Why Should Religion Get A Free Ride?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Free Thinker, May 17, 2012.

  1. In a free society, in the marketplace of ideas, we try to persuade people out of ideas all the time. We criticize ideas we disagree with; we question ideas we find puzzling; we excoriate ideas we find repugnant; we make fun of ideas we think are silly. And we think this is acceptable. In fact, we think it’s positively good. We think this is how good ideas rise to the surface, and bad ideas get filtered out. We might have issues with exactly how this persuasion is carried out: is it done politely or rudely, reasonably or hysterically, did you really have to bring it up at Thanksgiving dinner, etc. But the basic idea of trying to convince other people that your ideas are right and theirs are wrong… this is not controversial.

    Except when it comes to religion.


    Religion is an idea about the world. Thousands of different ideas, really, but with one basic idea at the core of them all: the idea of the supernatural. Religion is the hypothesis that the world is the way that it is, entirely or in part, because of supernatural beings or forces acting on the natural world. It’s an idea about how the world works — every bit as much as the germ theory of disease, or the theory that matter is made up of atoms, or the wacky notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    And religion is a very specific kind of idea about the world. Religion is a truth claim. It’s not a subjective matter of personal experience or opinion, like, “I’m a one-woman man,” or “Harry Potter is better than Lord of the Rings.” It is a statement about what is and is not literally true in the non-subjective world.

    So if we think it’s a mistaken idea, why shouldn’t we try to convince other people of that?

    We do this with every other kind of truth claim. If people think that disease is caused by demonic possession, or that global climate change is a hoax, or that deregulating the financial industry will lead to a robustly healthy economy for all levels of society — and we think these people are wrong — we try to change their minds. Why should religion be any different?
  2. Max E.

    Max E.

    I love the irony in these guys like Freethinker who get their information from the "free thoughts blog" where they spend every waking moment focusing on something that doesnt exist.....

  3. Lucrum


  4. stu


    Since when did religion become something that doesn't exist. duh
  5. Because this country was founded by God and his son, and if you don't believe that you're not only a damned atheist, you're also a friggin unpatriotic commie terrorist. And probably a gay liberal also.
  6. stu


    ....well that's a plus, at least not some bigoted un-american demagogic yellow back irrational superstitious pussy, like a theist.
  7. Because conservative fear death like they fear everything else. Their entire paradigm is based on fear.

    So, they build bunkers, buy guns, and tell each other feel good stories.
  8. Lucrum


    LOL, and you just tell lies?