More of Believe It Or Not

Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them.
p. 52–3 The End of Faith by Sam Harris

Religion is now widely defined by scholars and judges alike, in functional rather than substantive terms. Instead of focusing on some creedal criterion such as belief in God, we look for family resemblances. Do the works of Ayn Rand function like scripture for atheists?According to one common formula, members of the family of religions typically exhibit four Cd: creed, cultus, code and community.

...In fact atheism is more doctrinal than any of the great religions. By definition, atheists agree on the dogma that there is not god...belief is their preoccupation...pg 323 God is Not One by Stephen Prothero.

I am still playing with the idea of man as Homo Religiosus...or at least seeing similarities between the “Angry Atheists” and traditional fundamentalists. From the quote defining Religion above I image a determined Atheist would be pretty put out since it makes a world of difference that their NON-belief is the TRUTH while the religious person's belief is at best wrong headed and according to Richard Dawkins a “lethally dangerous nonsense”.

BUT, the thing is the fundamentalist feels exactly the SAME WAY, except it is their belief that is OBVIOUSLY the truth. So both camps respond with the same emotional pattern.

This is of course a horribly broad oversimplification, and I am just turning the notion over in my head.

Note: I read that Sam Harris feels the above quote is less offensive with more context. But that is also how violent fundamentalist feel. For them the context makes the violence acceptable. In both cases you don't kill people for what the do,  you kill them for what they believe, because they think they know what "they" do later.


bloftin2 said...

As an atheist, I'm not a fan of Sam Harris. I think he's an asshole. haha. And as I'm sure you know, there are various kinds of atheism. The Agnostic Atheist, the "hard" atheist, etc.

ZeppoManx said...

Quite!! All sorts of Atheists, and of course all sorts of religious. And I am taken with the idea of religious behavior as a pattern that you can see in people who don't view themselves as religious.

Of course part of this is a matter of definition and much open to debate (as in what is religion...)so I know I won't be changing anybody's mind.

But you have to stay busy and occupy your mind as our world marches to destruction. It could be a fundamentalist tribulation or the inevitability of man made global warming.

Either way we are doomed.

bloftin2 said...

Indeed. At times like this, mortality seems like a good thing.