[ExI] pat condell's excellent rant on atheism

F. C. Moulton moulton at moulton.com
Tue Jan 3 00:35:49 UTC 2012

On 01/02/2012 09:02 AM, spike wrote:
>   He made one point
> worth repeating: we atheists must maintain focus on the harmful stuff, such
> as religion with political power of any kind.  The harmless stuff, let it
> go.

Of course this leads to the question of what is harmful?  Since I have
have mentioned before the rant from Condell was long on rhetoric and
short on details so we do not know the details of the display.  So we
need to do some analysis on a couple of possibilities.

Since it is most likely a Nativity scene at a courthouse or other
government owned, funded or controlled venue then we can begin our
analysis there.  In this context what everyone needs to be aware of is
that there are a legal restrictions and regulations on putting up
Nativity scenes, teachers leading religious worship services, etc.  If
there is going to be commitment to rule of law then there can be no
special privileges for Christians; or for Muslims; or for
Scientologists.  Anyone interested in the Nativity scene guidelines or
other guidelines for other church state issues can find them online.

For the situation of non-government venue then things are different.
Churches put up nativity scenes commonly on their own property and no
one objects.  Are Nativity Scenes on Church property harmless?  Well
that depends on how one judges what is harmful or harmless and to what
degree?  Is a table of Scientology literature and banners in front of
the Scientology office in Mountain View proclaiming the benefits of
Scientology harmful or harmless?

Christianity, Islam, Scientology and many other religious propagate
memes which I suspect that many on this list would classify as
intrinsically harmful as well as hindering other memes that many here
would embrace.  So the next time someone is complaining about the
failure of life extension, transhumanism, cryonics or similar ideas to
be more widely accepted it might be worth while considering the
competing ideas and what reinforces them.


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