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:)There is no point to abuse the believer, but, the believer must realize that his belief does not in and of itself warrant respect. The political power Christianity seeks is not dissimilar to the power enjoyed in Muslim countries. In Muslim countries tolerance of the disbeliever is non-existent and there is no separation of church and state. These world religions have a totalitarian character, they are quite simply, dangerous.
Have I truly read posts here where people claim this religion or that religion has some nasty tendency and is therefore dangerous? Did I really read that belief is emotional, as opposed to rational, and that believers are, in short, deluded by their emotional responses?
The totalitarian bent of some Christians and Muslims (and people of every other faith on the planet, including those without faith, and everything in between) is a reflection on those particular Christians and Muslims. That some X's are Y does not mean all X's are Y. Especially when those X's are as different as any two people - oh, that's right, we are talking about people.
Whatever you may think of various spiritual notions, many (if not most) have a rich history of serious consideration. You might claim that Christian belief (whatever that is) is irrational, founded in some emotional need or response and not founded on good reason. Thomas Aquinas would disagree.
A lot of religious fanatics and extremists are dangerous, don't matter if they are chrisitan, muslim, jewish or any other religion. What makes them dangerous is just their belives of "god's will" and a life after this one, when you have that guarentee, why would you even be afraid to loose your life? You'll just come to heaven won't you? Thus I feel that atheists are allways more responsible of their own actions, cause if it leads to their death, they are dead and everything goes black.
Of course you can't say that ALL of anything is anything except for when it's true, not saying that it is in this debate though.. Although I don't really understand where this outburst came from as I don't think we have pulled all of anything over any line yet atleast...
You do exactly this in your last post when you claim atheists have a greater sense of personal responsibility than believers.
As for your statements about religion being rational or not, the rational of various religious stances does not lose value because of it's source.
If the guy next to me comes up with some religion so that he can dominate others, his folly does not prevent me from teaching religion for the sake of others.
Simply: broad statements about religion are almost always wrong.
But that isn't a reflection of the religion, but of the person..
Even if we refine the statement to "most cases", what good is the statement? We certainly cannot take a poll and find out who feels a greater sense of personal responsibility.
The problem remains - blanket statements about religion and religious believers do not take into consideration the fact that beliefs vary so widely.
But, just for fun, let's look at your claim, that atheists will take more personal responsibility than the religious. I could just as easily, and with as much force, argue that the religious will take more personal responsibility because they believe a higher power will hold them responsible, and that atheists will take less personal responsibility because they do not think there is anything/anyone to be responsible to.
Both arguments are groundless. Let's not make them.
And isn't this the issue? There is no Christianity without believers. 'Christianity', 'Islam', ect, and the way we view these faiths, is a reflection of the faithful, not of some religion that exists without believers.
That's the thing. Blanket judgments about groups of people, especially groups so diverse, a doomed to be inaccurate and misguiding.
Ofcourse you can make the opposit claim, and you are free to do that. But as I added: from MY experiances
And nevertheless, you can't deny that religious extremists are dangerous (not limited to religious extremists but history shows that religion have been the foundation to alot of pain and suffering.. Crusades, church executions etc. etc.)
These religions we have discussed now are all based on holy texts and books, which is the foundation of that religion, the rules and moral of that god. This is the base of the religion and ofcourse, they need the followers. But when the followers don't question the leader, they are sheep and not alot more. This isn't exclusive for religions, but is the best example in modern times...