Originally posted by googlefudge
Theists here [well everywhere] often ask why atheists should care about what they
believe, and why they should care about how they act.
Christians in particular also frequently harp on about how they are being persecuted.
So I thought I would post a link to an article that shows exactly why we do and should
care, and about who is actually getti ...[text shortened]... alth_and_science/science/2015/11/christianity_forced_on_public_school_students_in_louisiana.html
Seven plus billion people on the planet, and countless billions before. That's how many religious views exist. There is bound to be countless billions of misconceptions and misrepresentation about the truth of what any particular individual may have or express.
It seems that just about everyone everywhere has something negative to say about any number of groups of people, what they believe and how they live.
One can expect to be persecuted generally, but what is really being persecuted? And why? Should a person be persecuted for what they believe? Or for how they choose to live their life? I think not.
Take racism for example. Should the civilized world allow someone to persecute and inhibit the life and well being of another because that one "believes" the race of another is inferior? Of course not! We actively seek to eradicate racial prejudice by making laws that prohibit racial bias, and to educate society against racism.
So when is persecution justified? Is it persecution when we use force to curtail the activities of a racist? How about radical terrorist? I don't think persecution is the right word for it. It is justice.
It is persecution when we inhibit or otherwise use force against another because we don't agree or have an opposing world view. Belief systems are neutral territory. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, and to express those beliefs in a public forum without fear of persecution as long as their beliefs don't include using force against another's right to believe, or not to believe, and live their life as they choose.
So, what is persecution? Generally, persecution is anything anyone does that causes harm or insult, including verbal attacks and physical violence, etc, but specifically, as it is related to spiritual beliefs based on The Truth, persecution is of those that hold to, believe and live by that Truth.
Persecution therefore, within the context of what is "The Truth" concerning spiritual reality and what is True about how to live this life, can only be leveled against the true believer in The Truth.