‘Believe what you want, as long as it isn’t bad!’
I hear this a lot when debating moderates and ‘friendly’ atheists alike.
This may seem a fool proof path to peace, it isn’t. Nor is it healthy for debates.
My most recent clash of this kind was with a friend, one that I will indeed label a ‘friendly’ atheist. I am in no way unfriendly, but the person in question goes the extra mile to be accepting of religions. This seems illogical because we all know, religions cannot share equal status when all claim divinity.
Therefore to be accepting of all is absurd from a theological and scientific perspective. Morally, it is a more understandable stance to take but does little to halt the the most basic claim of all seeming ludicrous- religious superiority.
Believing whatever you like
This does not work in a debate. It can only hold weight when the belief is admittedly for personal reasons. This is fine, but should never be present in scientific discussions or debates.
Personal preference vs evidence= incompatibility.
Unless personal preference is believing what is evidence based.
Similar to the above in that it cannot possibly be used in intellectual discussions. Considerate, but trouble making when confronted with a fundamentalist, believe-every-word stance.
I have said it before, moderates cannot argue for a religion if it involves leaving out large amounts of outdated, discriminatory doctrine. Morally yes, a moderate wins. Fundamentalism wins at not being silly enough to believe something is perfect, without believing all of it.
Fundamentalism still loses, nonetheless.
Religious differences cause conflicts. Conflicts are addressed with an attempt to blend religion in with multiculturalism, teaching tolerance and acceptance. I am all for multiculturalism, however some people will refuse to get along by simply being pushed together and told to do so, we aren’t fighting children being forced to make friends by our parents. Religion makes this a lot more of a difficult task.
But what happens when attacks occur? We are told they are carried out by people without faith. Groups with other agendas, religion isn’t one of those agendas.
So, moderates possess faith? Not as much as a fundamentalist. If I was to cherry pick certain verses to tailor it around my personal tastes, I wouldn’t have faith that religion was correct at all.
So what are moderates and religion-accepting atheists arguing for? Peace, not truth.
I would rather try to rid the world of all organised religions in search of truth and peace. My future children growing up with the image of a man nailed to a cross until dead is not the best start for a developing mind.