So, Atheists are intolerant of religious beliefs, apparently. Which beliefs? Beliefs like the ones listed below. However, organised religions are inherently intolerant of other beliefs that don’t fit their own.
Atheists usually look at all the faiths, all the evidence, and adjust their view accordingly. It’s patently obvious that the more you study religious history, the less supportable evidence there is for any one belief over another.
Religious “Faith”, written in such holy books as the Quran, should be respected (apparently). Beliefs such as:
- Those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful doom.–17:10
- Don’t bother warning the disbelievers. Allah has made it impossible for them to believe so that he can torture them forever after they die. 2:6-7
- Allah has sickened the hearts of disbelievers and increased their disease. He is a spiritual anti-doctor. 2:10
- If you try to compose a surah that is better than those in the Quran, and then fail, Allah will burn you forever if you in the fire that he has prepared for disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones. 2:24
- Allah will shed human blood while angels praise him in heaven. (The angels question why Allah has to kill people; Allah says they’d understand if they knew everything like he does.) 2:30
The only thing we can rely on is evidence. Muslim faith says to condemn to death anyone who gives up religion. Christians have slaughtered millions for believing in different gods. Thor was once taken quite seriously, yet today he is a comic book character. He’s still a character from a book, just like Jesus, but is somehow given less credibility because not enough people have faith in him. The evidence for their godlike powers is equally shallow.
Why not put evidence ahead of faith, and make this point robustly? We know the Earth isn’t flat. We know we are not the centre of the universe. We know the moon is not a source of light. We know the brain controls our emotions. We know that humans, apes and chimpanzees evolved over millions years from a common ancestor. We know that there are 200billion other galaxies, each including around 200 billion other stars. We are just a dot in the cosmos. None of these facts are hinted at in the bible, Quran or the Torah. These basic facets of science are opposed within scripture, e.g:
Genesis 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
Hmmmmm… God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be “the evening and the morning” on the first day if there was no sun to mark them?
“The greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night.” But the moon is not a light; it only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to “rule the night”, does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? Sounds to me like it was written by humans in an era pre-scientific knowledge
Religious apologetics talk about debate, without being rude to religious belief. Have a debate about the universe and plausibility? This has been done. Scientific rigour, research and robust experimentation have concluded that the account of the creation of the universe in genesis is quite clearly false. How can one debate a creationist, especially a Young Earth kind, without being robust and pointing out how ridiculous it is? No one would stop to think twice about criticising my belief if I told them about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Religion is the object being criticised, not all of the people who believe it. Some religious people have done good things. So have atheists. An atheist has never committed genocide in the name of atheism. Some evil people (Pol Pot, Stalin) were atheists but did not commit their atrocities in the name of atheism, it’d be like saying that Hitler facilitated the holocaust because he was Roman Catholic. No, he was just evil. Bad people do bad things, good people do good things.
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
? Steven Weinberg
A short video with some rebuttals of the criticism.
Go to my links page for more religious reading…