Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 27

As you know,  I could not attend any services this month, so I tried to participate in several discussion boards and Jain debates. I learned some stuff, but not as much as I wanted. I did, however, get involved with this fellow.
I did a bit of reading on the jains a few years ago, and it sounds like they're social parasites. They do no work, and wander around asking to be fed and cared for by others - a pretty nasty trick if you're in a very poor country. So, it's a typical religious social hack: "see me I'm all holy, feed me and care for me."
Calling 'em like you see 'em, huh? You can't really do that with religion, though. Simply "reading on" them "a few years ago" doesn't really allow you to make wise cracks either, but this reveals something deeper. I've followed this guys comments for awhile (he's not the author of the blog by the way) and it's very clear that he is a straight up atheist and has no real tolerance for any sort of religion. If he wants to be an atheist then I'm totally fine and accepting of his prerogative, however, he is dead wrong in reducing Jain monks to mere beggars too lazy to work and take care of themselves. He will probably call religious people unreasonable, irrational, stupid, blind, gullible, ignorant, weak, scared or something else that's equally offensive.

His intolerance towards the religious has crippled him and rendered him utterly blind to the fact that even though it might not make perfect sense to him, it does in fact make perfect sense to the devout.  Who is he to say otherwise? This is not a debate on the tangible. It's a debate of faith--that which cannot be seen--and while I also like to understand my life and most elements of this world through a scientific lens, it is beyond me to assert so sternly that someone else is doing it "wrong". 

There's more though. This guy opens up an interesting can of worms. Apparently, there are strong connections between liberalism, atheism, vegetarianism and intelligence. For the sake of this argument, let's assume that being religious doesn't mean you're unintelligent as many people (like the commenter above) assume. Judging by voting patterns and survey results, it's pretty clear that if you are in fact conservative in the US, you are probably a Christian of some sort and hold that belief system close to you. Good for you.

My problem with this fellow is that if he is in fact the atheist he has made himself out to be and the trends are in anyway accurate, he very well might fall under the banner of a progressive. Sure, some progressives have a smug sense of self-satisfaction, but one part of being progressive includes tolerance. In this case, however, tolerance for the religious is not a part of his political DNA. That, in my mind, makes his just as bad as people who don't tolerate marriage equality.


People are always going to believe what they want. Sometimes, however, we drift into areas where others might not feel comfortable challenging such strong postulations, but just because no one is there is defend the other side, doesn't meant its wrong. 

1 comment:

  1. So can not be deemed is personal. I am very glad to hear these thoughts from you, George.