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Austin Cline

Comment of the Week: Blasphemy & Atheism

By October 16, 2012

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The religious opposition to blasphemy and attempts to silence blasphemers is nothing new, but it does sometimes seem as though the issue has become more prominent recently. There have been an awful lot high-profile cases in the news in recent months. What's an atheist to do?

American Blasphemy
American Blasphemy
Photo: Lumina Imaging/Getty

Well, for one thing an atheist has no particular obligation to avoid blasphemy or to refrain from blaspheming. There may be good social reasons to avoid upsetting people in specific contexts (like family gatherings), but atheists are not bound to any religious laws and not required to follow any religious rules.

Barbayat writes:

I am so sick of any religious person telling me that I should not blaspheme. I can blaspheme all day long, I don't belong to any faith.

I think most religions are offensive, rude and spit in the face of reality - I am not running around demanding that people do not make my head hurt with their ignorance, hate and bigotry on pain of torture, imprisonement or death.

As long as religous people still do that, I always will see them as immoral and primitive. A society were you can't speak freely about religion is not a society that values free speech at all. Sadly, that seems to be the new trend in almost all of them nowadays.

[original post]

Despite all the criticisms and complaints atheists raise about religion, you don't typically see atheists calling for religions to be silenced. You don't even see atheists calling for censorship when religions and religious leaders engage in clear, unambiguous hate speech against atheists -- and promoting hate against actual human beings which clearly exist is much worse than disrespect towards an alleged god.

Yet atheists are accused of being the "intolerant" ones. We're intolerant for being critical, not religious theists who are trying to silence critics because they are rude and disrespectful. How does that happen, exactly?

Comments
October 16, 2012 at 10:27 am
(1) P Smith says:

There are three rules that the religitards need to learn:

(1) The only people who have to obey a religion are those who belong to it. It’s their mythical “god”, not mine, so their rules don’t apply to me.

(2) There can only be “blasphemy” if a “god” is proven to exist. Until one or more are proven, religions are fairy tales. Besides that, if “god” can create the universe, why can’t it punish me itself, why does it need a mouth-breathing, child-raping pastor/priest/rabbi/imam to do its own job?

(3) The only respect that a religion deserves is the right to have it, and religions are already getting that. The only people who try to ban religions ARE religious people.

“Blasphemy” laws should be broken and mocked the same way other idiotic laws are broken and mocked (e.g. segregation). It’s time for someone (i.e. me) to make a page of deliberate blasphemy, and shove it in the faces of the cultists.

October 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(2) Dave Y. says:

Every time a Religious Nut bothers you with their Fantasy fears just explain the TRUE meaning of belief!

The true meaning of belief is extremely simple!

It Is “The Act Of PrentendingThat Pretending Is Somehting More Then Pretending”!

Use this definition when you are assaulted with their stupidity, just say it SLOW enough for them to truly digest it!

I have Never had a Bible Thumper continue their rant when I have given them MY definition of belief, Not A Freaking One, it shuts them right up, its AMAZING how well Reality takes the wind out of their sails!

And don’t worry about making them feel foolish, they always feel that way, thats why they believe, just show them they should have no expectaton of respect for living in Fantasy Land!
And I apologize to the Bible Trolls for using 3 syllable words, pull out a Dictionary!

November 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm
(3) ontological realist says:

” The true meaning of belief is extremely simple!
It Is “The Act Of PrentendingThat Pretending Is Somehting More Then Pretending”! ”

Interesting! I like that. Good thinking.

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