CFI Canada is running a campaign that states “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence”. They then have a laundry list of items they classify as “extraordinary”. A columnist responded to CFI’s campaign stating the following:Hemant Mehta, the not-so-friendly Friendly Atheist, responded to the columnist’s comments and it is his response that is part of the ever growing amount of BS spewing out of anti-theists mouths that is driving me up the wall.
So why does he care if people believe in God, Allah or the tooth fairy? Atheists are defined by their disbelief. i.e. the biggest thing in their life is that they don’t believe in something. But rather than just go around quietly, not believing, Trottier and his pals feel compelled to make other people not believe either. Their only faith is in the rightness of not having faith.
Isn’t that just a bit strange? I don’t happen to believe basketball is that interesting. Sorry, just don’t. I tried, but it bores me. Mainly I just keep it to myself. But if I was Justin Trottier, I’d be out there raising money to run ads in subways and streetcars, trying to convince other people that basketball is boring. The ads would say: “If you think basketball isn’t boring, you have to prove it. Just like Bigfoot.”
Would that make sense? (Answer: No). And to what end, exactly? If five more people suddenly realize they also don’t care about basketball, have I achieved anything?
We actively fight against extraordinary claims like the ones in the poster because those claims cause harm.Those claims do not inherently cause harm! They have the potential to cause harm, but so does every single other claim/thing/belief/idea ever conceived or used by mankind. There is no reason to single out all of religion because of its extremists. Every group has extremists or the potential for extremists. Although what he says next is really what falls under the ignorant atheist BS.
They can drain your wallet.So what! Is it your wallet? No! Was the money given willingly? Most of the time, yes! And in the times where religious believers are scammed out of their money laws are usually broken and the perpetrator can be taken to court. And the vast majority of money given to Churches will also go towards some kind of charity work instead of just going into the preacher’s pocket. Oh, and did I ask if it was your money? If it is not yours, why do you care? Getting rid of religion is not going to stop people from scamming others out of their money. Those who end up scammed probably should have seen the warning signs. As for rest of the people, those in the vast majority, they generally do not miss the small amount they tithe to their church which helps keep their church, and various charities, running.
They will waste your time.According to who? Anti-theists who are hell bent on making others think, act, and believe like they do? This is an opinion, not a fact! For a group whose favorite buzzwords include “rational thinking” you would think they could recognize when they are giving a personal opinion as fact. I think watching sports on TV is a waste of time. But you will not see me going around telling everyone who enjoys it to stop.
They can become the basis for irrational, unnecessary, and dangerous laws.And what cannot? This goes back to what I said earlier, any kind of idea, claim, belief, you name it, when it is taken to an extreme it can become the basis for irrational, unnecessary, and dangerous laws. Just because you happen to have an irrational hatred of all things religious does not make religion more of a catalyst for this kind of behavior.
They offer false hope that will never come to fruition.Again with the personal opinion. When will atheists learn that just because it comes out of their mouths, it does not make it a fact? Also, in some cases the hope they offer does come to fruition. For example, there are cases where families becoming religious together have made them stronger and closer as a family. Or a person struggling with drug addiction who, through religion, cleans their life up. Could this happen in other circumstances as well? Yes. But does that make it any less valid? No. There are also the studies that have shown being religious will make you a happier person. That sure seems to be an example of hope coming to fruition.
They can make you kill or hate or injure others.More taking the extremes and applying it to the whole. Politics can do the same thing. Should we get rid of it? In some areas of Europe wearing the wrong soccer jersey in public can get you killed. Should we ban soccer? How about we focus on the people who are actually doing the killing and the specific beliefs that are causing that behavior instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Last time I checked, religion has not made me, or any religious person I have ever known, fly a plane into a building. That kind of behavior seems to be limited to a small group with very specific types of thinking.
They make you believe in fiction.Again, according to who? Oh yeah, anti-theists hell bent on making others think/act/believe like they do.
They make you fight against reality.See previous comment.
They brainwash children and adults alike.This argument has been refuted so many times it is no longer funny. Oh, and see previous comment.
We can’t “live and let live” when we see how much damage these beliefs — as silly as some might seem — have inflicted on people we love, and how much pain these beliefs have caused by people who took them too seriously.I think one of the commenters responded best to this little bit:
Fundie TrollFundie Troll makes a good point. The atheists who share the same mindset of this post are guilty of the same intolerance and bigotry the constantly decry in believers.
Hemant, you can’t “live and let live”? Then you are guilty of the very thing that you accuse the religious of on a daily basis – forcing your system of beliefs on others.
The road that you are travelling down – and I will admit that the religious right in this country is guilty of the same thing – leads to tyranny. You MUST live and let live, because the only alternative is a society where freedom does not exist.