Religion - bashing, or healing the wound?
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 12:29:48 EDT

I have noticed that many people on this list engage in "religion bashing".>>>

[I am not officially on the list, it was forwarded it to me, since we speak of this topic lately.]

This post has value. people are religious for a reason. There is always a payoff.

Why should we tolerate something that is intolerant? Usually custom, taboo and "niceness". No - religion is and should be, as open for any scrutiny as any other topic. And it does nto stand up under even the least examination.

Intolerance for religion is an old subject, Micah, you must be new to the list. It is
not based on the premise you assume below, but rather Extropians and Humanists have a penchant for rational behavior in humans, & the number one culprit in causing intolerance, horrors and all sorts of devilry is : guess what : - )
We all know 'devotion' has stirred up wars, conflict and exploitation for years. hate crimes, inquisitions, floggings... Worse, it keeps people from thinking. Ugh.

but bashing, that's a good word.... let's see... Take 'queer bashing' for example. An entirely different thing than what you accuse the list of, no? Did you ever hear of an agnostic lynch mob?

What I see important and valuable about your post, however, is that this (sometimes gleeful) 'religion bashing' - as mild mannered as it is, angers a lot of good people, loving people, kind and intelligent people, which in turn ends all dialogue between "us and them". Do we want this? Perhaps....

!! !! Whether we are right or wrong, we are still a far cry from being seen as 'hospitable, understanding listeners", ' wise teachers' or 'advanced beings' when we unleash a tyrade against something as personal and fundamental to a being as his/her core (irrational) belief system. ...not to say I think those belief systems don't need a good scouring and examination, but how we do it is key. Understandingly, or condemning and aloof? ... we alone choose how we do it...

Think of it like taking away your baby's first security blanket... it must be done, btu how? ah.... you must do it gently, slowly, lovingly. This is not the list's way, usually. What we do is laugh at them, berate them, tell tham they are irrational, etc. Even anger surfaces! Why not? The pious can be quite irritating, and even dangerous!

And - hold on to your flames, people, you are not the first time I have heard:
Extropy is a faith. ... for, being based on critical thinking, is still overtly 'optimistic' about future of technology , makes many "leaps of faith" to the outside observer. Drexler's book for instance, while very scientific, uses the phrases like this:

--things "Will be made out of" or 'We'll have" certain things after nanotech--

but we are still in the embryonic, if not theoretical stages of some of these technologies. yet he speaks as if it was certainty.

After much imaginative talk of the singularity, nanotechnology Artificial Intelligence - we must finally admit that it requires a highly (to many people quite suspect) optimistic belief in this or that happening *before* the actual event comes along.

Whether we lioke it or not, Extropians *are* seen by outsiders as to believe folly - especially in regards to putting off death! This is understandable, for it is a new thing, never done before!

Cryonics is high on my list of thing *I* don't believe in, but other people spend money on!! Seems silly to me. I don't "bash" cryonicists, or accuse them of believing in pseudo-science (though i feel this way). I repsect them and admire their audacity, and intent!!!!! Look, I researched the hell out of it, before I came to my conclusions, even visited Alcor, and went to seminars, read all the pm,aphlets, because i adore and respect the minds of those who believe... yet I do not... but I could be wrong...

I merely abstain from it and spend my money on musical equipment and art supplies instead.

So, Micah, while I am not agreeing with you -- I think your post is a valuable one, in that people need to be aware of the way they are perceived there's a lot of self righteousness on both religious and atheist camp grounds.
Amen, sistah... keep the faith...

>>Most of the accusations against religion on this list are
unfounded or unfair. For example, ridiculing "faith" as belief in somethin tg regardless of proof purposely ignores the meaning most people use for the word.
Not to say that most religious people aren't ignorant, but it's not justified to condemn all religion based on its adherrents. You couldn't dismiss extropianism, for example, just because no one has been completely extropist.