Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 6594 Location: Luray, Virginia
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I think I understand better Hitchens' perspective, and I'm not so puzzled by his tolerance and even liking for some things religious. In this chapter, he talks about the tremendous harm done by Religion (capital R). His examples--from Northern Ireland to to Iraq to the U.S.-- are well presented and for me are in line with his refrain of "religion kills" and "religion poisons everything." Under the category of religion (small r), would fall manifestations that do not apparently cause harm because they are not the products of the true, or dangerous, believers. Hitchens doesn't make this distinction for us, but I seem to see it there, and that happens to be how I see the situation as well.
However, I am wrong about his view if Hitchens views even moderate, apparently harmless religion as part of the problem because it provides a cover for the extreme sort. He mentions the lack of outrage, or just perverse conclusions, shown by religious leaders over atrocities. It may therefore be that he thinks all of it--both capital R and small r-- has unfortunate consequences. I don't know yet. To my limited knowledge, most atheists do not give religion in any of its forms a pass. Buddhism or earth-based religions may be an exception for some.
Joined: May 2002 Posts: 16279 Location: Florida
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Certainly some religions are more tolerated by atheists, and in particular, strong atheists. The more harm a religion or religious belief appears to be capable of causing the more non-believers will be intolerant of the religion or belief. And rightly so.
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