Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Letter To The Editor

It seems the recent demonstration by the local Non-Theist Society on campus has stirred up a hornets nest. So far there have been three or four letters in the Exponent about the demonstration, some respectful, some not. I sent in a letter to the editor responding to the first of these, found here, written by Josh Phillips, and to the NTS as well. In case you did not click the link to Josh's letter, summarized, it describes the NTS as a "club of whiny brats" and "bigoted assholes". However, I doubt my letter will get published as it has been two days so far and the Exponent has yet to call.
Religion and Criticism
With the recent “Pastafarian Preaching” demonstration, the appearance of Jed Smock, and then the Gideons, I have a few observations I would like to share. First, could we raise the level of discourse to a slightly more intellectual level? I completely agree with the Non-Theist Society’s main message that everyone should be able to criticize religion. But, going about criticizing religion by comparing other people’s religious beliefs to a cartoon character comprised of two meat balls, spaghetti, and two eyes, is not going cause theists to take what you say seriously. If you wish to promote atheism as a valid belief system, then by all means utilize the FSM. But using the FSM as a legitimate criticism of religion, instead of a satirical symbol for atheism, is not going draw any kind of intellectual discussion. To those such as Josh Philips, who wrote a response to the FSM demonstration on 09/28, responding to such demonstrations by calling the Non-Theists “whiny brats” and “bigoted assholes” adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. It only serves to cast you, and those you represent, as angry, bitter, and intolerant. If you have problems with their actions then list them, specifically, and state why you disagree in respectful terms. Responding with name-calling only serves to give the impression to other readers that your behavior is on the same, “kindergarten”, level that you accused them of.

No comments:

Post a Comment