Saturday, January 10, 2009

Relativism of Faith

Workin' through The God Delusion while I'm up in Austin, helping my brother's cat settle in. Seems he also picked up that Facebook virus. Anyway, in chapter 10, Dawkins makes a good point about the cultural relativism many want us to take about faith. One of the examples given was a student who had been in school longer than his Amish upbringing allowed. His parents argued that he should be taken out of school. Even got a court ruling 7-1 in their favor. One of the positive opinions in the case said it maintained the religious diversity of our nation. Uh, what about the student's choice?

When cultural relativism covers topics like which fork you use at the dinner table, that's fine. Using slightly longer or shorter tines usually doesn't hurt anyone. When faith "diversity" is used as an excuse to hurt people or deprive them of freedoms, that's wrong. Many people don't seem to understand that.

Religion shouldn't give exemptions you couldn't obtain other ways. Believing with all your heart that your stone idol wants you to sacrifice babies on spikes shouldn't let you get away with murder. Ask anyone today, and I think they'll agree with that extreme case. But all of a sudden, many will change that when it comes to things like vaccinations, educational standards, and so forth. People have a habit of giving special privileges based on faith.

Sorry, I prefer living in a place where there is rule of law: Everyone is treated equally, unless there's a good, solid reason to do otherwise. Wishy-washy faith relativism doesn't qualify.


Melissa Gay Art said...

:standing ovation:

Lifewish said...

I'm heavily in favour of diversity: some of my best friends are quite frankly weird in a whole range of ways. I know furries, steampunks, hackers... even actuaries!

But the whole point about diversity is that it should be optional. Otherwise it's not diversity, just stratified conformity.

Anonymous said...

Love that phrase.

It makes me think of when you hear about a native american opining about how the new generation isn't embracing the old ways and how much of a loss that would be, for the sake of diversity. For my part if the next generation decides it no longer needs spirit visions, having people feel the protective need to force that generation to "respect" it isn't doing any favors.

Also, it seems that when people talk of diversity that way, it comes across like diversity is just an aesthetic sense of what sorts of people someone wants to be surrounded by for their own sake. Not sure if I'm getting that across right, but the general idea is people want to be in their own world of adventure filled with the "elf village" and the "dwarf village" and artificially force the existance of those things.

MrFreeThinker said...

Yeah I agree. Moral relativism is stupid. Where do you believe morals come from btw?

Bronze Dog said...

They come from our nature. We don't want to be killed, so we come together in a society that forbids killing, for example. Morality is essentially teamwork, and all the subtle arguments are about optimizing: We want to minimize suffering, minimize fear, increase happiness, and increase accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

This particular piece of *BLACK PROPAGANDA* demonstrated the power of the internet to spread an unconventional message to unsuspecting targets...It also drove home the point that the supernatural can never be eradicated from our existence without a price...

"Nostradamus predicts the collapse of the capitalist system and the world-wide socialist revolution

did you ever hear of the 1st amendment? or will you censor me like
everyone you disagree with...

the vote of the deluded, deceived, and brainwashed masses is not
valid.... it is a SHAM DEMOCRACY!


edition 1568 is the Prophetic Work

see how we stopped the MILLION DOLLAR PARANORMAL CHALLENGE and caused
the president of American Atheists, Ellen Johnson, to quit her job.

those headless babbling idiots in Washington and Ottawa are completely
oblivious to the *REAL WORLD*

visit *******URL BELOW*********

to see what the REAL WORLD looks like

Guess what is inside angel's envelope:

| HuhHuh??

and to wrap up:

and this is for your CENSORSHIP OF THE TRUTH, Politico Wannabe



it's a question of time before the END OF CAPITALISM


a little taste of the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC.....


Loser Randi *NULLED*



welcome to the REAL WORLD....


funny how silent you dogs are now, eh Randi & Dawkins... and what
about that monstrous looking freak called "PZ"...LOL.

Atheists have never heard of something called "intellectual modesty &

How about just keeping your IGNORANT TRAPS shut once in a while......?
Thanks for your understanding..."

Don said...

Is that you, David Mabus? Your insane Nostradamian trolling, insulting of Randi for no apparent reason, and general pattern seem to indicate that you've simple renamed yourself "felix mab" and have gone a-trolling again.

Been a while, buddy. Good to see you back.

Anonymous said...

How about just keeping your IGNORANT TRAPS shut once in a while......?

Oh, the irony...

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah, shut down the challenge despite never filling out an application. Right.

King of Ferrets said...

It lives! Holy crap!