Originally posted by wittywonka
So my follow-up question is: do you believe religious people (people of faith) are in some way morally inferior or intrinsically dangerous?
I believe that faith based beliefs are inherently dangerous, and that it is immoral to base your
world view and beliefs on faith.
However that is not even close to the same thing as saying that "religious people (people of faith)
are in some way morally inferior or intrinsically dangerous?"
I see harm of many kinds done by faith based beliefs.
I see no advantage to faith based beliefs that mitigates or negates this harm.
This harm btw often happens to the person doing the believing and isn't necessarily harm done to
others by the believer although that happens too.
So given that I see no advantage to faith based beliefs and I see the harm they cause I oppose them,
and importantly I promote the alternative method of basing your views/beliefs on reality and reason.
This doesn't mean that I think the theists are inherently bad people.
There are good people and bad people of all stripes, and most people most of the time are just trying their best
to do what's right and to live their lives as inoffensively as possible.
However faith based beliefs lead good people astray, and allow them to do bad or mistaken things while
still thinking that they are doing the right and moral thing.
Faith based beliefs also allow bad people to do and get away with things that would otherwise be impermissible.
When a more moderate Christian, for example, says that they 'believe in the bible' and that it is their moral guide
and inspiration [but in reality haven't really read it and don't take it literally] that acts as a shield and a legitimisation
for the more fundamentalist believers who do read the bible and do take it literally.
Having lots of generally nice moderate people say that the bible is a good source of morality (having not really actually
read it) means that it's harder to attack those who do take the bible literally and have read it and really do take it
as a source of morality.
The bible really does condone slavery, genocide, and say that a woman who has been raped should be made to marry her rapist
[among many many other evils] IF you read it literally.
To get to some other meaning you have to interpret it and skip bits.
Most people have been [unbeknownst to them] influenced by secular morality over the centuries and so wouldn't accept
as being moral the things the bible actually advocates.
But while they stand and say that their morality is based on the bible there will be those that then go away and actually
read it and find the justification/inspiration for doing and saying things that they otherwise wouldn't or could never get support for.
The present day attitudes to homosexuality and (in America) the war on women's rights is in large part driven by this minority
of fundamentalists who are given cover by all the moderates who just wont admit and don't realise that their morality
comes from human empathy and reason and not from some old book.
This is really hurting people today. And it is but one of a myriad of examples I could give.
So as I say I object to and attack the beliefs and the system of coming to those beliefs.
I don't [necessarily*] object to or attack the people for holding those beliefs.
I don't think people are stupid for believing based on faith.
I just think that they are wrong.
And believing things that are wrong can and often does cause harm.
EDIT: I hope this answers your question even though I did not, and do not, accept the questions premise.
EDIT2:* I will attack [metaphorically] those that hold the beliefs if the specific beliefs are bad enough or they really are stupid
my point is that I don't necessarily attack people just for holding faith based beliefs.
If you believe in YEC then you are leaving yourself open to and are deserving of some quite serious ridicule because those
beliefs are so blatantly idiotic and false. However the majority of faith based believers and theists don't hold beliefs that extreme