Working With Moderates? Sorry, I'm Too Much of a Logic Fundie September 19, 2012 18:35 9 Comments
New Book from Biblical Scholar Bemoans "New Atheists" and Calls for Cooperation with Moderates
Associate Professor of Jewish Civilization and nonbeliever Jacques Berlinerblau has published a book entitled "How to be Secular: A Call to Arms for Religious Freedom," according to a report from The Washington Post. His book, filled with stirring calls to action to preserve the first amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion, is really a call for atheists to essentially back off and unite with religious moderates. Probably. I haven't read it. I'm taking the article's word for it. But let's continue as if that's the case, shall we? Thanks.
Now, while his ultimate goal of secularism within all forms of government is incredibly admirable - I agree that religion and policy should never ever be any sort of bedfellows - I'm entirely opposed to his method. He claims that there are many faithful in the world who favor church-state separation, and that these are our natural allies. I do not see how they can be. First of all - the existence of moderates within a faith allows for the existence of fundamentalists. It just does. If a massive majority follows 90 percent of the tenets of their faith, they have no choice but to turn the other cheek when the minority follows the other 10 percent to its (quite often literal) bloody end. Second, he seems to be confusing the notions of respecting the existence of a belief and respecting the belief itself, or even the believer. Why fashion ourselves into moderates, gradually becoming more and more accepting of the foolish and dangerous things put forth by even the most moderate of the faithful? How is that making us any stronger? How is that a victory for logic and reason? I have to acknowledge a person's right to believe any ridiculous nonsense they want. What Berlinerblau calls for is one of the most clear examples of the "lesser evils" principle I've heard, and I'd rather stick to my guns than do something I'm already calling "evil."