Why is it deemed wrong to "bash religion"?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Baldeee, Feb 15, 2014.

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  1. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Why are religious views deemed above any other views that people hold?
    Why are they not subject to the same questioning and rigour that one might apply to, say, belief in the "flat earth", or UFOs, or cold fusion, or any scientific theory.
    Why are they held sacrosanct such that questioning them is verboten?

    I am not talking about trolling or being rude or disrespectful (which should not be acceptable in any thread) but why is it seemingly wrong to hold up to scrutiny the views of anyone who claims something that someone else thinks is not provable?
    Why must we put religion on a pedestal that puts it out of reach of questioning and interrogation by those that don't believe as they do?
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  3. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Firstly, it's because these beliefs are central to their lives. They were brought up to believe in their religion, and it's very hard to shake off stuff which has been pounded into your head since birth. Secondly, their beliefs don't stand up to even the slightest scrutiny, so they find themselves threatened. They would really prefer not to enter into any reasoned discussion about this.
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  5. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Well religion at its purest form is about brotherhood, and morality. Morals like peace and or Godly order to the universe are things a religion can follow. Knowledge, and how I certainly follow religiously in my own mind. Is it human nature to know how. Do humans have certain natures like knowledge or how? If so that's pretty godly, like belief.
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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    There is a difference between questioning a belief and using a belief to bash all those who believe it with hasty generalizations and stereotypes. And unlike claims of "flat earth" or UFOs, most religious claims do not claim to have corresponding physical evidence. Demanding that the religious provide physical evidence for non-physical claims is simply demanding them to agree with a reductionist worldview (which they largely do not).

    Anyone is free to believe that religious claims are not provable, as few religious people are foolish enough to make such claims. Most religious claims are held to be subjectively true, not objectively so. As much as atheists may not like it, religion is generally no more subject to the criteria of the physical sciences than philosophy. When is the last time you heard anyone demand "proof" from philosophy?

    Most of these sorts of complaints seem to stem from the fact that the non-religious apply their own worldview to subject matter that expressly rejects their worldview. Things like spirit and soul are not claimed to be physically evident, and religion falls largely into the philosophical branch of metaphysics.

    abstract philosophical studies : a study of what is outside objective experience
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    This is a mistake of applying your own worldview. Sure, you may feel threatened if you cannot provide evidence for your beliefs, but then your reductionist worldview relies solely upon such evidence. Religious beliefs have no problem with this, as they do not rely solely on physical evidence.

    Demands that they should are no more than straw man arguments.
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


    So Islam is teaching brotherhood now? Looks to me as though many Muslims are only wanting their ways or else. Then look a Christians, they do not want anything but what teach and believe to be adhered to as an example they think homosexuals are very bad people and shouldn't be around. All religions are based upon faith and belief not really on scientific facts. Morality is also part of the laws that human enact in order to have a good society so if a law needs to change the will of the people can change it.
  10. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Well religion should follow how things are like me. Apparently love plays a roll.
  11. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Well, I attempted, at least, to answer the OP's question. If you want to argue that I'm wrong, then you can try to dispute what I've said. Which part don't you agree with?

    - the beliefs are central to their lives? I think that's true.

    -their beliefs don't stand up to the slightest scrutiny? I think that's true too, in fact you've kind of confirmed it.

    -they feel threatened? You've agreed with that too.

    So what don't you agree with?

    OK, OK, you're a mod so you don't have to play fair.
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    This is equally stereotyping of "modern culture" as any religion-bashing. Just like religious criticism, it will not be tolerated without examples as evidence of the claim. Granted, religion seems to have become one of the few groups we accept stereotyping and hate-speech toward, but that does not mean that everyone does it, especially considering the ~80% who believe in a god.

    Please give specific examples when criticizing any group and show how they are representative of said group.
  13. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    No, I'm not. I am distinguishing between the respectful and disrespectful - hence the "bash religion" was in quotes, as it is that which I seek to understand - i.e. where one draws the line.
    No, the issue is when genuine criticism becomes deemed "bashing".
    People are generally familiar with what is trolling and what is out and out disrespectful.
    But there is, at least it appears that there is, a fine line (and more than likely a significant matter of opinion) when genuine criticism crosses into what one considers "bashing".
    Is it weight of numbers?
    When does it become okay for religious people to "bash" atheists, or the non-religious, if they themselves cry foul of "bashing" by atheists for what is often far more thought out and coherent criticism?

    And for "modern culture", I would rather say that is inherently tolerant.
    The more secular culture becomes the more tolerant I think it becomes.
    Early culture may also have been tolerant, but it seems to me likely those that adhere most to the mid-culture (i.e. to the religions pervasive over the past 2000+ years) that is most intolerant.
    But that is neither here nor there with regard this thread.
  14. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    - Yes, it is central to their lives.

    - No, it does not make claims that are subject to the criteria for you scrutiny.

    - No, they do not feel threatened by a worldview that does not apply.

    Talk about playing fair. Would you find it equally fair for the religious to demand you to disprove religious claims without recourse to objective evidence? No? Well that is precisely what you are doing when you demand objective evidence. They generally do not make claims of objective evidence, just like you do not make wholly subjective claims.

    This is a general worldview disconnect that few seem to understand.
  15. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Oh, I agree.
    But you closed a thread for "bashing religion" when it began with a criticism (via parody) of arguments that atheists are thought to use.
    So clearly you think "bashing" is more than just a matter of using hasty generalisations and stereotypes.

    Further, are you going to consider that people who make hasty generalisations and stereotypes of atheists are equally guilty?
    Such as those that tar all atheists as believing God to not exist, for example?
    This example would probably be considered trolling, depending on how blatant it is.
    But if they don't agree with a reductionist worldview (and even emergentists would fall within this description as well) then they at least should be able to provide detail of what their worldview is beyond "God did it", or anything akin to "God works in mysterious ways".
    I am all for exploring the whys and wherefores of peoples' belief (or lack of).
    And have learnt much of people in general just from reading threads in this forum.
    But the issue to me seems to be when genuine criticism of a position is deemed to be "bashing", purely because it might offend someone's sensibilities rather than through any consideration of what is actually being discussed.
    Too many do, which is part of the issue here (although I see that one such person has recently been perma-banned!!!

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    But this is the issue: religion does not allow itself to be criticised the way a philosophical view is.
    Everyone knows that a philosophical is rarely supported by science as being the one and only truth on the matter (at best the philosophical view is built around to fill in the gaps of science - either where science does not yet have the answer of where it is not equipped to go), and arguments abound openly, freely and, usually, respectfully.
    But with religion it is different: any argument against a religion is too often seen as "bashing".
    And I think this is not to do with the criticism levelled against it, but instead perhaps the unwillingness of the religionist to accept that their worldview is a philosophy rather than the unquestionable truth.
    It is the element of "scripture", of being sacrosanct that is the issue here, and how calling that into question is seemingly verboten.
    If religion was seen as just another philosophy there would be no issue.
    I disagree in as much as the religious too often claim support from scripture that, to them, puts it beyond argument, without stating why it should be treated as such.
    If every religionist argument started "I take this on blind faith but..." then there would be no issue.
    But they don't.
    They claim evidence.
    They claim support that is somehow more than just an appeal to authority.
    And you call them out on it.
    Would you, as moderator on this forum, deem this as "bashing"?
    Or are you happy to send any thread that claims their religious view as truth straight to the "free thoughts", "psuedo-science", "parapsychology" or similar, or even straight to the "cess pool"?

    It is also not just that the non-religious apply their worldview (although that is often a part) - as that is to put the fault expressly and exclusively at the feet of the non-religious in such cases - but that the religious claim a position that puts them beyond such criticism, and cry foul when people try to criticise.
    If the world-view is sound, it should be able to withstand the criticism (and I don't just mean to remain silent but to have a response).
    And the grounds on which it stands should be understood by all, not least by the person holding it.

    And I also dislike the tone of your post: "Most of these sorts of complaints..." seems to imply that they should be dismissed lightly.
    And it smacks of misunderstanding the issue.
  16. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    - good, you agree

    - yes they do. Genesis is wrong, the planet wasn't made that way, man wasn't created that way, the flood story is rubbish, Methy wasn't 969 years old, Noah wasn't 600 years old. All garbage.

    - so why they react just like you do, changing the subject to a worldview or throwing out insults? If they just smiled and said, my faith is so strong I can talk about it objectively, then I might believe you. hat's the whole point of the OP.

    It's not my job to disprove religious beliefs. I've got useful things to do with my life. It's up to the religious to prove that what they say is true. They absolutely make claims of objective evidence - see above.

    Now how about you try to answer the OP instead of telling me about myself? Or are you going to ban me instead? They tried that with Galileo, remember?
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    We don't and a lot of religious belief is criticised very robustly, not least here. But I think, as Franklin says it is worth pausing to consider what criticism is and what "bashing" may be. There seems to be a generation raised on Fox News that has no clue how to criticise without being abusive. The mark of a good liberal education is to be able to ague against someone's point of view without being abusive. If people can't do that then they deserve to be censured.
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    For two reasons, first religion is a belief. It isn't rational. So you are not going to win a rational argument. Two, religion is very personal. So if you start bashing someone's religion, they are going to take it personally. It will be perceived as a personal attack and offensive.
  19. gmilam Valued Senior Member

  20. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    In part that's what I'm trying to establish: when does legitimate criticism cross the line to "bashing"?
    Is an overwhelming contingent of atheist posters on a thread, for example, to be deemed "bashing religion" just because they don't agree with religion and are the overwhelming voice in the thread?
  21. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Some might consider it to be insulting even though it is logical and factual criticism.
    Your views and bias are duly noted.
    [quote[It become okay after they have been bashed numerous times. Members of modern culture deserve no respect and no consideration because they have no respect and no consideration for others.[/quote]So you advocate "eye for an eye"?
    You advocate society disintegrating into tit for tat reprisals, where it becomes okay if it is done to you?
    Such that bashing of one group is okay because they were the victims first?
    Your opinion is noted.
    But I find the idea of free speech being a remnant of Protestantism to be laughable.
    Speech has always been free and is the default position.
    The curtailment of that freedom is the remnant of cultures, not the freedom itself.
  22. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    If it isn't rational then why is the religion thread not in the "parapsychology" sub-forum, or some other place where rationality need not rear its head.
    The idea of religion, I thought, was that the proponents of it thought it entirely rational.
    And that it is the rationality of the people that differs between the religious and non-religious.
    So I don't accept that religion is not rational.
    Proponents might not adhere to what I consider to be rational or not, but they surely have their own sense of what is rational??

    As for "bashing someone's religion" - of course they would take it personally - if it is indeed "bashing" - but I'm trying to understand when criticism becomes bashing.
    If it is a matter that all criticism of one's religion is deemed bashing purely because religion is a personal matter, then why does religion deserve such an exalted place?
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It's a good question, and I personally don't see any reason to treat religion from any other philosophical position one might hold: what is deemed "bashing" in any other philosophical debate should be deemed "bashing" in a religious discussion, and what is not deemed bashing elsewhere should not be considered "bashing" in the religious arena. To think otherwise is to hold religion to a different standard.

    Maybe religion deserves that different and higher standard, but if so then I, too, would like to understand why.
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