“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
― Thomas Jefferson
― Thomas Jefferson
As a follow up on yesterday's post concerning "anger" in atheists, I thought discussing this article in the Christian Post would not be without merit.
The author equates use of ridicule against groundless beliefs with bullying and claims that its use, as recommended by Dawkins, puts atheists in a bind.
It is interesting to see that the Christian Post has such a firm stance against bullying, particularly among children. Do they, for example, condemn adults who indocrinate grade-schoolers into telling their peers they would roast in hell for ever and ever if they did not love Jesus (as documented by Katherine Stewart)? Are they angry at parents suing a school district for agreeing to enforce anti-bullying rules?
I do not speak for Dawkins and I don't know in what exact situation he might or might not be agreeable to use of ridicule. Today I met an elderly gentleman who talked to me about his (own) father in the sky not forgiving him. I think the claim that you reside somewhere in the cosmos once you are dead are about as valid as making the same claim when you are under general anesthesia. But I was not going to mock him over that, and neither do I think Dawkins would recommend it.
On the other hand, if I meet someone telling me that evolution is wrong because it contradicts the bible, or global climate change cannot be happening because of what is written in Genesis, or gays should be denied justice because what they do is an "abomination", of course I will mock them. Thomas Jefferson would not shy away from that, and neither do I.
It is unfortunate if people of faith are so thin-skinned that they see any criticism coming in the form of ridicule as bullying, according to the Christian Post. Too bad children of non-fundamentalist parents and gay children have to put up with psychological abuse and physical violence, and that is just fine.
But as much as Jesus condemned the Pharisee's hypocrisy, it doesn't seem that those who profess to be his followers are above it.