Joined: Feb. 2006
Interesting post, but I don't agree with all of it. My thoughts:
|Celebrating the death of somebody you disagreed with pretty much makes you a dick.|
Not necessarily. Depends on the magnitude and cause of the disagreement. Stalin, for example, was a pretty disagreeable fellow, and I don't think celebrating his death makes you a dick.
Furthermore, suggesting people were celebrating Falwell's death simply because they disagreed with his opinions is a bit disingenuous. In my opinion, Falwell was an evil, hateful, immoral, selfish, self-aggrandizing prick, and the world is better off without him. That's not to say he deserved to die, nor that he had no redeeming qualities at all. I didn't celebrate his death, but I certainly wasn't unhappy about it.
|1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either [Christianity or Atheism]|
Yep. Ditto Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, Agnosticism, etc.
|2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They're Saying|
To a point. I agree that many people on both sides really do believe what they're saying. At the same time, I believe that many religious leaders are in it for the power and personal glory. A lot of what they say is simply about furthering those goals, and has little to do with truly believing what they say. Falwell was definitely in that class (IMO).
For whatever reason, this does not seem to be a common problem with leading atheists.
|3. In Everyday Life, You're Not That Different|
Agreed. (Although the part about living "as if the absolute morality of some magical lawgiver were true" is a little over the top.)
|4. There Are Good People on Both Sides|
|5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them|
This should be "Your point of view may be legitimately offensive to them." Personally, I'm not in the least offended by someone telling me I'm going to H*ll, because I'm quite convinced there's no such place. For the same reason, I don't think it's legitimate for a Christian to be offended if I say I don't believe they're going to Heaven. If they're certain they are, my statement should seem merely ignorant and wrong to them, not offensive.
I do think it's legitimately offensive if a Christian tries to impose his/her religion on me. For example, here in Georgia, it's illegal to sell liquor on Sundays. Why? Because Christians don't like it. I find that legitimately offensive (although a very minor offense). At the same time, it's legitimate for a Christian to be offended if an atheist tries to interfere in his/her religions practice. So, for example, I think it would be legitimately offensive to force Christian shop owners to sell liquor on Sunday against their beliefs.
|6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy;|
7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too
Agreed (except for the part about no God = no free will, which is quite wrong).
|8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid|
I agree it make you look stupid (which I assume is what was meant). It has the additional disadvantage of making your 'argument' easy to refute.
|9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table|
Agreed. But then there's this:
|Seriously, what did you think the creationism thing was about? It's about keeping humanity sacred. They think that once you dash the idea of a created humanity, then there'll be nothing to stop strong humans from treating weak ones as cannon fodder. |
And logically, there won't be anything.
This is also wrong.
|10. You'll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence|
Agreed. As for the overall message - be tolerant and courteous, I completely agree (even if I admit I don't always live up to that goal).