Monday, January 26, 2009

Stop the Mudslinging!

Everywhere I turn, whether it's to Atheist blogs or Christian blogs, the dialog (actually, it's mostly monologues, but I digress...) is filled with mudslinging. Pointless, useless, divisive name calling, loud accusations and even louder defenses.

Here is one example, from a Christian on The American Spectator:
In America a similar campaign of bus ads reads: ""Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake!" while leaving the definition of what would be "good" in a world without a god rather unclear (though it is true that Marxism and Nazism gave us some idea). ... If man had in the past taken to heart the injunction that "There's probably no God," ... there would also be no art, science or civilization. ... Atheism produced the meaninglessness and worse of Nietzsche, an unintentional progenitor of Nazism, and then of Sartre, spiritual father of the Pol Pot Genocide, as atheism produced Communism in general, responsible for about 100 million deaths and ruined lives beyond count.
Do you think this diatribe is going to convince anyone to become Christian? Of course not, it's just self-congratulatory BS, a bunch of like-minded Christians slapping each other on the back. It alienates everyone else. Cuts off dialog. Ends the conversation.

But Atheist bloggers and authors are hardly any better. How many times have you read an Atheist blog or book about the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or the Roman Catholic Church's official approval of the African slave trade? Or how many times have YOU written something like that? I know I have.

We have to stop comparing Christians to the Inquisition, and Atheists to Stalin. It's counterproductive and childish. There are and will always be good and bad Christians, Atheists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, ... we're all humans, and we're all imperfect. And the truth is that in most cases, religion (or Atheism) is merely an excuse for persecution and war; the real motive is money and power. For example, everyone knows that the the Jews were driven out of Spain at the start of the Spanish Inquisition. But it wasn't really about Judaism, the monarchy was simply broke, and the Jews had to leave a huge amount of wealth behind, which the monarchy confiscated.

I have an idea: Rather than dwelling on the past, slinging mud at the other side, and congratulating ourselves at how clever we are, why don't we turn to education and enlightenment. Rather than alienate any religious readers who encounter our blogs, why not present them with logic and facts about religion. Let's leave the mudslinging behind – it's really not relevant to our mission – and get on with the task of spreading reason and fighting superstition.

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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