Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Respecting Religion

Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has this gem today:

An excellent point about pandering to religion. If a belief is stupid, then it's stupid whether it's part of religion or not, there's no need to respect someone's beliefs if they're idiotic (like, say, believing that flipping electrical switches creates fire and so it's forbidden on certain days).



  • Nice defense of bigotry. Your specific jab at Judaism makes it extra special. I’m sure intolerance of other cultures and belief systems will lead to a better future for us all.

    By Blogger Ryan, at 2:04 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • I disagree; you can label anyone's thoughts as stupid and choose not to respect them for it, that's your prerogative. However, you have to understand that some people will find your beliefs, no matter how sensible you find them, to be stupid and then find you stupid for having them. It's a sum-zero game.

    The point is, respecting a person, and respecting their thoughts, are two different things. I'm not a Jew, but I am humble enough to allow them their beliefs, and respect them as people regardless of whether or not I subscribe.

    By Blogger inkyfingers, at 3:37 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • For the record, I was referencing something that occurred about a week ago on this blog. But it's irrelevant, you two have just proved my point.

    I didn't insult anyone, all I did was say that their belief is stupid. It is stupid, because that's not how electricity works. They believe something that is incorrect. If that's not stupid, then what is?

    And you'll note that I didn't say "Jews are stupid", and I never said that I don't respect Jews as people or as a culture. I did say that I don't (and never will) respect beliefs they hold that are incorrect, whether it's that electricity is a form of fire or that two turtles fought with space god to create the universe. If it's wrong or absurd then I won't respect it.

    But they can hold it. I don't care what other people believe as long as their beliefs don't affect me. When other people's beliefs start to infringe upon me, that's when I'll get uppity about it.

    And you're right, the truth is a zero-sum game. The difference between me and most people is that I don't care if other people think I'm stupid. When I get comments from people saying, "duh monkeys still exist SO WHO'S DUMB NOW YOU DARWINIST" I just shake my head and laugh. And when someone calls me intolerant of people's religion because I think they're wrong and that they're beliefs are dumb and say so in no uncertain terms, despite the fact that I open and repeatedly advocate for religious freedom and for a person's right to choose their own religion, then I just shake my head and laugh.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 3:49 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • Stupid, like truth, depends entirely on ones point of view.
    Your opinion isn't the end-all, be-all opinion of all things.
    Just because you think something is stupid, or wrong, or right, or true doesn't make it so. It doesn't mean it's not either, but stating that it's stupid because you say it is, is the height of arrogance.
    Which, for the record, is only my point of view. You think you're right.
    You're not, but I respect your right to think you are.

    By Anonymous Munan, at 6:26 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • Uh, what does this joke have to do with Judaism? Is it the turtles or the flipping of light switches?

    By Anonymous Archemedes Rex, at 7:19 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • Stupid is as stupid does.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:11 PM, May 16, 2007  

  • I think you have your set arithmetic incorrect.

    "Making fire" can be in the set of prohibited work. "Using electricity" can also be in that set. These don't require that "using electricity" be a subset of "making fire".

    As you can see from the JewFaq on the topic, there's quite a bit of debate about what constitutes work, how much fire is too much (Is it the hitting of sparks? Is fire burning from the previous day ok?), etc. People make reasonable arguments on both sides (a tradition which explains why there are so many Jewish lawyers).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:32 PM, May 16, 2007  

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