Sunday, 26 December 2010
Godwin’s law used to explain why atheists pick on the easy targets.
I have been accused on forms and even on here of being dishonest. Essentially creating straw men by misrepresenting most Christians.
Of taking the most extreme elements of religion and holding these up for criticism and the implication that they are representative of a religious belief system. I admit I do pick on fundamentalism, the cranks and extremists, the easy targets like the Jerry Falwells, or Westboro Baptist Churches.
But is this wrong? Have I just done the same thing as accusing all shoppers of theft because there are some shop lifters?
No it isn’t wrong. The most extreme elements show how extreme it could get, the very worst case scenario.
Only looking at the good stuff with religion is like saying how good Nazis were. How they had great youth groups that the kids really enjoyed. How splendid the uniforms were. How they really helped their communities and the country – which is all true but overlooks all the bad that exists and the bad that could potentially occur.
It also highlights that the Nazis rarely criticised themselves just as most true believers rarely openly criticise extremists of faith. They often take the attitude that an attack on those of faith, regardless of how intolerant that faith may be, is an attack them.
So it can be seen that even the shop lifting analogy does not apply to me. Few shoppers take security measures to catch and restrict theft as a personal slight on them.
So the next time someone slags of religious faith, consider what they are being critical of before defending the whole system of religious belief. Consider being critical as well if the criticisms do not represent your views rather than claiming foul by assuming that was the intent.