Monday, April 21, 2008

No Remorse

I am often told that I am supposed to respect others' opinions. This perplexes me. As an absolutist about free speech, I certainly respect everyone's right to have and express an opinion. In fact, under certain circumstances, I can even respect the person expressing the opinion. But as for the opinions themselves, I believe that the only opinions worth respecting are those that satisfy the minimal requirements of reasonableness, rationality and counterfactual sensitivity (i.e. sensitivity and/or adaptability to possible counterevidence). Religious beliefs do not satisfy any of these criteria. Ergo, I disrespect all religious belief.

However, if am being unreasonable, irrational, or counterfactually insensitive, please let me know.

1 comment:

Ragoth said...

No, I'm pretty much in agreement with this. Opinions are free to be held and expressed, and one should not attack the person who holds them. This says nothing about going against the opinions themselves. Just like we try pretty hard to combat Antisemitism, we should also be willing to do what we can to educate people about some of the really ridiculous opinions that they might hold. Like, say, that Xenu was an intergalactic emperor who killed a bunch of aliens and now the souls of those aliens inhabit human bodies and cause all our problems and by paying a certain amount of money to a certain organization you can get rid of them through magic. Or that an invisible sky daddy impregnated a girl (we can only assume inseminated. And willing? Eh, we'll get back to that) in the most backwaters part of the known world at that point in history who would later grow up, preach a little, and then get killed by the most advanced civilization in the world at the time with no mention in contemporary history books such that it could be guaranteed that it would take thousands of years for the entire world to have the possibility to hear about him, all so that humanity could somehow be saved from a sin, committed by a guy who may or may not have been totally fictional 6000 years ago, by a weird zombie space-daddy-son thing, if you give a certain amount of money to a certain organization. That boils down, basically, to zombie jesus. I don't see the difference in level of ridiculousness between Christianity and Scientology. Maybe it's just me.