Why can’t atheists leave the religious alone?

Often you see the question come up, usually by a religious believer, of why atheists challenge other people’s beliefs. Shouldn’t we all be tolerant and just leave each other alone? I think you’ll find most atheists would be fairly happy with that state of affairs (it’s called secularism). That’s not to say they will be completely satisfied but at that point, where religion becomes a private matter, there will probably be far fewer clashes. I would still think they are wrong but I also think they should be free to believe what they will. Why, then, aren’t we at that point? Simply put it’s because religion is still so ingrained in society and shown such deference that it’s impossible to get away from it. It’s so tightly woven into society that at times it’s probably not even noticed. Continue reading

Hate Speech

I said yesterday that there was some disagreement about hate speech and that I would offer my thoughts. The issue came up with regards to principle four of the Free Speech Debate project.

We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human difference.

Jeremy Waldron expressed his support for legislation limiting hate speech on the grounds that it is harmful to people in vulnerable groups by lowering their status in the eyes of the public, creating a poisonous atmosphere and intimidating them. I disagree and think there is no place for laws that prevent hate speech, only for laws that are designed to emphasise reason and protect against calls for harm. Continue reading

If you disagree with the the ‘divine’ position then you should leave that religion

If you’re a Catholic you need to accept that the Vatican and the Pope control the church’s official position on matters. These decisions are supposedly inspired by god and are not up for debate.

The Pope has recently spoken out against calls for female priests. If you are a Catholic that wants to see equality you need to accept that you are in opposition to your religion. Either, as Catholics are supposed to believe, the Pope is infallible or you are not truly Catholic because you do not believe what is required of you. If you don’t believe then you need to stop calling yourself Catholic just because of tradition or loyalty to the idea. Continue reading