Thursday, December 12, 2013

You Don’t Demand Respect.

Respect. The word is so used up, its real meaning is diminishing. Theists and unfortunately, some atheists have expressed concern about being disrespectful to religion every time it's been criticized. The theists demand that we should respect their religious belief  while some atheists say that we must respect other people’s religious belief.

So before we start, let us go to the basics. What is respect?

They say that respect is a due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. Simply put, it is a positive feeling of submission and… wait a minute... submission? Yes, submission to a specific action, a conduct that you regard in highest esteem.  You praise it, honor it. That is respect.

Now that you know what is respect, we ask, “When we criticize god belief and religion, are we being disrespectful?” Most theists and some atheists might answer yes.

To question the authority of the divine is considered as disrespectful. Most religions have expressed their deep hatred with doubt and rational inquiry to the point that no one has the right to question the truth and revelations of faith. Now, for some reason, this kind of thinking became so established in our mind that we often think that when we carp religious belief we are automatically disrespectful. Unfortunately, even some atheists have this kind of mind-set.

Is it also possible that religion is hiding behind this so-called “respect?”

As long as the theists shout “respect” atheists are prevented to scrutinize their religious belief, you are prevented to criticize their claims, their holy books, their ethics and their pseudoscience. It also prevents an atheist to speak out and point errors in religious belief.  Worst, it prevents people to act when religion is trying to break the wall of separation of church and state or if the church is trying to influence education, especially science.

And how about these atheists that are shouting for religious respect? Obviously, they don’t know the difference between tolerating and respect. To tolerate religion is to give them the blind eye. They already see the issues, they already see the erroneous claims, but by claiming “peace” what they really do is to turn their heads and ignore just for the sake that they won’t have any enemies.

Respect is not demanded, it is earned. To call for respect to religion, religion must first open itself to scrutiny, then can they earn the “R” word.

Appeal to Authority

I've noticed that in the debate regarding atheists vs. theists, some people seems to be more into anti-atheism quotes that they found on the Internet. You know, the usual "quote-unquote" that a so-called famous person said against atheism, but sad to say it really doesn't address the problem, right? Well OK, a certain scientist, politician, author had said this and said that, but does that really defeated atheism? Has it addressed the issues atheists lay on the table?

Would it be nice to see these guys make an effort to directly address atheism. That would be more informative and entertaining that seeing quotes that doesn't really make any dent in the ship.

Baby Killers

Picture this:

You are a soldier of Samuel's army and God commanded you, "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."  - 1 Samuel 15:3
Now suppose that you entered the Amalek's site and you see a 3 month old baby being held by her dead mother's arm. You aim your spear to her innocent heart but was moved by your conscience and you didn't kill the baby.

You didn't obey the Lord, that is sin since God commanded you to kill even babies. 

Now, is not killing an innocent infant an immoral act because God commanded you to do so?

False science?

The picture above is a good example of personal interpretation.

Looking at this verse in Greek (not in the KJV) it says...

Ὦ Τιμόθεε τὴν παρακαταθήκην φύλαξον ἐκτρεπόμενος τὰς βεβήλους κενοφωνίας καὶ ἀντιθέσεις τῆς ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως

The word used was γνώσεως (gnōseōs) not ἐπιστήμη (epistemē). Episteme is what Ancient Greek use for science which was derived from the word ἐπίσταμαι, "to know". Now, the word science here came from the word Latin (scientia = knowledge), thanks to the Vulgate, but that is not the science as we know since science doesn't mean knowledge (in the Greek sense) but "the pursuit of knowledge."

So does 1 Timothy 6:20 means "science" or "evolution?" If you will know your Bible history correctly, the First Epistle to Timothy was written in CE 62-66. That was the same time a lot of Gnostics gospels were already circulating and the Pauline Christianity was trying to preserve itself against church heresies. So knowledge here means "false teachings" from gnostics "false doctrines" about Christianity, not about "Theory of Evolution" or from science which is about the pursuit of knowledge.