoughts. That doesn’t mean you can’t address an ideology or the people who are teaching it. Inciting violence is as bad as committing violent acts. The principle of free speech does not include the right to promote Armageddon. Unfortunately a lot of those kind of issues get difficult to enforce. Especially when people are choosing to join groups and not give their children medicine or teach them to shoot authorities or that the world is going to end soon. That’s when law fails us and reasonable education and socialization has to fill in.
As for New Atheists, I wish Christopher Hitchens was alive today to intellectually destroy Jordan Peterson, but we’ll have to see if anyone else can. Sam Harris has learned a few lessons, and is still addressing words like “the mother load of bad ideas” that he said years ago. I’m just not that nit picky, so I know he meant “one of the largest” instead “the worst of all”. But enough people lack that sort of understanding that it makes his job difficult.