Mocking Those of Faith

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Dijkstra:

Nigh Invulnerable:
So, mocking someone's religious beliefs is ok, while mocking sexuality is not. Sounds reasonable.

However, how come so many people here get to say, "It's just my opinion!!! RAWR!" if I mock their taste in music, movies, games, etc.? If you're going to mock religion, be prepared to have every choice you make mocked by someone who thinks differently and quit trying to justify your prejudices. Yeesh.

Feel free to mock people's taste in such things, but the difference between those opinions and religious ones is that one is utterly subjective, while the other need not be. Like a belief in a deity. Either it is true or false. Or if 666 is a bad number that will do things to you. Either true or false. Whether someone likes a game or not... well it's kind of stupid to mock that as its personal taste and not a baseless belief about the state of the world.

So how is insulting a religious person's belief in a deity any different than insulting your taste in music? If Mr. Religious is perfectly nice and never discriminatory then his belief is completely irrelevant to anything beyond his personal faith. I agree that people will say and do stupid things regardless of religious affiliation, and that deserves to be corrected when it occurs, or that certain religious folk use beliefs to justify discrimination and hate, but unless that's actually going on then it really doesn't matter what someone believes.

Nigh Invulnerable:

Dijkstra:

Nigh Invulnerable:
So, mocking someone's religious beliefs is ok, while mocking sexuality is not. Sounds reasonable.

However, how come so many people here get to say, "It's just my opinion!!! RAWR!" if I mock their taste in music, movies, games, etc.? If you're going to mock religion, be prepared to have every choice you make mocked by someone who thinks differently and quit trying to justify your prejudices. Yeesh.

Feel free to mock people's taste in such things, but the difference between those opinions and religious ones is that one is utterly subjective, while the other need not be. Like a belief in a deity. Either it is true or false. Or if 666 is a bad number that will do things to you. Either true or false. Whether someone likes a game or not... well it's kind of stupid to mock that as its personal taste and not a baseless belief about the state of the world.

So how is insulting a religious person's belief in a deity any different than insulting your taste in music? If Mr. Religious is perfectly nice and never discriminatory then his belief is completely irrelevant to anything beyond his personal faith. I agree that people will say and do stupid things regardless of religious affiliation, and that deserves to be corrected when it occurs, or that certain religious folk use beliefs to justify discrimination and hate, but unless that's actually going on then it really doesn't matter what someone believes.

I already told you how, you seem very set on your one conclusion to be blatantly ignoring that.

But since I'm responding, I might as well repeat myself. One is a matter of truth, the other is not. It is rather silly to insult someone on something they cannot be wrong about, how good music is or is not is subjective. Whether there is a god or not is not subjective, it is either true or it is false. And that is how it is different. It is childish to insult someone for something utterly subjective like their taste in music. This does not apply to evil numbers, as it is a matter of reality whether this number will have an effect or not and not merely a subjective matter.

And what is this with 'nice and never discriminatory'? It feels like you're pulling motives out of a hat for me. I didn't say that it was okay to mock religion because it can be bad and discriminatory. In fact in my post to you I didn't say why it was okay at all, though earlier I said because it can be treated as any other belief.

As for when it 'matters', who are you to say? It matters as any other idea does. If someone says something stupid I will comment on it, and perhaps mock. Doesn't need to have some terrible effect. This is simply a matter of encountering and evaluating ideas that come before us. Like the idea that the moon is made of cheese.

Dijkstra:

Nigh Invulnerable:

Dijkstra:

Feel free to mock people's taste in such things, but the difference between those opinions and religious ones is that one is utterly subjective, while the other need not be. Like a belief in a deity. Either it is true or false. Or if 666 is a bad number that will do things to you. Either true or false. Whether someone likes a game or not... well it's kind of stupid to mock that as its personal taste and not a baseless belief about the state of the world.

So how is insulting a religious person's belief in a deity any different than insulting your taste in music? If Mr. Religious is perfectly nice and never discriminatory then his belief is completely irrelevant to anything beyond his personal faith. I agree that people will say and do stupid things regardless of religious affiliation, and that deserves to be corrected when it occurs, or that certain religious folk use beliefs to justify discrimination and hate, but unless that's actually going on then it really doesn't matter what someone believes.

I already told you how, you seem very set on your one conclusion to be blatantly ignoring that.

But since I'm responding, I might as well repeat myself. One is a matter of truth, the other is not. It is rather silly to insult someone on something they cannot be wrong about, how good music is or is not is subjective. Whether there is a god or not is not subjective, it is either true or it is false. And that is how it is different. It is childish to insult someone for something utterly subjective like their taste in music. This does not apply to evil numbers, as it is a matter of reality whether this number will have an effect or not and not merely a subjective matter.

And what is this with 'nice and never discriminatory'? It feels like you're pulling motives out of a hat for me. I didn't say that it was okay to mock religion because it can be bad and discriminatory. In fact in my post to you I didn't say why it was okay at all, though earlier I said because it can be treated as any other belief.

As for when it 'matters', who are you to say? It matters as any other idea does. If someone says something stupid I will comment on it, and perhaps mock. Doesn't need to have some terrible effect. This is simply a matter of encountering and evaluating ideas that come before us. Like the idea that the moon is made of cheese.

I was somewhat responding in a general way to so many who basically assume that religion=hate crimes and discrimination. Not you in particular though.

That said, whether there is a god or not and whether someone believes there is doesn't really matter if they're not douchebags. I feel it's equally childish to insult or denigrate someone if they have a different religious belief just as much as you seem to find insulting someone's taste in music, movies, etc. Someone's choices in religion, music, films, etc. reflects who they are to a degree, and insulting or belittling them for any of those reasons is unnecessary and childish. As soon as someone's beliefs start causing them to insult or discriminate against anyone else, I think it's time to have words with them.

There's definitely nothing wrong with questioning ideas and trying to encourage critical thinking in others, but one can do this without insulting another person's intelligence. On that level, I figure as long as someone who thinks something I find odd isn't trying to force anyone else into something then no harm no foul.

Nigh Invulnerable:
I was somewhat responding in a general way to so many who basically assume that religion=hate crimes and discrimination. Not you in particular though.

Didn't really see anyone saying that. The correct observation of religion -> hate crimes and discrimination however, that was present. A sound observation, because religion inherently causes discrimination and hatecrimes to occur.

Nigh Invulnerable:
That said, whether there is a god or not and whether someone believes there is doesn't really matter if they're not douchebags. I feel it's equally childish to insult or denigrate someone if they have a different religious belief just as much as you seem to find insulting someone's taste in music, movies, etc.

Whatever negative effects movies or music might have, I'm pretty sure they're less bad than those of religion. Not just that, but you can't compare a matter of taste to a choice for an irrational belief in something.

Unless they believe Justin Bieber is great. In that case they deserve to be belittled also.

Nigh Invulnerable:
Someone's choices in religion, music, films, etc. reflects who they are to a degree, and insulting or belittling them for any of those reasons is unnecessary and childish.

Clearly you've never dealt with religious zealots if you say that. There's people who deserve to be belittled with a capital B for their rather loonie religious ideas.

And they deserve it even more because they made a free choice to hold on to those ideas, one they could've changed at any time.

Blablahb:

Nigh Invulnerable:
I was somewhat responding in a general way to so many who basically assume that religion=hate crimes and discrimination. Not you in particular though.

Didn't really see anyone saying that. The correct observation of religion -> hate crimes and discrimination however, that was present. A sound observation, because religion inherently causes discrimination and hatecrimes to occur.

Nigh Invulnerable:
That said, whether there is a god or not and whether someone believes there is doesn't really matter if they're not douchebags. I feel it's equally childish to insult or denigrate someone if they have a different religious belief just as much as you seem to find insulting someone's taste in music, movies, etc.

Whatever negative effects movies or music might have, I'm pretty sure they're less bad than those of religion. Not just that, but you can't compare a matter of taste to a choice for an irrational belief in something.

Unless they believe Justin Bieber is great. In that case they deserve to be belittled also.

Nigh Invulnerable:
Someone's choices in religion, music, films, etc. reflects who they are to a degree, and insulting or belittling them for any of those reasons is unnecessary and childish.

Clearly you've never dealt with religious zealots if you say that. There's people who deserve to be belittled with a capital B for their rather loonie religious ideas.

And they deserve it even more because they made a free choice to hold on to those ideas, one they could've changed at any time.

My point, however, is that no matter how loony you or I think someone's idea about the moon being made of cheese may be, unless they're actively harming others and discouraging people from questioning things, then I have no reason to bother with them. I have dealt with religious folk who took things too seriously in the past, or who deny basic scientific principles like evolution, but their perception of reality, however odd it seems to me, is still their own and unless I can somehow experience it firsthand I cannot truly say they have no idea what they're talking about. Basically, I'm saying we need to judge cautiously and be willing to admit that our own ideas and perceptions may be odd or downright incorrect.

Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

Bentusi16:
Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

Simple, really. It makes the mocker feel better about themselves.

Bentusi16:
Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

It depends on how one defines mocking and what or who said mocking is directed at.

For example if it was mild poking fun at the action in question the purpose of a light ribbing might to be to point out how silly someone is is being about a thing. I know when my friends are being stubborn over a stupid point ill rib them lightly to let them know they are taking something too seriously. Ill make a little fun to point out when a point is totally fallacious too and the person is obviously in the wrong. Sarcasm is a form of mockery and we use that a lot to get a point across.

However PERSONAL mockery, as in mocking a person for their personality is for the mocker. Its an ego boost.

Bentusi16:
Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

That's an interesting question. I'd like to think there are three aspects to it.

  • 1) The personal aspect: I always like to say there are two things to improve ones self-esteem: either one seeks to reevaluate ones principles or simply do something one can be proud of and the other is by degrading everybody else thus improving ones self-esteem by comparison with the rest. As such, mocking someone can be about boosting one's ego by relativizing the other in contrast to oneself.
  • 2) The intergroup aspect: Borrowing from the same principle as in the personal aspect, the goal here is also the implied vilification of an individual but with an additional twist: instead of degrading the individual as an isolated actor, a mocking here implies an extension to the group. The person is seen as a stereotype of an out-group with the mocking implying an inferiority of the out-group to the in-group. Such acts improve group cohesion and makes the person who mocks more secure in his (social-) identity.
  • 3) The objective aspect: apart from the first two which live from the psychological aspects, mocking can be a very efficient method to show blatantly obvious problems in one's reasoning. This is the domain of satire and carefully worded sarcasm - it's mainly a critique of the argument and not of the person.

What the actual aim of the mocking in question is or if someone has to feel attacked by itm is of course something that needs to be decided on a case by case basis. See also my previous post on this issue.

RJ 17:
I wasn't sure whether this should be in off-topic or here in the R/P forum since this doesn't really have to do with any religious subject in particular, but rather the way people of religious faith are treated.

Anyhow, I saw an article today regarding a man who quit his job because his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666. Evidently this isn't his first run-in with the mark of the beast, as when he first got hired onto the job, his timecard was timecard # 666. He protested and got the number changed.

Sure enough in the comment section everyone was mocking the man calling him crazy, a moron, a stupid believer, and all the rest that has come to be expected from the majority of the internet when it comes to stories about people of religious faith.

The question I'm here to ask is this: is it really alright to just openly mock people of religious faith just because you happen to be an atheist? When you boil it down, isn't that simply mocking and insulting someone for being different than you? I really don't see a difference between calling a person of faith a moron/whatever and calling a homosexual one of the many derogatory names they've been saddled with.

Why is it that in this day and age in which homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted, that you come off as an enormous biggot asshole if you start insulting homosexuals, yet no one bats an eye at insulting people of faith? If we don't care what people do in the privacy of their own home as far as their sexuality is concerned, why should we care about what people choose to believe in the privacy of their own home as far as religion is concerned? Why is it socially acceptable to insult the (seeming) minority that is the faithful while you'll have people calling you a biggot if you insult the minority that is homosexuals?

For the record, I have nothing against homosexuals, indeed I really don't care what people do in the privacy of their own home and as far as gay marriage is concerned I go with a quote from Chris Rock: "Why not let them marry? Gay people have the right to be just as miserable as everyone else!" They're simply a minority that I point to as an example to establish a basis of comparison showing that it's no longer socially acceptable to insult them while it's becoming more and more socially acceptable to insult people of faith.

Really it just seems very hypocritical to me that society condemns insulting one group based on their private sexual lives yet doesn't care in the least about insulting another group based on their religious beliefs.

Yeah, you don't believe, we get it. Does that mean you have to call everyone that does a moron? Some might bring up religious zealots and people that are very eager to try and spread "The Word" as examples of the private religious lives of some intruding on the lives of others, but just as not every homosexual is a pedophile, nor is every person of faith a religious fanatic.

Edit: PS: Personally, I did find it a bit silly that the guy would quit his job over a number on his tax form, but at the same time I'm not going to start laughing and calling the guy an idiot nutcase just because of what he believes.

UPDATE:
Seems the genreal concensus of responses that I've been getting is that it's perfectly fine to make fun of these people because they chose their religion where as things such as sexuality and race are things that aren't chosen. This means that it's apparently ok to make fun of people who are different, so long as they're different for reasons they choose themselves. And evidently I'm the only one that sees that as hypocritical.

Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

Neil Degrasse Tyson once in a conference from youtube pulled out an analysis that reflected the belief in god across educational levels, and the result was less than 40% of those engineers and physicists educated in america, and less than 7% of the higher echelons of education hold the belief in a personal god that they pray to.

The day we find out why it is not zero is the day atheism and agnosticism will reverberate throughout the world, and while i do not denounce the notion of a prime mover. I do denounce the current theistic approaches to explaining the prime mover. They are outdated, flat out wrong, and their priests are grasping at straws to explain why their god is the right one. It's called "interperating the bible" lol.

Clearly someone take this to an unacceptable level, or a free pass to mock believers, and quite frankly why shouldn't they? These people are evolutionary baggage, and deserve to be mocked. Like white bloodcells cleansing the body of our host the planet earth. There is this notion inside of me that says we must mock them, or they get a free pass until the end of time, but for now I am sated by the notion of taxing them. Why should these institutions be exempt?

Bentusi16:
Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

Sure I can. I'll first tell you what it isn't. And it isn't this:

Godavari:

Bentusi16:
Can someone explain what the goal is in mocking someone? Not about their faith; just in general.

Mocking, what is it for.

Like, what is the purpose in mocking someone. I think that's the bigger question here, far above whatever the mocking is actually about.

Simple, really. It makes the mocker feel better about themselves.

Nope.

Religious thinking dominates the world. While no particular religion can claim a majority stake in the global population, the nonreligious are greatly outnumbered by the godly. For the whole of human history, religious policies, thinking, and laws have been forced under pain of death on one and all. It is only very, very recently that humanity is starting to break free from it. And one of the tools for breaking free is mockery.

Mockery's main focus is power, namely removing power from a perceived threat by making a joke of it. Mocking religion robs it of the awe and grandeur that is critical to its enforcement of respect and relevance in society. Keep in mind that it really wasn't that long ago that someone would have every reason to fear for their bodily safety in even the developed west if they rejected the religious majority of their region; in many parts of the globe, billions of people still live in such a world. By mocking religion we chip away at its (undeserved) power, worming our way out from underneath its boot-heel.

All things in moderation, of course; there is no catch-all rule to anything. If someone tries to steal your wallet, you're well within your rights to shove them away or punch their lights out; you're merely defending yourself. But if you knock your assailant down, kneel on his chest and punch him in the face and neck until he dies, that's another story. In a similar sense, if some religious person voices their opinion in a public forum and gets mocked for it, that is all part of participating in a society that allows for free speech; if your ideas don't hold up, maybe that's an opportunity for introspection. But it's rude and mean spirited to confront someone who is perhaps keeping to themselves, harassing them unprovoked.

It's like this: If Jehova's Witnesses knock on my door, I'm free to mock them to my heart's content without having to worry if I'm a nasty person for it; they came to sell me their ideas, and I'm free to react how I like in my own home and personal space. but it's not the same if I find where they live, knock on their door, and start mocking them on their doorstep. [1]

The latter example I have found to happen so rarely as to be almost mythical. When the religious majority (and a huge majority they are) cry foul and play the victim is usually when their dominance is being rejected; when their homophobic and misogynist policies and opinions are savaged in the public square, when their bigoted laws are overturned, when their infractions on the Constitution are rolled back, when their overbearing power is checked; that is when you can be sure someone will whine that they are "under attack", that the meany nonreligious secularists are bullying them.

Nonsense. The godly used to burn us at the stake. Now you suffer the agony of having your bronze-age ideas mocked for the childish nonsense they are, in the public square, where all ideas are subjected to furnace of group consideration. I don't have it in me to summon up the tears, especially when I see what life is like in parts of our modern world where the godly retain the dominance of the olden times; the kind of dominance you can bet your bottom dollar they would seize here in west had they but the opportunity to do so.

[1] When Jehova's Witnesses actually did show up at my door a few months ago, I indulged them in a pleasant hour-long discussion about their faith. They of course failed to convert me an iota, and I was actually surprised at how poorly they handled simple questioning. These are not a group of people used to critical thought or being challenged on what they have been told.

Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

This is why it's okay to make fun of people faith. Note that harassing and making fun of are different things.

I don't think it's ok to mock/make fun/harass any one. Especially when it's their beliefs. I don't think it's ok to have beliefs forced on you and I think it's perfectly fine not to believe. But, just because you choose to believe or not to believe doesn't give you some right to belittle someone else.

I know I'm guilty of that behavior and I wish I wasn't.

Smeatza:
Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

This is why it's okay to make fun of people faith. Note that harassing and making fun of are different things.

It isn't so much whether poking fun is ok, it is rather how "social criticism" is portrayed and constructed by society.

Piss Christ is not social criticism, it was a religious symbol in someone's urine. Alternatively, people will openly liken the religious and spiritual to those who believe in Santa Claus and children's fairy tales.

If you want to criticize -isms and theology, or make intelligent social criticism, that's one thing, but it's painfully obvious that too much criticism is petty, juvenile smugness that can, at times, illustrate an almost personal hatred of religion.

Satire can improve society, but there's satire and there's being judgmental (a highly ironic quality for those thumbing their noses at people for judging others...)

Nigh Invulnerable:

Dijkstra:

Nigh Invulnerable:

So how is insulting a religious person's belief in a deity any different than insulting your taste in music? If Mr. Religious is perfectly nice and never discriminatory then his belief is completely irrelevant to anything beyond his personal faith. I agree that people will say and do stupid things regardless of religious affiliation, and that deserves to be corrected when it occurs, or that certain religious folk use beliefs to justify discrimination and hate, but unless that's actually going on then it really doesn't matter what someone believes.

I already told you how, you seem very set on your one conclusion to be blatantly ignoring that.

But since I'm responding, I might as well repeat myself. One is a matter of truth, the other is not. It is rather silly to insult someone on something they cannot be wrong about, how good music is or is not is subjective. Whether there is a god or not is not subjective, it is either true or it is false. And that is how it is different. It is childish to insult someone for something utterly subjective like their taste in music. This does not apply to evil numbers, as it is a matter of reality whether this number will have an effect or not and not merely a subjective matter.

And what is this with 'nice and never discriminatory'? It feels like you're pulling motives out of a hat for me. I didn't say that it was okay to mock religion because it can be bad and discriminatory. In fact in my post to you I didn't say why it was okay at all, though earlier I said because it can be treated as any other belief.

As for when it 'matters', who are you to say? It matters as any other idea does. If someone says something stupid I will comment on it, and perhaps mock. Doesn't need to have some terrible effect. This is simply a matter of encountering and evaluating ideas that come before us. Like the idea that the moon is made of cheese.

I was somewhat responding in a general way to so many who basically assume that religion=hate crimes and discrimination. Not you in particular though.

Well it's not very help for discussion to toss it at me if it isn't addressed to me.

That said, whether there is a god or not and whether someone believes there is doesn't really matter if they're not douchebags.

That is your opinion and I do not see a reason to share it.

I feel it's equally childish to insult or denigrate someone if they have a different religious belief just as much as you seem to find insulting someone's taste in music, movies, etc.

I don't care if you find it equally childish since the justification I had for why I thought it was childish does not apply to the other.

Someone's choices in religion, music, films, etc. reflects who they are to a degree, and insulting or belittling them for any of those reasons is unnecessary and childish.

No, it isn't. One of those things is not like the other. And it doesn't matter if it reflects who they are, it matters if it is a reasonable thing to criticize. Religion is not special, it doesn't deserve to be treated as such when all it is is beliefs. A belief in a deity and a belief in alien abductions are only separated by the word 'religion'.

As soon as someone's beliefs start causing them to insult or discriminate against anyone else, I think it's time to have words with them.

Yes, and your reasoning for why not otherwise has been lacking.

There's definitely nothing wrong with questioning ideas and trying to encourage critical thinking in others, but one can do this without insulting another person's intelligence. On that level, I figure as long as someone who thinks something I find odd isn't trying to force anyone else into something then no harm no foul.

If someone thinks that there are underpants gnomes, I am going to think less of their intelligence. If someone quits a job because of the number 666, I will again think less of their intelligence.

AgedGrunt:
Alternatively, people will openly liken the religious and spiritual to those who believe in Santa Claus and children's fairy tales.

Strictly speaking, is there a difference between a belief in the divine and the belief in Santa Claus?

AgedGrunt:

Smeatza:
Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

This is why it's okay to make fun of people faith. Note that harassing and making fun of are different things.

It isn't so much whether poking fun is ok, it is rather how "social criticism" is portrayed and constructed by society.

Piss Christ is not social criticism, it was a religious symbol in someone's urine. Alternatively, people will openly liken the religious and spiritual to those who believe in Santa Claus and children's fairy tales.

If you want to criticize -isms and theology, or make intelligent social criticism, that's one thing, but it's painfully obvious that too much criticism is petty, juvenile smugness that can, at times, illustrate an almost personal hatred of religion.

Satire can improve society, but there's satire and there's being judgmental (a highly ironic quality for those thumbing their noses at people for judging others...)

It sounds like you're sating "It's not legitimate criticism unless I happen to like it". Piss Christ was a commentary. Likening someone belief in the divinity of Jesus to the aeronautical capabilities of Santa's Reindeer is a legitimate comparison. You point to "too much criticism" of religion as being petty.

What, like religion leaves everyone else alone? Lobbying government bodies to impose bronze-age laws on the populace? "God" existing in our pledges, courthouses, currency; The president being sworn in on a magic book? Standing opposed to stem cell research and reproductive rights? Humanity has lived out the entirety of its recorded history under the boot of religion and making fun of it, now, is "petty" and "juvenile"?

I'll just post this:

"Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain." ~ A.C. Grayling

Unfortunately some times mocking/belittling is the only way to convey a message though. I often have people attempt to persuade me to join their religion and it occasionally turns to crazy ideas that are simply stupid and have nothing to back them up. The amount of times a Christian has told me I'm going to hell for not believing/confessing is simply annoying.

They are allowed to voice their opinion on the matter, so why am I not allowed to voice my opinion that they are being stupid and childish? Isn't that what free speech is for? Simply telling these people that I don't believe in hell isn't enough for them to leave me be.

So basically imo if they are allowed to preach that their religion is all great and wonderful, I am equally allowed to preach that their religion is wrong and stupid.

It works both ways.

Blablahb:
[quote="RJ 17" post="528.400475.16458379"]UPDATE:
Seems the genreal concensus of responses that I've been getting is that it's perfectly fine to make fun of these people because they chose their religion where as things such as sexuality and race are things that aren't chosen. This means that it's apparently ok to make fun of people who are different, so long as they're different for reasons they choose themselves. And evidently I'm the only one that sees that as hypocritical.

Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

I think you have missed the point.

Would you mock someone because they refused to step on a crack for fear they would break their mothers back? How about sacrificing a chicken to ensure the sun rises tomorrow?

It has nothing to do with religious belief, but belief in something that is unproven. I call the guy an idiot for going to such great length to worry about a number on his time card. I would make equal fun of some hockey fan trying to get their time card changed to 99. Thinking it makes a difference when it doesn't is foolish, and while it doesn't always do harm it is still quite foolish. So calling someone a fool for acting like a fool is hardly hypocritical.

Hokay, look, no. Mocking people for being religious *in general* I give a side-eye to, it's so often uninformed. "I think you're silly for doing this thing that I completely misunderstand!" makes *you* look like an idiot, not the person you're mocking. That's what it amounts to, about half the time.

Buuuuut. Then you get the other half, things like this. Where a religious person is being a complete fucking moron. In any context, including and perhaps especially the context of the religion they purport to hold dear. It's the religious equivalent of running around a public square naked with a badger tail taped to your ass. I suppose it'd be a kindness not to point and laugh, but I'm not that kind, and... naked. Badger tail.

I mean, let me get this story straight here. This guy quit his actual job, the thing that's paying him an actual living, because of a mistranslation that doesn't even remotely mean what low-church Protestants think it does (Did Not Do the Research) presented as a superstition that something terrible will happen to him if he's associated with the number of a demon that isn't actually the number of a demon... wait for it... in a religion where he worships an omnipotent deity to whom he is consecrated and protected by affirming the reality of the sacrifice of said deity's son. If the protection of this omnipowerful being is so piss-poor that it's voided by a number on a piece of paper maybe-possibly-not-really symbolizing an evil being that his deity created and that his deity's son/a different aspect of his deity defeated with his sacrifice, honey, get yourself another religion! Or, you know, trust in the protection that being Saved is supposed to give you.

...I begin to think that the ill-luck that he feared this number would bring him did, in fact, come true in the whole quitting his fucking JOB part.

Now, it's possible that this guy is mentally ill, but the crap-ass theology that contributes to and often causes complete nonsense like this is still eminently mockable, and I reserve my right to mock terrible theology and shallow, lazy spirituality whether it's in my religion or someone else's. And sure, you can go down the rabbit trail of "how credulous is too credulous", but when it's reasoning that flawed, even within its own context, yeah. Naked with a badger tail.

As I read through this thread, I'm astounded at the constant battery of people who believe mockery is justified so long you're mocking someone different to yourself.

"It's ok to mock the religious because I believe their views to be idiotic, as concluded using conditions that concur with my own personal belief system" seems to be the general thinking here.
Ignoring the hypocritical nature of this stance, I have to question the logic behind it. Why?

Well, mocking a Religion is a right protected in most western nations. One of my favourite sets from Louis C.K. was his look at the god of the old testament, because it talked about "If this god were a person..." and presented the concepts in a thought provoking yet hilarious way. George Carlin has some great material as well, though most of his stuff kinda devolved in the latter years of his career into simple insults without the wit of his younger self to balance it.
This stuff is what it means to "mock" Religion. It's not only fine, legal and protected, it's actually required for a functioning and healthy society.

However, as move away from monologues, manifestos, statements, performers and performances, debates, stories, literature and other such arenas were concepts and ideas are presented - in various ways - to discuss or content with previously established concepts, we move into the realm of what seems to actually occur on an interpersonal level that virtually all of us are apart of. I'd doubt that any of the people here are published authors, actors, writers, directors, comedians or other such creative artists.
While mocking a Religion is all well and good, mocking the religious is not because you're not mocking their faith, presenting a witty deconstruction of it in the process for the education and entertainment of others - as is most often what mockery is employed for in such cases. No, you're just mocking the person - and using their faith as justification for it.
It's an important difference, and seem to be utterly ignored because terrible [reasons].

There is a substantial difference between "Your beliefs are stupid" and "Your stupid because of your beliefs". One is "hating the belief, not the believer" - if the goal of the mockery to belittle a religion, then this is where it needs to end. Why? Because the protected legal right of mockery exists because mockery is a tool to provoke a response. Good mockery provokes thought and introspection. Louis C.K. and young George Carlin understand this, to a degree, and wield it as a powerful tool to both educate and entertain - both noble pursuits, in my opinion.
Bad mockery provokes anger, and fails to either entertain or educate anyone other than those who already hold the opposing view with zeal.

Be careful that whichever mockery you employ doesn't devolve into simple hate and fear mongering. People made fun of the Jews and Atheists before they started killing them.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Zeh Don:

There is a substantial difference between "Your beliefs are stupid" and "Your stupid because of your beliefs". One is "hating the belief, not the believer" - if the goal of the mockery to belittle a religion, then this is where it needs to end. Why? Because the protected legal right of mockery exists because mockery is a tool to provoke a response. Good mockery provokes thought and introspection. Louis C.K. and young George Carlin understand this, to a degree, and wield it as a powerful tool to both educate and entertain - both noble pursuits, in my opinion.
Bad mockery provokes anger, and fails to either entertain or educate anyone other than those who already hold the opposing view with zeal.

Be careful that whichever mockery you employ doesn't devolve into simple hate and fear mongering. People made fun of the Jews and Atheists before they started killing them.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." Martin Luther King, Jr.

You've *got* to be kidding me. Slippery slope, internet mockery leads to genocide! Never Again the Internet Forum Massacres, I guess. If you flame and they die, it's YOUR FAULT.

Personally, I don't refuse to shoot a man (in self-defense), I don't refuse to hate a man, and I certainly don't hate everyone I find silly and ridiculous. (And I find this post both silly and ridiculous.) Look, that's the thing about mockery. People mock the mockers. It's something you open yourself up to, mocking something, that you will be mocked in turn. And sometimes? It's either mock or weep. Honestly? There's a lot about the 666 story that's not funny-- that sort of Christianity roundly pisses me off and I find it tragic. These are people being sold some incredibly harmful shit, it's clearly and unambiguously disordering their lives, and they're using it to harm people like me. So your choice, would you prefer I laugh at it or wangst about it?

Polarity27:

Zeh Don:

There is a substantial difference between "Your beliefs are stupid" and "Your stupid because of your beliefs". One is "hating the belief, not the believer" - if the goal of the mockery to belittle a religion, then this is where it needs to end. Why? Because the protected legal right of mockery exists because mockery is a tool to provoke a response. Good mockery provokes thought and introspection. Louis C.K. and young George Carlin understand this, to a degree, and wield it as a powerful tool to both educate and entertain - both noble pursuits, in my opinion.
Bad mockery provokes anger, and fails to either entertain or educate anyone other than those who already hold the opposing view with zeal.

Be careful that whichever mockery you employ doesn't devolve into simple hate and fear mongering. People made fun of the Jews and Atheists before they started killing them.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." Martin Luther King, Jr.

You've *got* to be kidding me. Slippery slope, internet mockery leads to genocide! Never Again the Internet Forum Massacres, I guess. If you flame and they die, it's YOUR FAULT.

Interesting. According to Godavari, the only reason you could have written this is to feel better about yourself. Making a point in a fun way couldn't possibly have been the motivation. And I'd have to agree[1]: it is manifest that all even remotely irreverent communication is a form of wanking. :)

[1] he's an atheist[2], he's part of my tribe!
[2] I think?

Seanchaidh:

Polarity27:

Zeh Don:

There is a substantial difference between "Your beliefs are stupid" and "Your stupid because of your beliefs". One is "hating the belief, not the believer" - if the goal of the mockery to belittle a religion, then this is where it needs to end. Why? Because the protected legal right of mockery exists because mockery is a tool to provoke a response. Good mockery provokes thought and introspection. Louis C.K. and young George Carlin understand this, to a degree, and wield it as a powerful tool to both educate and entertain - both noble pursuits, in my opinion.
Bad mockery provokes anger, and fails to either entertain or educate anyone other than those who already hold the opposing view with zeal.

Be careful that whichever mockery you employ doesn't devolve into simple hate and fear mongering. People made fun of the Jews and Atheists before they started killing them.

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him." Martin Luther King, Jr.

You've *got* to be kidding me. Slippery slope, internet mockery leads to genocide! Never Again the Internet Forum Massacres, I guess. If you flame and they die, it's YOUR FAULT.

Interesting. According to Godavari, the only reason you could have written this is to feel better about yourself. Making a point in a fun way couldn't possibly have been the motivation. And I'd have to agree[1]: it is manifest that all even remotely irreverent communication is a form of wanking. :)

Exactly! Couldn't possibly have had anything to do with boredom, self-amusement, distraction, a terminal case of "dude, wat?" or wanting to take the piss out of a pile-on of windbaggery!

I feel so much better about myself now. :)

(Besides, it's R&P. Nobody'd be here if they didn't want to wank.)

[1] he's an atheist[2], he's part of my tribe!
[2] I think?

AgedGrunt:

It isn't so much whether poking fun is ok, it is rather how "social criticism" is portrayed and constructed by society.

Piss Christ is not social criticism, it was a religious symbol in someone's urine.

I agree that Piss Christ is certainly not satirical. But seen as it falls under the wide and undefined banner of art it could be social criticism, it could not be, it could be both. I don't think there's a definite answer.

AgedGrunt:
Alternatively, people will openly liken the religious and spiritual to those who believe in Santa Claus and children's fairy tales.

And I see no problem with that.
It's the classic Jimmy Carr joke "We all have imaginary friends, it's just I've stopped believing in mine." (referring to religion).
It's antagonistic maybe, but the joke illustrates how Mr. Carr thinks that belief in gods is a comfort thing that happens entirely within a persons own head. Adults with imaginary friends are often seen as unhinged and dangerous, so why aren't those who believe in gods? All these parallels and criticisms are raised by the joke and they make a coherent point.

AgedGrunt:
If you want to criticize -isms and theology, or make intelligent social criticism, that's one thing, but it's painfully obvious that too much criticism is petty, juvenile smugness that can, at times, illustrate an almost personal hatred of religion.

I wouldn't even say that it's "too much criticism" that pushes it from satire to harassment. I would say it's how the criticism is dealt.
For example, the statement
"people who believe in god are fucking stupid"
is obviously inappropriate, crass and like you say, petty.

The statement
"God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills."
Says essentially the same thing. But it is humourous, clearer and more detailed in it's point.

AgedGrunt:
Satire can improve society, but there's satire and there's being judgmental (a highly ironic quality for those thumbing their noses at people for judging others...)

And this is what makes true satire such a hard thing to do and such a rare thing to encounter.

Seanchaidh:
fun stuff

Polarity27:
more fun stuff

I think you two just won the thread...the Meta-ness...it amuses me XD

itsthesheppy:
It sounds like you're sating "It's not legitimate criticism unless I happen to like it".

What, like religion leaves everyone else alone?...

Humanity has lived out the entirety of its recorded history under the boot of religion and making fun of it, now, is "petty" and "juvenile"?

Sounds like more petty disagreements. I didn't defend anything about religion, only that criticism gets out of hand, and you seem to believe that two wrongs make a right. This is pattern behavior with much evidence in this thread.

"Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain." ~ A.C. Grayling

"When you guys were in charge", Gosh I'm terribly sorry about doing that to you all. Pfft. Are we, the ones alive today, responsible for the book-burning, holy wars and persecution of heretics? And is this social upheaval supposed to be some sort of reparation? We all inherited freedom; you're not owed anything and need to move on.

And no, putting pasta bowls on your head, using hair dryers to undo baptism, dunking religious symbols in urine and likening people of faith to having delusions of tooth fairies are not "some arguments" or "challenging questions", but they are made especially embarrassing to come from alleged adults.

It's not my concern if this is the way some get their message across. They might be assumed a fool, but decide to act and remove all doubt.

Aris Khandr:
Strictly speaking, is there a difference between a belief in the divine and the belief in Santa Claus?

That's not up for debate. I was talking about the tone that is taken, which is to bring people of faith down to a level (in this case, naive children), and how solidly offensive this is, only more-so that many find it not only acceptable, but necessary.

Stereotypes and crude mockery gets society no where.

AgedGrunt:

Aris Khandr:
Strictly speaking, is there a difference between a belief in the divine and the belief in Santa Claus?

That's not up for debate.

...

I understand that to mean that you don't have a very satisfactory answer to that question. If that is indeed the case then it seems like a fair question by default: an important one to answer for philosophical reasons if nothing else. Unless one is satisfied with having ill-defined or contradictory beliefs.

"Bringing people of faith down to a level" of naive children may be accurate if indeed the comparison cannot be satisfactorily answered. Things are what they are. And if that's the case, it's better that they know about it than persist in thinking otherwise.

AgedGrunt:

"When you guys were in charge", Gosh I'm terribly sorry about doing that to you all. Pfft. Are we, the ones alive today, responsible for the book-burning, holy wars and persecution of heretics? And is this social upheaval supposed to be some sort of reparation? We all inherited freedom; you're not owed anything and need to move on.

And no, putting pasta bowls on your head, using hair dryers to undo baptism, dunking religious symbols in urine and likening people of faith to having delusions of tooth fairies are not "some arguments" or "challenging questions", but they are made especially embarrassing to come from alleged adults.

Hi, are you a Christian? (If not, please disregard what I'm about to say-- although given that you do seem to think persecution by Christians is over, it may be informative even then.) If so, yes, I do indeed hold you at least partly responsible for the persecution, and in some places, torture and murder of "heretics and witches", and cultural genocide that is happening RIGHT NOW. Today. Not in some far-off time, but today. Today, in some parts of Africa, there's an epidemic of *children* being murdered for being "witches" that's directly spawned from the influence of Pentecostal Christianity. There have been, in the last year, at least two people burned alive as "witches". Indigenous religion in both Africa and Latin America have been under relentless persecution from missionary Christians determined to see it cease to exist. The Christian response to the earthquake in Haiti was, among other things, to demonize Vodou. Radical Christians are also behind the efforts in Uganda to execute people for being gay, and behind anti-gay violence in Russia. The Catholic Church has on its hands, thanks to a refusal to support the use of condoms, thousands of Catholics dying of AIDS in a land with very few resources for antiviral treatment-- people who may well have been responsive to a Church-supported prevention effort. On a lesser scale, don't get me started on the treatment of practitioners of African diasporic religions (including Santeria and Vodou) in the US.

If someone finds Christianity important for them, in spite of this continuing oppression and bloodshed, fine-- whether you can be a good person in a larger group that does evil things is an interesting argument, and one I think that's up to the conscience of an individual. But don't even try to act like it's all in the distant past and it's not happening now, or that it's not relevant to you as a Christian.

Polarity27:
Hi, are you a Christian? ... If so, yes, I do indeed hold you at least partly responsible for the persecution, and in some places, torture and murder of "heretics and witches", and cultural genocide that is happening RIGHT NOW...

"As one is guilty, so are they all" then? What a horrendous position to take, even ignoring the obvious and inane separatism and bias present in even the first five words of your response.

"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." - Ronald Reagan.

To punish, condemn or to hold responsible the whole for the actions of the few you described as "Radical Christians" is not only the worst type of response, it is also the most dangerous of thinkings. I could easily state that you obviously believe that the word "Christian" is indistinguishable from the word "evil", and should be expunged accordingly. I won't.

"It is better to risk saving a guilty man than to condemn an innocent one." - Voltaire.

Regardless of the actions of the few, or even the many, the innocent should never be punished. If you believe otherwise, then you're guilty of a vastly more horrendous crime than "murder".

Polarity27:
...whether you can be a good person in a larger group that does evil things is an interesting argument...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations

Christianity - 2,331,509,000

To argue that the greater part - and I'll be generous and state that the greater part is the lowest portion possible to achieve that title, a mere 50.1% - totaling 1,168,086,009 people are guilty of unrepentant, public and widespread "torture and murder of heretics and witches" says more about your own bias, delusion and misunderstandings than it does about whomever you accuse.

I have to suggest you read about these things in greater detail, and educate yourself. There's nothing wrong with simply not knowing or understanding, but there is no defense against preaching hate - I don't care under what belief you label yourself.

AgedGrunt:

itsthesheppy:
It sounds like you're sating "It's not legitimate criticism unless I happen to like it".

What, like religion leaves everyone else alone?...

Humanity has lived out the entirety of its recorded history under the boot of religion and making fun of it, now, is "petty" and "juvenile"?

Sounds like more petty disagreements. I didn't defend anything about religion, only that criticism gets out of hand, and you seem to believe that two wrongs make a right. This is pattern behavior with much evidence in this thread.

"Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain." ~ A.C. Grayling

"When you guys were in charge", Gosh I'm terribly sorry about doing that to you all. Pfft. Are we, the ones alive today, responsible for the book-burning, holy wars and persecution of heretics? And is this social upheaval supposed to be some sort of reparation? We all inherited freedom; you're not owed anything and need to move on.

And no, putting pasta bowls on your head, using hair dryers to undo baptism, dunking religious symbols in urine and likening people of faith to having delusions of tooth fairies are not "some arguments" or "challenging questions", but they are made especially embarrassing to come from alleged adults.

It's not my concern if this is the way some get their message across. They might be assumed a fool, but decide to act and remove all doubt.

Emphasis mine.

Matthew 5:22

" But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[a][b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,'[c] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

Be careful. You almost danced with hellfire there.

Please point out where I said you were personally responsible for witch burning and thumbscrews. I don't think I ever did. I think what I did say is when compared to the way the religious majority reacted to resistance in the past, their new mewling about 'persecution' because people are levying criticism their way is rather limp and insulting. The colanders on the head, the hair blow-drying (something I've never heard of) and the other silly, jokey, or perhaps even petulant actions to cast off religion's overbearing grip may not resonate with you, but they're not doing it for you. Nobody is looking for your approval or endorsement.

You're welcome to criticize them as acting silly or not making a point that resonates with you, but if what we're doing is criticizing goofy practices, silly hats and costumes, well, the irony explosion might be a little too much for me. How exactly is using a blow dryer to under a baptism sillier than a baptism itself? Oh no, a baby has been born, somehow awash in sin despite not even knowing it has hands and feet yet! But that's okay, if a magic man pours water over its head, then the baby's soul is washed clean, praise zombie jesus. But no, using a blow dryer to undo that stuff, that's silly. Right, of course.

Aris Khandr:
Strictly speaking, is there a difference between a belief in the divine and the belief in Santa Claus?

That's not up for debate.

Why not? Can you answer the question? You come out swinging against the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as unreasonable conversation, but what he phrased was a direct question. Is an apple different from an orange? Is belief in the divine different from belief in Santa Clause? If so, how exactly? What makes the divine real and Santa Clause, not?

AgedGrunt:
I didn't defend anything about religion, only that criticism gets out of hand, and you seem to believe that two wrongs make a right. This is pattern behavior with much evidence in this thread.

"When you guys were in charge", Gosh I'm terribly sorry about doing that to you all. Pfft. Are we, the ones alive today, responsible for the book-burning, holy wars and persecution of heretics? And is this social upheaval supposed to be some sort of reparation? We all inherited freedom; you're not owed anything and need to move on.

And no, putting pasta bowls on your head, using hair dryers to undo baptism, dunking religious symbols in urine and likening people of faith to having delusions of tooth fairies are not "some arguments" or "challenging questions", but they are made especially embarrassing to come from alleged adults.

Stereotypes and crude mockery gets society no where.

I agree with you for the most part, its actually really well said. Other than your second paragraph. Ill expand on that.

Chickafill gave their charity money to an organisation that sent lobyists to enforce the "Kill the gays law" via Exodus International in uganda.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exodus_International

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill

Todays religious people funded this organisation indirectly in a response to people not liking chickafill for their anti gay stance. It was reactionary, tribalist and it KILLS people. People DIE because of the funding these religious hate groups receive from christian organisations and customers in America. They go out and encourage countries to actively MURDER people. So while its VERY wrong to have a go at YOU for this, having a go at christians TODAY who eat at chickafill out of reaction to the boycott or people who fund such groups is VERY founded. Religion IS killing people today right now. Not fair to lump that onto randomers of course. But its a fair point. Western Christians who fund these groups have blood on their hands in some cases. Thats a fairly serious grievance.

I think Piss jesus is disgusting and pointless. I understand Pastafarianism though, it was created to show the religious inequality in schools:

http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

It was a joke to show that teaching JUST christian creationism in schools is rediculous. People do take it a little far though. The point is when someone demands their religion has a "Right" in society you can replace their religion with pastafarian ism. If that right seems ridiculous now its a good indication your religion doesnt deserve that right. Its to illustrate that EVERY religion deserves the same rights in society and that yours isnt special in terms of who deserves those rights.

Id also like to point out that if a christian EVER belittles ANY belief EVER of any other religion, or santa, or fairies, OR unicorns that person is a hypocrit. Scientology is mocked by everyone because its so "Rediculous" that invisible aliens are at fault for all wrong in the world. If youre an athiest and have ZERO belief in any other religion then its fair enough to say thats silly. However if you think its a talking snakes fault instead its VERY hypocritical to mock others. You cant mock someone else for a silly belief when your belief requires the same amount of suspension of disbelief or belief in the irrational. If you agree ALL beliefs are equally silly then you stop being a hypocrit.

The fact of the matter is that Christians today would happily send a man who believed in santa at age 40 to counselling. Perhaps rightly so. But to do so from a point where you share equal faith in something no less supernatural is totally hypocritical. What makes some beliefs better than others? Atheists believe all supernatural beliefs are equally silly. It raises nothing up on a pedestal and gives no extra rights to beliefs because of personal feelings. ALL are EQUALLY silly. So im in a fair position to say that. To say "ALL are silly except MINE because I think so" is unfounded.

It isnt fair in society that if youre part of an "accepted" superstition you get a free pass in mockery and if youre not all the other superstitions will gang up on you to mock you from a position of immunity to their OWN superstitions because they are "Normal".

LMAO. I love people who are quick to battle religion, and assume that hating it is totally fine, simply because religion is a personal choice (as far as something like homosexuality goes, it's definitely wrong to make fun of them just as much as it is to make fun of a Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Caucasian individual, since all of those things aren't acquired by choice).

Some secular individuals (or a majority of the people in this thread, it appears) seem to think religion is the root of all evil. Let me tell you that that is as much BS as they think religion is. Religion isn't the problem; it's the motives behind the religion. You could tell me religion has been the source of more wars than anything else, but more than likely religion was just a blanketed issue to make the people more inclined to accepting issues like the Crusades.
Edit: Oh, and this doesn't mean there haven't been any wars simply for religious matters. I'm sure there's plenty. Just most of the ones that are popular (i.e. the Crusades) more than likely had more underlying motives to it.

Religion does have some issues, such as the Abrahamic faiths views on homosexuality, which is obviously creating social inequality for anyone who's a homosexual, and also is what creates a lot of hatred for the LGBT community. This is very much true. But we seem to still think it's totally fine to lump an entire group into one category.

There's good Christians, there's bad Christians. There's good atheists, there's bad atheists. People are individuals, even if we place ourselves into a specific category (e.g. religion, cliques, etc.).

Keep in mind, I'm just talking about hating the religion altogether, not specific branches. I don't think there's anything wrong with hating groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, anyone who's homophobic/racist/sexist/etc, just don't lump everyone of a group together.
There's no reason to compare the people of St. Vincent De Paul with the Westboro Baptist Church. One group deserves a lot of hatred, and the other is St. Vincent De Paul.

BiscuitTrouser:
I think Piss jesus is disgusting and pointless.

That would be Piss Christ... and it's a piece of Shock Art - 'art' (we can argue whether it's actually art or not another time) that is intended to confront, offend and (if the name didn't give it away) shock.

It's not a very good piece of Shock art, though, because gluing a little Christ icon into a jar then filling it with piss isn't exactly a challenge of artistic skill and technique and because using religious icons for shock, confrontation and offense is dynamiting fish in a barrel. It's conceptually and artisitically lazy... as far as shock art goes, it ranks about equal with a 2 year old smearing shit on the wall for attention.

itsthesheppy:
Please point out where I said you were personally responsible for witch burning and thumbscrews. I don't think I ever did.

You didn't, that's why I quoted the piece which writes off the belittling, mockery and deplorable things said about faith and followers as intelligent debate, when it's more like comeuppance from people who can't leave well enough alone and help themselves to prejudice.

itsthesheppy:
Matthew 5:22

" But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[a][b] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,'[c] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

Be careful. You almost danced with hellfire there.

Speaking of prejudice, I'm apparently a Christian for defending faith. I could be Buddhist, Islamic or, gasp, an Atheist myself.

I find it very telling when critics jump straight to the Bible and Christianity when the topic of faith is brought up. It's a big world, you are capable of applying your badgering to Islam, Buddhism, Hindu religions or mocking the Native American Sun Dance. Christianity is a very broad belief system, yet the secular counterculture seems to focus on it because it's an easy target. This is behavior fitting a bully and all I've asked is for people to get along.

Edit:

Seanchaidh:
I understand that to mean that you don't have a very satisfactory answer to that question. If that is indeed the case then it seems like a fair question by default: an important one to answer for philosophical reasons if nothing else. Unless one is satisfied with having ill-defined or contradictory beliefs.

"Bringing people of faith down to a level" of naive children may be accurate if indeed the comparison cannot be satisfactorily answered. Things are what they are. And if that's the case, it's better that they know about it than persist in thinking otherwise.

Who am I supposed to satisfy about questions of faith? People who reject and refute it?

I don't know creation, the origins of space, time and existence. I don't have answers to these questions; I'm not an omnipotent being. There are no answers here using scientific methods.

Won't advocate for creationism lectures in schools, but don't come into my personal faith and lecture me that you're unsatisfied with it.

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