Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tolerance Within The Atheist Community

The atheist community is always busy fighting against the inequalities of religion across the world and I believe sometimes we need to step back and take a look at the whole picture. One of the readers of this blog suggested I write about tolerance within the atheist community for religion and this is my response.

Whilst there are of course horrifically disturbing religious discriminations happening right now, what about the ‘normal’ and peaceful religion that is being practised? As atheists how should we react to them? I enjoy a good old heated debate, but arguing at every moment possible is not the right thing to do. Sometimes leaving a religious person with their faith is fine, if they start preaching about their beliefs to you then please feel free to intervene and talk about your well backed up beliefs. After all, well backed up ideas are always better than preaching. Debating will probably not get you anywhere, as the religious person already has beliefs that are based on faith. And evidence only destroys faith. As long as the debaters respect each other’s views no harm can be done, debating correctly allows respect and critique of views.  
I don’t claim myself to be completely tolerant of religion in our society, but I do try to have a degree of tolerance to it. I do not hold prejudice against religious people because of their faith, or in any way persecute them.  

There is a wise quote from John F. Kennedy:
"World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbo(u)r- it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement." 

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