Sunday, April 13, 2014

Respect and Silence

Luke Skywalker: "But... I can't get involved with anything like that..."

 Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi: "Remember, Luke, the suffering of one man's the suffering of all. Distances are irrelevant to injustice. If not stopped soon enough, evil eventually reaches out to engulf all men, whether they have opposed it or ignored it."

There are atheists out there who prefer to sit on the side bench, and watch the parade go by.These atheists prefer to call themselves as “agnostics." Unlike the true agnostics, these atheists just want to be identified as agnostics simply because they don’t want to be labeled with the “A” word. For them, the term atheist signifies militancy, intolerance or worst.

Reasons for this moderation vary, but the one rationale I always heard is that we (as atheists) should respect other people’s belief – that includes the religious belief.

In his book, The End of Faith, Sam Harris devoted pages on religious moderates. I think he should also include moderate atheists in that chapter. Anyway, just like their god fearing counterparts (the moderate believers), these moderate non-believers believe that atheists and pious people should learn to respect the belief and non-belief of others. 

In other words, mutual respect. Now, is there such a thing called “mutual respect” between a God believer and a “godless” person?

Personally, I find some Christians (Catholic or Protestant) friendly. I have theists’ friends, but that’s it. We prefer to talk about politics or trivial stuffs. Even so, we never talk about religious beliefs.

Now, try opening the Bible and read Psalms 14:1. How about reading Psalm 53: 1-6, Romans 1: 18-32 and Romans 3: 10-18. It that what you call "mutual respect?"

Ah, so as an atheist it is OK for me to respect the idea that I will be burning in hell because I don't believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I am destitute of reason or of the common powers of understanding because I don't believe God exists, or I am corrupt, wicked and vile, right?

I think what these moderate atheists should do is to read some religious scriptures and try to figure out for themselves what these “faiths” have to say about the faithless.

In Islam for example, atheists are known as Kafir. The word Kafir is derived from the Arabic term Kafara which means to "to cover up or hide something." So a kafir is a person who covers up and hides the truth. For those who believe in Islam, the word Kafir is the worst word in the human language. A Kafir, or disbeliever, will be punished for eternity in the fire of hell. 

Try reading the following in the Qur’an so you will know how  these Muslims really look at atheists: 40:35, 83:34, 25:77, 47:4, 6:25, 86:15, 6:111, 23:97, 37:18 and 8:12. Furthermore, take note: A Muslim is not the friend of a kafir - 3:28. Believers should not take kafir as friends in preference to other believers. Those who do this will have none of Allah's protection and will only have themselves as guards. Allah warns you to fear Him for all will return to Him. So, when they say “ respect”, does that mean I cannot even criticize their ideas. That I should just shut my trap and let these God believers proselytize his faith, his archaic philosophy, his twisted science, his wanton disregard to the other person’s ideas? 

Respect huh?

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